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Tag: exercise

Teaming Up – How To Make A Long Run Even Better

Enjoy your run moment

After a long run, how can there really be anything else to do? We’ve enjoyed the scenery and taken some pictures. We’ve nodded or peace-signed to our fellow long-run-day runners. We’ve sweat. We’ve strengthened our lungs. Even our heart has worked and grown, specifically our left ventricle, pumping enough blood and provided enough oxygen to complete our run. So, what else do we need? Well, we need to think about fuel and our mind.

When you finally get to press the stop button on your watch, I’m sure you feel a bit of relief. Some words that may cross your mind, “Ahhh, it’s done! I did it!” You did! But before you leave your run behind you and hop in the shower or grab that coffee, go into your closet and take out your yoga mat and foam roller.

We’ve got to stretch and do a little bit of strength before we put our efforts to rest. So, find a nice quiet space to lay out your yoga mat. Sit down with a nice straight back, sitting “criss cross applesauce” or on a mediation pillow, and just take a few slow, deep breaths. Quiet your mind for a couple of breaths, only thinking of your breathing. Next, let your thoughts wander about your long run. How did you feel during and after? What sights did you see? What sounds did you hear that made your long run enjoyable?

After your reflection, go back to taking a few deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Think of nothing but your breathe.

Stretching & Foam Roll

Next, let’s team up this long run even more with caring for those muscles that worked so hard for you. Take your foam roller and start to gently roll out your glutes, quads, calves, and back. Remember to keep your core engaged and support yourself. After rolling out, move into a downward dog position and start pedaling your feet (about 6x), then perform 5 shoulder presses, followed by 5 alternating knee crunch-ins, and repeat this about 3-4x. When you are finished, you can lay on the mat and finish up with any favorite stretches.

Fuel! It’s really not just the first 30 minutes after your run that you need to worry about. It’s the entire day and every day after. Are you seriously going to give yourself a nutritiously calibrated post-run snack and then two hours later eat a pizza or buffalo wings? I hope not.

Long Run Nutrition Team Up Ideas to Fuel You Beyond your Long Run:

Post-run Smoothie: date, banana, maca powder, cocoa powder, almond butter, almond milk, frozen berries, spirulina

Lunch: mixed raw veggies and hummus w or w/o toast

Food for Fuel

Dinner: Wicked Awesome Salad! Chopped Kale, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Pepper, beans with Rice & Apple Cider Vinegar (mixed and sitting/soaking for 10-15 min). Mix in flaxseed meal and nutritional yeast. Then drizzle peanut sauce (peanut butter, a little apple cider vinegar, gluten free soy sauce, wIMG_6587-1ater, rice vinegar.)
This can be served as is or over warm quinoa. Not only do adults like this meal but little humans do too.

There’s so much that we can do for our body and mind even after we’ve put in a strong effort. Remembering that recovery and fueling is just as important as logging miles can be a struggle. However, once you get in the rhythm of stretching your body and mind in those ways, your body will thank you in the end!

Team Up!

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Improvement, Day 3: Fueling The Soul

I think most of us can agree that if our soul feels full, then we feel content. If it’s the slightest bit emtpy we start looking for the next thing we think will fill the void. Humans are creative. We use food, alochol, weed, late night television watching, romance novels, and . . . in order to fill whatever void is missing from our soul.

Let’s dive into some possible Fuel For The Soul options, so we don’t try to fill the soul with more emptiness.

  1. Music: My family and I recently ate dinner at a friends home. In the background of our conversations, through the laughter and occasional screeches from our children was this serene music.  Our friends said it was Lemongrass, which they followed on Pandora. The very next chance I got, I went on my Spotify to find the channel. There’s just something invigorating about Lemongrass. I listen to it when I’m working, cooking, playing with the kids – it’s good stuff. This music will definelty fuel your soul.
  2. Gut Helpers: It’s hard for the soul to feel good when your gut doesn’t. Plant-based fiber will get your system working. Fennel tea aids digestions (bloating, gas, etc…) and is loaded with great vitamins and minerals, apple cider vinegar aids in normalizing acidity, and ginger eases mentrual cramps, nausea, and can be used to help break down high-protein foods such as meats and beans.
  3. Podcasts: Comedy. Health & Wellness. Fitness. Fiction. Story Telling. Science. Spirituality. You name it, there’s probably a podcast for it. So, whatever area sparks your soul, check out some podcasts on the subject and it may just have you feeling just a little better. [My go-to podcast is The Rich Roll Podcast]
  4. Essential Oils – Trust me, I was just kind of into it when I first started reading about oils. Then, I went to my parent’s house for a family vacation and was caught off-guard when one day my feelings went from being really bothered, to blissful. I took in the essential oils my mom had “on” and did a couple yoga moves. Before I had time to process anything, I was a new person.
  5. Movement: a bit of movement can go a long way. With movement, the blood flows, edorphines are released, and you just get rid of stuff. Being a runner, I tend to use my running as a means to renew and rejuvinate myself, but as of late, I’ve been revisiting my old yoga practice due to some injuries. My head space can become clear while practicing yoga, just as it does while running.

Do you have any go-to’s to fuel your soul?

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Lead by Example

As parents, I think we sometimes forget that we are the best example for our children. They come into this world knowing nothing. They pretty much grow and learn from us and the experiences we give them.

Last year, while living in San Francisco, I felt that as a family we were good examples for our children, but we had some work to do. The stress of living in a big, busy city, i.e. crowded playgrounds, cramped houses, little neighborhood playing, growing homeless population, and increasing expenses (just to name a few) added a great deal of stress to our lives and in turn, our children’s lives too.

Upon moving to Portland, OR, our lives finally felt manageable and healthy. Stress became nearly non-existant, which made everything else easy and fun. Due to the family-centered neighborhood we live in not only can my husband and I enjoy our running but our boys can safely bike, scooter, walk, and eventually run all around the area.

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Cooking meals together was hassle in our old home and now we all make meals together, most days. Earlier in the day, my two boys were “fighting” over cauliflower and this evening they were doing the same over brussel sprouts. Given the pace we were living in SF, those types of fresh vegetables weren’t typically around and now they always are. I made the cauliflower for lunch and my husband made the brussel sprouts for dinner. We both loved what we were making and that love encouraged our kids to eat it too.

Right after dinner, tonight, my almost three year-old wanted to walk on his hands and do a hand stand. As a compromise (since he doesn’t have any gymnastics training yet), we did wheelbarrow around the house, from room to room, multiple times. I imagine that seeing me train my clients in bear crawls, down dog shoulder presses, and all the fun, crazy body weight exercises, encouraged my little guy to experiment with his own body too.

Not only does being an example of healthy behaviors translate to our children, but so does our moods, the way we communicate with one another, expressing our likes and dislikes, our reading, TV, computer, and phone behaviors do as well.

Our Examples:

  • making healthy smoothies together in the morning
  • our daily running
  • oohing and ahhing over fresh fruits and vegetables
  • giving loving smiles to each other throughout the day
  • making donations
  • taking care of our bodies
  • taking a breath or meditating when we need it
  • each person takes a part in making meals and snacks

What do you do to be the example to your kids?  I’d love to read it below.

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Play Time!

Have you ever heard of Boccer? Well, I hadn’t until I started subbing at the Portland Waldorf School. I saw the seniors play it in the beginning of the year, and then I immediately went home to research what it was. Basically it’s using this ball: soft, bouncy, slightly hard and using it in a game of soccer/basketball – BOCCER!

Boccer Ball


Why play boccer?

Because it’s a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of sweat. Why not make exercise fun and learn some new skills or relearn some old ones.

What is boccer like?

Boccer is a combination of soccer and basketball. If the ball is up in the air you can pass it and shoot, and if it’s on the ground you can kick the ball to a teammate or goal. You cannot move with the ball though, which is super tricky to remember. You need a basketball hoop and a soccer goal on either side of the court and a team split up evenly. You will run back and forth so much and be constantly thinking about making a basketball or soccer move, that you won’t even realize you are gettng in a workout!

Go play boccer and tell me what you think!


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