Run Smarter, Not Harder

Run Smarter Not Harder

As the temperature outside rises and flowers begin to pop through the dirt, more people can be found outside enjoying the sun. The cold winter days spent trapped inside the gym are coming to end and for many it’s time to hit the trails. For those who enjoy running, spring is prime running time. Endless miles spent on the “dreadmill” can finally be taken outside. But before you hit the trails running, there are some helpful tips you should know to help you become a better runner outdoors and save yourself from injury.

1). Choose the Well-Traveled Road

When running outside, the last thing you want to do is get lost or realize you have run farther than you can handle. Before heading outdoors for your run, do some research and map out your route beforehand. There are many websites (such as Mapometer)  that allow you to draw out your route and give you exact distances. These sites can also help you find trails that are frequently run by fellow runners and include well lit streets and parks. Always remember your safety is a priority and choose running paths that are visible to others. If you ever feel nervous or uncomfortable, be sure to ask a friend to join you!

2). Start Slow

Running on the treadmill provides your body with the the constant momentum needed to keep you moving forward. As you move your runs outside, the lack of momentum can become quite taxing on your body. Your muscles and joints are under constant stress to help stabilize and propel you forward. When running outside, don’t expect to run as fast or long as you did on the treadmill. Allow your body time to adjust to the new conditions and keep some shorter runs in the mix. You can pick up your pace and distance as your body adapts to the new surroundings. To help make the transition from the treadmill to outdoors easier, begin by running on softer surfaces like grass or tracks.

3). Cross Train

While running is a highly efficient form of exercise, it is not the only form of exercise you should be doing. It’s important to keep a steady mix of strength training and stretches to keep your body strong and balanced. With the transition to the outdoors, it’s essential that your muscles are trained strong enough to handle the new challenges.  Check out these running specific stretches and essential strength training moves to help ward off overuse injuries. Its equally important that you provide your muscles with a proper warmup and cool down. Read more about the importance of your cool down in our previous blog why your cool down counts. Start your runs with a brisk five minute walk and cool down as you slowly decrease your pace and stretch.

4). Get the Right Support

Because running is a high impact activity, it can take a serious toll on your body and even lead to overuse injuries. To help ensure your body is supported at its best, be sure to take the time to find the proper footwear for you. Speciality running stores such as Endurance House can screen your running form to help you choose the right shoe for you. They can help detect over and under pronation and get you the appropriate support needed. This screening will also help determine your natural running form and allow you to learn tweaks to improve your form and time on the road. This extra step will help protect your body and keep you on the trials longer.

~Fall In love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit.~

-Hannah Anderson

Meditation 101

meditation 101The beginning of new year means a new you, am I right? So many of us find ourselves making new goals or resolutions that we want to achieve as we make way into the new year. Often, its physical appearances that we fixate ourselves on. Wanting to loose ten pounds or look good in that little black dress to wear out to the bars. But whatever happened to focusing on our mental state and thoughts? Why are we as humans of the 21st century so fixated on our outermost appearances when the root of everything we do and feel stems from within?

Well I may not have the answers to all of these questions; I do have a solution that can help improve your everyday life and health in 2017. This solution stems all the way from India in the middle ages, 18th century (according to Medical News.net).  Indians used meditation to help guide them to faith where it was eventually brought to the western culture in 1979 for the Mindfulness Stress Reduction Program. Today, meditation is used throughout the United States to help alleviate stress and everyday wellbeing.

Rather then focusing on only the physical outermost aspects of your health in 2017, I challenge you to focus inside yourself where you health ultimately begins, your mind.  If your anything like myself, you may have heard about meditation through the grapevine, but are unsure of what it really is. Below I have broken down the art of meditation through common questions people have regarding this art.

What is meditation?

In short, meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. Through regular meditation practice, one is able to learn the patterns and habits of their mind while cultivating a new, more positive way of being.

Why should I meditate?

With the hectic pace and high demands of everyday life, it is often that we feel stressed, overworked and out of tune with out body and thoughts. Meditation gives us a chance to reconnect our body back to our thoughts to improve many aspects of our lives. Some of the main benefits from meditation include…

-Lower stress levels

-Better connections

-Improved focused

-Increased control over emotions

-Increased overall well being

 

How do I Meditate?

The art of mediation itself is a very personalized experience, which allows you to transform each session to fit your exact needs. The most important part of your practice should include finding a quiet space that is away from any distractions from the outer world. Making sure all electronics are turned off and out of sight is the best way to ensure you are fully present with yourself. It is also important to find a comfortable position for your body in your session, weather that be lying down or seated in your favorite chair.

You should begin by bringing your mind to your breath and slowing your breathing pace through deep ujjayi breaths (deep inhales through the nose and slow exhales through the mouth).  For those new to the mediation practice, it is recommended that you start by following guided scripts. These can be found through apps for your electronic devices, the most popular include sattva, calm and headspace. Warhawk Fitness and Aquatics Group Fitness program is now offering live mediation sessions in the Williams Center dance studio on Wednesday’s from 12:15-12:45p, where you will be lead through a live-guided meditation script. As you become more experienced with mediation, you are eventually able to block your mind completely from the outside world without any scripts.

Now that you know the basics of mediation and all the benefits it has on your body, what are you waiting for? Take time to meditate today and feel the effects it has on the rest of your health goals. Remember: healthy mind, healthy body, and healthy soul.

~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Soul.~

-Hannah Anderson

Post Tan Lines

The week free of homework, tests, stress and responsibility has once again come and gone in the blink of an eye. Whether you spent your week on a beach, soaking up the sun, or back in your hometown, we all had that one week where we could briefly escape from it all. The cold hard truth sinks in as we face the reality of the remainder of the semester that lies ahead. If you are struggling to find the motivation to get through the end of your semester, read these five tips to help successfully get you through the last weeks

1). Organization

Endless amounts of papers, assignments and books easily get piled up after a week away. Taking the time to properly organize your belongings will allow you to know where everything is making you less stressed. You will be a lot more motivated to get your work done if you know where everything is and don’t have to spend extra time searching for it. It is a simple step that will lead to smooth sailing for studying.

2). Sleep

You won’t have the energy needed to get everything done on little to no sleep and that’s a fact. No matter how much work you need to get done, sleep is not something that should suffer .It is crucial that you get the proper amount of sleep (7-8 hours) each night in order to be able to put full concentration into your work. Plan your days ahead of time and prioritize what needs to get done each day so you don’t find yourself up until 3 AM cramming for your test.

3). Routine

If you study at the same time each day, you will begin to get used to doing so. Setting a schedule for your days that include study time, exercise and social life will help get yourself in a routine that will quickly become habit. Soon, you won’t even have to think twice about sitting down to do your homework and it won’t make it seem so awful every time you have to do it.

4). Fight procrastination

Excuses don’t produce results. The longer you wait to do something, the more you will regret it later. The best way to fight prostration is to just do it. You know you have to get it done, so move forward and check it off your to do list right away.  Plus, you will feel much more relieved once it’s done.

5). Reward yourself

There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a little reward after finishing that long paper. Having something to look forward to gives you the motivation to help get that task done faster. Just remember to do it sparingly and only give yourself the reward if you truly deserve it.

Use these tips to help keep you pushing through to the end of the semester. Keeping yourself on track will ensure that you finish the semester strong and before you know it, summer will be here.

 

~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit.~

– Hannah Anderson

Why Traveling is good for your health

WHY TRAVELING IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH (1)Vacation time in the workplace is decreasing.  Which makes my mind twist and turn.  Vacations offer the chance to relax and restore our overall well-being.  As spring break is approaching, I wanted to show the world how important this week of vacation is; not only our mental health but our physical health.

Recharge emotionally

It is known that being near the water can make you happier, healthier, more connected and better at what you do.  Being near the ocean side can help reset our emotions.  The feeling of awe come about when the sea is at your fingertips.

Get back in shape

While some may think a vacation is an excuse to put aside fitness, traveling goes beyond sitting in a beach chair.  As a tourist you are spending many days walking, whether its sightseeing Europe or walking on the sandy white beaches.  As a traveler you are also inclined more to try new actives while visiting your destination.  These activates may be sailing, surfing, hiking, biking, etc.  Many resorts also encourage fitness while at your stay.  The resorts bring in fitness instructress to do water aerobics or beach yoga with the guest.  This allows visitors to boost physical and mental fitness while away from home.

Eliminating stress

Engaging in new surroundingsallows you to eliminate the stress you are leaving back at home.  There are many psychological benefits from change of scenery from home and work.  Humans thrive on freshness, and travel offers the complete package with new faces, sounds, and sights. Leave all your worries at home.

Wind down and rest up

We’re all guilty; little sleep mixed with high stress can lead to irritability and negative consequences on your everyday performance.  Vacations are a great opportunity to catch up on sleep.  To feel more energized, make sleep and resting and important thing you need.  Grab a beach chair and catch some z’s, but make sure you apply SPF before shutting those eyes.

Mood booster

Traveling can improve our emotional state. Surveys have shown that planning one trip a year can make a human feel happier.  When vacations become a routine it makes it that much easier to leave the stresses of life behind and leave the guilt behind.  Regular vacations, while taking time for yourself and your family lowers your stress level that contribute to degrading our mental and physical health.  And who could forget about the memories that last a life time with vacations.  Memories of vacations can trigger happiness long after your trip.

Many physical and mental benefits to traveling are gained when you step out of your comfort zone and explore the culture around you.  With spring break right around the corner, I hope you truly take advantage of it.  You do not need to travel miles away by plane to gain these benefits.  A vacation lies right within your own backyard.

I hope you learn. I hope you laugh. I hope you never stop. And remember being fit is always in style.

Karlee Fowler