Structural vs. Lifestyle Postural Deviations
How Pilates helps your posture.
Since muscles work in pairs, it’s important that each muscle’s strength and flexibility is balanced. Let’s think about the upper leg. If you have tight hamstrings and weak thighs, there is an imbalance going on. Many people believe that stretching, stretching, stretching, is one of the only things you can do to get a muscle to open, but strengthening the antagonist of the muscle that is tight will further release the tight muscle. In the case of the upper leg, strengthening the quad will allow for the hamstring to release tension. The burden of muscle action is more equally distributed between the muscle pair. The tight muscle can work less with the help of the newly strong antagonist.
Though running has been on the back burner since I’ve been dancing so much, I was proud that I “ran around” in a new location. I spent the holidays in Napa and San Francisco, both beautiful places where the weather isn’t always on your side. I told myself I would run a lot more than I did, but a couple days of rain and unfamiliar locations didn’t make the best recipe for success.
I finally ran on my third day in San Francisco, but before I even ventured outside I grappled with the usually minor details of run route and mileage. I knew that I wanted to run in the 3-5 mile range, but with the notorious San Fran hills and little knowledge of the area I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
I settled on going west from the apartment and decided to figure it out along the way. “Figuring it out along the way” turned into 3 miles, some of which were the most grueling hills I’ve ever encountered. I’ve never scaled hills like that walking before, let alone running.
I ran through Haight-Ashbury (known as the hippie neighborhood) to the edge of Golden Gate Park and back on another street in the same neighborhood that led me to Buena Vista Park. I heard while I was in San Fran that Buena Vista Park was where many sought refuge during the 1989 earthquake because of the park’s natural height.
This was my view from the top of the park (and by park I mean monstrous hill that they turned into a park.)
On my way down from Buena Vista Park I descended Alpine Street. You can only imagine the angle of this road for it to earn a name like that in San Fran. Needless to say I walked that block.
This run was one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done, but I certainly felt accomplished. I was bothered by shin splints a couple hours later, but I’m confident that even if I hadn’t run I would have shin splints just from walking around. The citizens of San Francisco all must have well developed lower legs and super cardio endurance.
It was a great final run of 2012. Can’t wait to see where I run around in 2013!
Happy New Year, everyone!
Winter can be a cozy, snuggly season where you find warmth and comfort, or it can transform you into a seasonally affected, slightly depressive person who’s constantly down in the dumps. Here are some ways to stay cheery and bright all winter long.
With the shortened daily hours, waking up early to exercise pre-work or staying energized post-work is a tough thing to do. Add in some colder temperatures at those times and you have a recipe for blowing off your workouts.
- Wake up anyway. It’s hard to wake up in what feels like the dark of night, but try to make yourself do it anyway. You’ll feel more awake and energized for your whole day and will be productive in your personal life after work.
- Warmth and shine. If you’re awake, but the cold and darkness still deter you, stock up on some warm and reflective winter workout gear. Think of the money spent as an investment to your health. Whether you stay warm walking to a class or are able to block the wind during a run, you’ll stay on your track to good health.
- Penciled in. Make appointments to exercise. If you like going to classes, schedule them ahead of time and put them in your calendar. Stick to them like an appointment where your presence is expected. If you enjoy going to the gym or exercising outside on your own time, still schedule it into your calendar and commit to your activity.
- Wilted winter green salad with squash. A salad but seasonal and filling.
- Veggie soups. Warming and nutritious.
- Canned pumpkin. Stir some (with spices!) into oatmeal or a blended juice. You can’t help but feel seasonal.
- Use a grill pan to cook your veggies and proteins. You’ll feel like it’s summer time all year round.
- Make plans with friends for after work so the night time hours don’t seem so depressing.
- Make those plans super charged by exercising together or trying a new healthy restaurant.