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Strike a Pose

13 Aug

Welcome back from the weekend, everyone!

Luckily, my Monday is already flying by, how about yours?  This was a great weekend, took Friday off of work to head up to Breckenridge for a good friend’s 35th birthday.  There were about 15 of us that chipped in for a mountain house, food, and booze.  There is something about being up in the fresh mountain air that just makes for a perfect late summer getaway.  While I didn’t get in as much exercise as I wanted to (should have) gotten in, I kept portion sizes in check and sipped on vodka sodas instead of sugary cocktails or carb-heavy beers.  Sometimes that’s just all you can do on a fun weekend, and luckily that is okay when you’re living a healthy balanced life!

Speaking of balanced, today on a whim I decided to drop in a yoga class (level 1 Vinyasa).  There was a period back in college when I had a student pass to Core Power Yoga, which I loved.  I went to classes about 3-4 times a week, but that was my main form of exercise and sculpting.  Well, since that was 3 years ago and my dusty mat hasn’t been used since then, I was a little nervous going into class today.  I know that it is an individual practice and all poses are easily modifiable, but no matter how many group exercise classes I go to I still have that “new kid on the block” feeling when I start.

Once I got moving and breathing I felt completely at ease and I was happy to see that my light stretching after my runs has helped to maintain at least some flexibility and balance!  The teacher was great and it was a fairly easy lunch class.  I am hoping that I can find an hour each Monday to go back.

A main reason that I realize I need to incorporate more core work, and strength training in general, is that lately my lower back has been extremely painful.  There have been several day streaks that even sitting down at my desk is almost unbearable.  My main form of exercising these days is running (either on the treadmill at lunch or outside during the evening) and then I’ll bust out a few quick stretches, sit-ups, and plank.  This is obviously not enough for my core strength, so I am challenging myself to step it up!

Your core muscles surround your trunk and pelvis, including your abs, obliques, and lower back muscles.  By strengthening these muscles you can prevent minor pain and even major injuries.  Some simple tips are to use good posture, limit bed rest (it can do the opposite of resting your body and muscles by stiffening them), icing, and stability exercises (here are some good ones).  My goal for myself is to include core strengthening exercises into my cardio routine and to also incorporate rejuvenating classes like yoga into my weekly schedule.  Hopefully these two things will help to alleviate my back pain and bring more balance into my fitness.

Aside from going back to yoga, I did one other thing that I never thought I would: ate sushi from a street cart.  I was a little apprehensive because, well, we all know the typical stereotypes of street food and adding seafood to the mix sounds downright scary.   But, the buzz around my office about Yatai Sushi has all been very positive.  The chef/owner, Britt, has studied Asian food all over the world for 15+ years.  The food is all made to order and super fresh.  I had a spicy tuna hand roll, shrimp spring roll, and miso soup all for $9.  It was so filling and delicious, you can bet that I will be adding this to my lunch rotation.  If you’re in the downtown Denver area, Yatai is at 17th and California everyday, try it out!

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Namaste!

Julie