Running Health And Rolling Pins

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I glanced out the window taking a break from my writing. I was as per usual, hanging at my fav coffee cave and enjoying some caffeine, some socializing,  and with a goal of getting a new blog post written.

Some days I’m more successful at some parts of that combination than others 😉

What caught my eye was a group of kids running around and all over the place in a field that was on the other side of the parking lot. Part of me wanted to just go out and join them …to shake the kinks out of my body from my time in the chair writing. The cool part was knowing I still had the abilities to do it if I wanted to crash their fun afternoon romp in the sun.

I decided I should behave myself and focus on getting my writing done for the day and not running around the field like an over grown kid .. I choked back a giggle imagining their faces if I just joined them 😛

Watching them though got me to thinking about our lives as adults… what happens that we stop running and being vigorous ? When do we get to a point that the idea of it seems funny and like it’s something only left for kids to do ?  Like running and using our bodies isn’t a total natural thing we should be able to do for a good long time…if not a life time ?

You know why?

We stop using them like they were designed for. We get lazier and less interested in moving around fast, much less running. Then at some point we start viewing running as an activity that a select group of crazy people doing in varying distances.

We look at running as an activity in a separate bubble that doesn’t apply to us anymore. True, some get older and have health problems that arise or some issue that truly keeps them from being that active.

But overall, we simply stop moving that way. We lose the ability/desire to do it.

However, for some of us, we find it again. We find the pure, natural joy of running again as grown ups, and we embrace it, perhaps in a way we never appreciated as a child.

I did. I was in my mid-40’s when I somehow evolved into a runner.

Go freaking figure.

Questions that are often posed to me.. “Oh, so you must’ve run in school?”, ” were you athletic in school?” “have you always run?”

No, no, and no.

I simply changed from a fast walker to running… in some ways I found it easier than fast walking.

But however it occurred, it started to get in my blood. It was my exercise, my therapy, my way to clear my head and process creative thoughts. It could also be my escape when I needed to retreat from moments in life that felt heavy.

Needless to say when an injury took me out of it last year, I felt frustrated and angry to not be able to pursue what had become my passion.

I have been slowly working my way back up. I’ve spent time on the road doing lots of fast walking. I’ve been trying to do things that will promote healing and let me go after it full speed and mega miles again.  I’ve also done strength training and cycling to help work me in different ways while keeping me strong and keeping my cardio levels where I want them to be.

One of the biggest things that has helped is basically learning to be more aggressive with the things I do BEFORE and AFTER I’m active.

Rolling, stretching, some yoga moves, etc all are contributing to helping me get back out there the way I want to be.

This is what I want to remind you of if you’re a runner or engage in pretty serious physical activity… the things we do before and after matter a lot to keeping our bodies strong and healthy for the activities we love.

I always joked that running was as simple as tossing on your shoes and taking off, and it is.

But there needs to be some time to prepare your body for that activity to let  it get loosened up, or to help it unwind afterwards. This was a part I was missing. Oh yeah, I did a little warming up, but not the rolling and stretching I’m factoring in now.

So I offer up some “tools of the trade” that I have found helpful and use before I workout, after I work out and usually in the evenings watching tv

 

The foam roller. A handy tool to roll out most of your body. It’s great for even rolling up your back and shoulders. It’s a great way to loosen things up. The negative to foam is it can start getting “soft” and losing it’s healing abilities. Make sure you change it out frequently if it doesn’t have the same firmness.

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I don’t use foam much anymore since the Airrosti clinic got me rolling on a pvc pipe. Yes…a pipe… a hard pipe like what water runs through. In the beginning it was definitely an adjustment but they told me my muscles would adapt to foam and the pipe would be more aggressive to working out tight hard muscles.

Yikes they were right and now I hands down prefer it over foam. It doesn’t give under my weight so I can really work my muscles into it.

A lacrosse ball. It’s great for feet. I use it constantly to really work into the tight areas. It’s also great for getting specifically into a muscle that needs some serious attention. It can be ridiculously painful in a good way… like make you whimper and cry kinda way… but it’s good

A plain old kitchen rolling pin. You can use it to work into the backs of your calves or other small areas that feel tight.

Yoga. Ok I’m far from an expert or yoga guru, but I do have a few go to moves that I took home from some classes. Learn a few basic stretches to help keep you loose.

Besides all of that I learned it’s important to stretch my feet, ankles, and toes…yes…toes! Go figure, but it actually feels good and with the impact feet take from running, stretching all those ligaments and muscles not only helps, it feels good.

Yes, running is fun and hard and rewarding and on many levels, just natural and easy. Taking a few extra steps to warming up and cooling down will hopefully keep you and I on the road for a long time to come.

Tell me, do you have any tips or tricks to keep your body healthy and well for running or other physical activities?

 

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Published by

Sassyfitnesschick

8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

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