For my readers who have been around awhile (Thank you <3), you know I tend to go through phases. With food. With TV. With life. With exercise.
For a LONG time — I’ve been living within my obsession with running.
From November until right before our honeymoon, I was running 6-7 days a week. Normally somewhere around 3-6 miles.
Running will likely always be my passion. It challenges me in a way that I haven’t found elsewhere, but also keeps me interested.
With that said, my body and mind made it very clear that I needed to find balance recently. And that’s exactly what I’ve done. So I’m here to share with you all some of my new favorite work outs and routines that have been making me feel better than I have in ages.
First, I want to discuss my schedule. The key to my schedule at this point is variation. Currently, any given week looks like:
- 3 days of running
- 2 days of strength/yoga class
- 1 day of cross (lately skiing)
- 1 day of rest/walking
This is working great for both my mind and body. I no longer feel run down or dread my morning routine. As the weather get’s better and Spring shows it’s beautiful head, I imagine more outdoor activities will take place of those cross training/strength days.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I cannot express enough the value of yoga as a balance to any other work out routine.
I recently bought a 30/30 pass at Kindness yoga which includes 30 days of unlimited classes for 30 dollars. How awesome of a deal is that? While I have this special, I am absolutely taking advantage of classes whenever I can.
Now I know many of us cardio junkies feel like yoga isn’t a “true” workout. . . but just like with any other exercise, Yoga is what you make it. I will challenge ANYONE to go to a Yoga 2/3 class (3 is routinely the hardest yoga class studios offer) and NOT be sore the next day. Seriously. I know that when I was doing yoga 5-6 days a week I had more definition in my back and arms than at any other point in my life.
Now that’s not to say yoga is always about the burn. Yoga is also meditative and brings along with it the mental challenge. As a distance runner, this is just as important for me. Running is 90% mental. . . and yoga CHALLENGES me mentally because I just can’t naturally stay in the mindset for 60-90 minutes. Focusing on poses and my breathing are great cross training for my running.
Yoga has one downfall for me. Classes are expensive. A few tips:
- Find a new-to-you studio. Most offer great deals like first week free, half price, etc.
- GROUPON! Always have great deals
- Online (youtube) FREE yoga routines. There are some GREAT ones that you can do from home.
If it’s got to be cold, then you might as well find a way to enjoy it. And honestly, there is NO better way to do that than hitting the slopes.
There is something about fresh mountain air that makes skiing, a VERY challenging sport, seem totally worth while.
While not everyone is lucky enough to live in the mountains like I do. . . if you ever have an opportunity plan a trip to the mountains and TRY OUT SKIING. There is no other cross training like it and it WILL change your life.
There is nothing that makes my legs more sore than a 9-4 day on the mountain. Besides maybe a race, but that’s another story. Challenging your legs, core and arms for an entire day on the mountain will leave you exhausted in the best kind of way, and READY to enjoy the post ski beer + food!
If you don’t live in the mountains or don’t have the ability to ski, that doesn’t mean you can’t try and enjoy the outdoors and snow.
Snow shoeing! A seriously TOUGH and awesome work out. Hello half the WORLD is covered with snow right now — and these things are super cheap to rent if you don’t want to buy them. I promise you it will be a challenging but rewarding work out and will make the snow seem a little more worth while 😉
And snow walks/hikes. I have found that in many parts of the country there are dedicated Winter trails or hikes to take advantage of. As long as your equipped with your winter gear (hat, gloves, under layers + good coat and pants, + water resistant shoes)
Nike Training Club App
For anyone who has a smart phone, download this APP now. Seriously. It has motivated me in ways that I haven’t been to try new things in a long time.
The app is easy to use, functional, and has a GREAT variety of different work outs. I challenge anyone to download the app and not at least find a couple routines you love.
Elements about this program I love:
- It’s high intensity. I am CONSTANTLY out of breath with this one.
- And it coaches you on the moves. Each move has a video attached to it to show you correct form. This is KEY.
- The variety! Seriously there is something for everyone.
- Teaches you new moves!
Some of my favorite moves:
- PLANK WORK! Side plank, forearm plank, full plank, plank with rotation. You name it — you get it. Plank is SUCH an amazing full body exercise and hello quick and dirty.
- Lunges/Squats: I hated the sound of these words for a long time, but somehow Nike has brought them back into my life. Hello AWESOME for running
- Push ups — OUCH. Enough said. But at least it gives you variety.
While I did many of the moves I practice using the NTC app BEFORE finding it, there is no measure for the importance of the moves being done in a routine. Not only for safety, but also for getting the best bang for your buck. These programs range from 15-45 minutes and trust me, they know what they’re doing.
And that, my friends, is just a few work outs that I am enjoying! Doesn’t seem like the snow and cold are going away anytime soon, so I hope you’re able to use some of these work outs to add some variety to your routine!
Question of the Afternoon: Your favorite outdoor snowy activity.