Sunday, October 18, 2009

Inhance Your Running

We all need cardio in our lives and recently I've taken up running as a way to get my heart going and my body moving. I started slow and have progressed into doing a few 5K runs for local charities. Mind you, I was the kid in school who tried to avoid the dreaded "mile run" in gym class. For years I envied those that got up at the crack of dawn with their wristwatches, clean sneakers and shades to jog around the block before work. Than one day I decided to give it a try and got hooked (must be those good endorphins).
All you need is a pair of sneakers and you too can be a runner. A treadmill is not required which is great for those that travel with business or don't belong to a gym. Most people start to run to promote weight loss as a way to get in shape. Even just a light jog or brisk walk can help trim you down if done as part of a weekly routine.

However, running (and walking) can be hard on your body if you are pounding the pavement on a regular basis. Luckily, Pilates is there to stretch out sore muscles and improve alignment. What perks can you expect to experience?

  • Promotes faster recovery from injuries
  • Improves posture
  • Increases balance
  • Better breathing and increase in lung capacity (breath in ribs not chest/belly)
  • Loosens up tight muscles such as hip f lexers and IT band
  • Corrects alignment
  • Low impact exercise
  • Strengthens core muscles for stability
High impact found in running can put pressure on the joints and low back. This may lead to pain, especially in the hip, knee or ankle. Try adding in these exercises on a regular basis and notice the difference in your performance. Ask an instructor for a modification if any movement is painful or you are especially stiff.

  • Bridge
  • Swimming
  • Cat stretch
  • Side Leg Kicks
  • Roll Up
  • Single Leg kick
  • Foam Roll (stretching)
  • Swan
  • 100's
  • Saw
  • Feet in Straps (on Cadillac or Reformer)
  • Single Leg Footwork (on Reformer)
No matter if you run for fun or train for marathons, Pilates will be beneficial to your body. I've found a new sense of body awareness during my heart pumping sessions outside the studio and hope you will too.

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