Category Archives: Stretching

5 Yoga Poses for Post Run Bliss

Hi everyone!

When I tell people that I do yoga, the number one response I always get is “Oh, I can’t do that. I can’t touch my toes.” I liken that to the response people give when you say you run, “Oh, you’ll need new knees by the time your 50!” Everyone has an opinion. Well here’s mine.

Stop making excuses!

Yoga benefits everyone for stress relief, diminish aches and pains, injury prevention and a better outlook at life. Yoga is equally beneficial to runners whether you are a weekend warrior who gets in a few miles a week or you run Ultras. It’s not about touching your toes and wrapping your leg around your neck.

I’d love to be able to do a two hour yoga session every day of the week but life doesn’t allow for that right now. One way I like to sneak in a little yoga is at the end of my runs. There are five poses for post run bliss that I always do. They hit all the muscles that are stressed and fatigued the most while running – calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, and hips. I like to add Legs Up A Wall too just because it relaxes your psoas, drains blood out of your tired feet and legs and slows the body down readying for recovery.

5 Yoga Poses For Post Run - happyfitmama.com

Hold each pose except legs up a wall for a minute or more. I prefer to stay in legs up a wall for at least 10 minutes.

I was recently asked to select a couple of pieces from Macy’s activewear for women. I knew Macy’s carried the major brands like Nike and Under Armour but I’ve never noticed their Ideology brand. I’m looking forward to warmer weather so I chose a racerback tank and cropped leggings.

Macy's Activewear - happyfitmama.com

The tank is very cute. I love the tie dye pattern. It’s a little longer length which helps prevent flashing your goods when doing an inversions in yoga class. I like that the fit isn’t super tight and it skims the body rather than squeezes. I haven’t tried running in the tank yet as it’s still quite cold here. It’s not supportive enough on it’s own for running but just enough for yoga and other lower impact activities.

Macy's Activewear 2 - happyfitmama.com

I usually have quite a difficult time finding cropped pants that fit me right. I’m short waisted and tend to either have to pull the waist up super high or have the crotch hang low. Either one really isn’t very flattering. The fit of these crops are ok. They’re a little longer in the waist than I prefer though. I wore them to yoga class and did not have to pull at the waist band once. I can see myself wearing these in yoga and running (again, if it ever gets warm enough!).

I feel comfortable in both pieces. Proof that cute workout clothes can also be functional!

What are your favorite stretches post run?

I was sent the tank and cropped leggings free of charge for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

This or That: Health and Fitness Edition

Hey everyone!

I had an almost finished post about yoga planned for today but after the week I’ve had, I didn’t have it in me. One of those weeks or days where you are just drained mentally. It feels taxing even just to write my name right now.

This Health and Fitness Survey has been floating around for months. I think I might have seen it back in the Fall? It’s light and airy. Something perfect for Fun Friday!

Alright, let’s have some fun!

1. Run/workout in the heat and humidity or freezing temps and snow?

Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I like it warm but not hot and definitely not humid. Freezing temps and snow is not my favorite either. I’m sick of winter so hot and humid sounds perfect right now.

Running in 10 degrees - happyfitmama.com

2. Have washboard abs or flat abs?

I’ll take flat abs. Washboard abs seem too high maintenance. :)

3. Dr. Oz or The Doctors?

Dr. Oz.  I’ve never seen The Doctors. Honestly, I can only say I’ve watched Dr. Oz once when he talked about what shape your poop should be. I’m still not sure how it’s supposed to be in the shape of an “S.” ;)

4. Cardio or strength?

Cardio is my jam (ahem…running). I do like strength too. I miss my heavy lifting days from the gym.

Dynamax Ball - happyfitmama.com

5. Cravings: Protein or carbs?

Carbs! I love my bread, chips and cereal. Give me comfort in carbs.

6. Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper?

Jillian. I like that she tells it like it is.

7. Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream?

Ice Cream. We are just now getting more self serve Fro-yo places here in NH. It’s good but it’s no hard scoop ice cream. Mmmmm!

8. To train: Upper body or Lower body?

Upper body. I like chest and arms best but dislike back. Of course, I’m also your typical runner who shies away from lifting heavy on leg days. Don’t want to be too sore for my runs!

9. Protein powder or food with protein?

I prefer the real deal but like protein powder for smoothies. Remember when I tried to make a protein powder cake in a mug?

Protein powder mug cake - happyfitmama.com

10. Lunges or squats?

Squats but I force myself to do lunges more since my knee injury. Hello weak VMO!

11. Sweet or salty?

Salty. Chips, crackers, margaritas. Yes.

12. Workout attire: cute or comfy?

Comfy. Nothing is worse than having to constantly readjust straps, waistbands, etc while working out.  Although I think you can have both.

Triangle Pose - happyfitmama.com

13. Body Pump or Heavy lifting?

I’ve never done Body Pump so heavy lifting.

14. Yoga or Pilates?

YOGA!! Pilates is nice but not my thing. I like it when it’s mixed in a Barre Class but not by itself.

15. Nike or Adidas?

Nike. I haven’t seen anything I like from Adidas in a very long time.

matchyNikeYou know it’s a great running skirt when your running buddy and you show up in the same outfit.

16. Running on the treadmill or outdoors?

Outdoors. I tolerate the treadmill out of necessity.

17. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

Trader Joe’s. Love having it just down the street now although there’s a rumor we may be getting a Whole Foods. Bye bye paycheck!

18. Summer or Winter Olympics?

Summer. Gymnastics, swimming, diving, running events are my favorite.

19. Exercises classes or Exercise videos?

Classes. I work harder with others in the room with me. I’m a wee bit competitive.

20. Steamed veggies or roasted veggies?

Roasted. So much more flavor.

Roasted Squash - happyfitmama.com

Your turn! Pick a question and leave me an answer in the comments!

On a separate note, my friend Christine posted about National Day of Unplugging yesterday. I know this is something that I need to do. I’m too attached to my iPhone. So I will be attempting to cut the cord for a 24 hour period –  sunset March 1st to sunset March 2. Anyone else doing it?

Have a great weekend everyone! I’m running 16 miles on Saturday – the longest I’ve run since my knee injury. Fingers crossed it’s all good!

5 Yoga Poses For Holiday Stress

This time of year is super stressful for everyone. Gift lists a mile long. Crowds at every single store. Increased traffic. Finances. Baking. Cleaning. Over doing it at parties (eating and drinking). Time with extended family (ones you like and the ones you try to avoid). Travel with long delays. And just plain over committing to everything. Just writing all that made my stress level go up!

At times I feel myself getting wrapped up into the commercialism of the Holidays. I feel like I need to keep up with the Jones’. As my shoulders start to creep up towards my ears, I feel the tension building in my trapezius and back muscles. A pounding headache follows. But then I have to take a step back and ask “Why?” Why do I feel this need?

Once I give myself a stern talking to, I then turn to working on the tension that’s built up in my muscles. My favorite de-stresser (besides running) is Yoga.

A full yoga session always does the trick but there are times when I don’t have that option. Enter my five go-to poses for stress relief. These can be done anywhere for as long as you have available. Go with how you feel in the poses. If it feels uncomfortable, don’t force it. These poses are meant to be restorative and restful.

5 Yoga Poses For Holiday Stress - happyfitmama.com

Note: I had planned on doing a little vlog for you all but time did not permit. If you need proper instruction on each move, please consult a yoga teacher or Yoga Journal.

Don’t let the Holidays bring you down and leave you a bundle of nerves. Take time to enjoy the things that really matter in your life. All the rest is just details.

If you are looking for ways to start a home practice, here’s a few great places to start that are having deals right now:

Yoga Download – 12 days of specials on classes till December 25th!

My Yoga Online – Try it for FREE till Christmas day!

Gaiam TV – Another great offer to try it FREE for 10 days!

Take time for yourself and ENJOY!

Namaste~

Oh before I forget, the winner of the Under Armour Armour Bra is:

 

 #42 Jill (@jkasparbauer)!

Please email (happyfitmama@gmail.com) with your full name, mailing address and what size Armour Bra by Tuesday, December 18th. If I don’t hear from the winner by then, a new one will be picked. You can check out the sizes here. Congrats!

Question for you – what are your favorite stress relieving yoga poses?