Take a Hike...

from working out. I spent years working hard to workout. That may sound dumb, but it's true. Somehow I thought that’s what working out meant. Straining your body to a point of endless exhaustion. When I wasn’t pushing myself running for miles on end,  I’d be spinning or twirling and dancing to Tracy Anderson for a good  hour (which actually would fun, if you’re just doing it just for fun.)

When I tried yoga I had been pushing myself so hard, that yoga’s seamless progression of relaxing and toning the body redefined what a work out was and why I did it. Prior working out was essential an attempt to nullify my previous night's indulgence. Straining became an essential norm for my daily workout. Letting go of this expectation for myself felt like the beginning of an eternal Summer vacation.

Finally learning to relax and breathe, the word rejuvenate took on a whole new meaning. My workouts left me more energized than ever. I figured yoga was all I needed. And I probably tried to convince everyone I knew (and everyone reading betterVita) of just that.

But somewhere between being in NYC and moving back to FL. all I craved was a good run. Not for a race, not for the sake of burning calories and not even really for the sake working out. For no reason but to simply run. Maybe it was the confined chaos of the city that sent me running, who knows. All I know was I needed to run. So now when I run, there's no counting minutes, no tracking miles or heat rate, just running. Sometimes it might be a quick run, a quick jog or just a long pensive walk. De-stressing workouts don't have to be just yoga.

So take a break from pushing or running so hard. Let it go. Walk, run, skip. Whatever your  and just take hike.

Tips for a better run:

  • Let your arms drop by your side, relax your shoulder and let you legs propel you.
  • Keep your breathing calm and consistent.
  • Let your run follow your breath, rather than vice versa.
  • Try breathing through your nose.
  • Set your gaze forward, chin lifted and spine elongated.
  • Run just to run. Or just walk. You have to start somewhere.

Shoot for the stars, yes, but get on the ship first.