Monday, November 24, 2014

HOLIDAY WELLNESS GUIDE: Stay Fit Moves

Sparkle holiday template

Throughout the year, stress control is one of the most common reasons for exercising, and since the holidays can be the most stressful part of our 365 day trip around the sun, it's crucial that we keep sweating so our focus can stay on the fun stuff and we can enjoy the season! I believe it's more important than ever to keep up with the regular workouts - whether that means yoga classes, Crossfit, gym sessions, runs, or any combination of activities that get your heart racing.

Since the majority of our sweat sessions this time of year happen well before the sun comes out, Woody and I spend a good bit of our time in the gym. As much as I love running, I've come to appreciate what a good gym workout can do for me. Through multiple go-arounds at physical therapy and some eye-opening classes at GenFit, I've developed a good collection of strength training moves that help me stay fit and strong so that I can continue running. A strong core and balanced strength, is crucial for runners.

Stay Fit Header

Two of moves I've added into my gym workouts over the past year is the Renegade Row and (for lack of a better name) the TRX Knee To Chest. My favorite thing about these two moves is that they both work my full body. I kind of dread them, because they're hard, but then once I do them I feel awesome. They leave me feeling that burn that only a good workout provides! I can feel the hard effort even when I'm heading to work, which is a great feeling!

Renegade Row

Because these have a lot of similarities I won't include both of them in the same workout. I will pair other arm, core and back moves with them though - like a seated or bent row, lat pull downs, weighted side bends, and definitely squats. I also do some cardio every day - either a run on the dreaded treadmill or a go on the elliptical or rowing machine. Also, while I prefer to do cardio first (it helps me wake up at 5am) it’s actually best to put strength training first. That said, it’s okay to get your blood pumping with a quick 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill, elliptical or bike before heading to the weights when you’re going to focus your workout on strength training. 

TRX Knee to Chest

That said, some days will be cardio heavy, others are light days where I may do a quick 20 minute warm-up then spend 40 minutes on strength training. With my history of stress fractures I've learned that I have to focus on maintaining/developing strong muscles and bones. While I'm stronger than I have been in the past, I still have a long way to go. I have goals - like winning an arm wrestling match against the guys at work!

What are your favorite strength training moves? * Where are you celebrating Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 17, 2014

HOLIDAY WELLNESS GUIDE: Roasted Winter Veggies

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The holidays are a fantastic, yet stressful time of year. Every November to-do lists start to grow faster than items are checked off; there are parties to attend, gifts to buy, cards to write, trips to take, the temperature drop and snow starts to fall. And that’s on top of every day life! It’s hard to keep up. This year my goal is to help you through the next 6 weeks so you can enjoy the season and start the new year feeling ready to take on anything!

As part of The Early Morning Run Holiday Guide, you’ll find healthy recipes, workout tips, DIY projects and more. All to help your holiday season shine!

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First up is this Roasted Winter Veggie dish. The best thing about about this dish is that it’s great for many occasions – you can make as much or as little as you need and it’s great as a side dish or main. The recipe below worked well as dinner for the two of us on a cold winter night. It can be made the night before and packed into a work bag for lunch, or make a big batch and take to a friend’s holiday potluck dinner. Full of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy vibes, this simple recipe will quickly become a favorite!

roasted-veggie-closeup

The sweet potato provides some, well, sweetness, while the cannellini beans add a little bit of bulk without being bulky. My husband, who is not a fan of Brussels sprouts or cauliflower was a fan of this dish – he went back for seconds!

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Roasted-Winter-Veggies

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How are you feeling about the holidays? * What are you looking forward to this season?

Monday, November 10, 2014

The #Shoefie Phenomenon

The single most important thing we put on when we go out for a run is a pair of shoes. They say a lot about us – from the brand to the model to the color to how beaten up and dirty they are – or bright and shiny.

Whether a run is the best we’ve had in months or a struggle since the first mile, we put a lot of heart, sole, brain capacity and intention into each one. And if you’re like me, many of your runs are solo. That presents are particularly distinct challenge when you want to capture something to remember a run – for good or bad – since almost every aspect of our lives are now documented in some way.

RunHappy Shoefie

Welcome… the shoefie. Go ahead, you can admit it. You’re in a safe place here. Like many runners and non-runners, you’ve taken a shoefie or have thought about it. Maybe you’ve posted it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, or maybe you kept it for yourself along with 1000+ other photos in your phone’s photo gallery.

Race Shoefie

From a quick look at any one of my social media feeds, I know for a fact I’m not alone. And you know what? That’s okay. Actually, it’s pretty great. Because, at least for us runners, we’re getting out there. We’re pushing ourselves and wearing holes in our running shoes, and that’s a beautiful thing. And for those non-runners posting shoefies, well, they can be pretty great too when there are particularly awesome shoes involved.

Flying High Shoefie

From personal experience there are 3 basic reasons for the shoefies rise in popularity: 1) we love our shoes - the more colorful and crazy, the better; 2) it’s pretty easy to take a basic shoefie, and once that’s mastered, they can be fun and creative; and 3) I can take it myself (key since I run solo) but better than a selfie, I don’t have to show the world my sweaty, blushed and crazy-hair post-run self!

That all said, there is something a bit weird about the shoefie too. Growing up I loved looking through the old, black and white photos in boxes and glued in photo albums at my grandparent’s houses. I’ve always been intrigued by how people dressed and posed for photos, and I can’t help but wonder what life was like for them, what they were celebrating or where they were going all dressed up. I have a few of those cherished photos over my desk. Now that so many of our photos are self-portraits or only our legs and feet, and always filtered, what are future generations going to think of us? Just like with black and white photos, we can’t tell what color a dress was, or if a man was wearing a grey or black suit, colors were in the wedding bouquet our Grandma carried, they’ll have similar questions when they look at ours. A good reminder for me to keep some photos just as they are.

Off The Grid Shoefie

Alright, that’s enough for the deep thoughts. I’d love to know, do you share shoefies? Running only or do you prefer not to discriminate? Share a link to your favorite in the comments!

For good measure, one proving that I do wear shoes of the non-running variety. Sometimes!

Wine and Shoefie