Tag Archives: videos

5 Songs That Make Me Happy

Today sucks. Let’s just put that right out there in all its depressing honesty. It’s rainy and dreary, and Trump officially becomes President today. This is a terrible day, and even my dog who is normally a bright, happy face in a too often grim world has decided to say screw it, and has spent the entire morning collapsed in an immovable snoring heap, electing to sleep the day away rather than wake up and face the surreal horror of the day’s events. Am I being too dramatic? I don’t care. This is a day for not caring.

Ideally, I would climb back into bed, pull the covers over my head and mainline old episodes of Arrested Development streaming from my phone like I do when I’m fighting a cold, but there are a few things I have to get done today, and at almost 36 weeks pregnant, being in bed is not as comfortable as I desperately need it to be. So I am forced to face the day, and remain jealous of the dog’s continued slumber.

When the simple act of everyday living feels like a harrowing task, I often turn to music to lift my mood and motivate me to get moving. I find that actually doing things is never as bad as the anticipation of having to do them, so if I can just jumpstart my activity, I usually feel much better off than when I succumb to the desire to remain sluggish and immobile all day. But it can be hard to motivate myself through sheer force and will alone, and that’s where these five songs come in. If I really can’t get going, I put one on and let the upbeat music shake the cobwebs from my mind and limbs.

I have said before that I think it is physically impossible to feel sad while listening to Paul Simon’s, Graceland, so feel free to consider that entire album as song number 6. I am not under the impression that the following songs are the five greatest songs in the world, or anything like that. So don’t send me your comments about my shitty taste in music. This is about feeling happy, fer chrissakes! Nor am I suggesting that these songs will help you feel better when you need a little boost. But I encourage to think about what music does lift you up and get you moving when you are feeling low, and then I suggest that you listen to that music a lot today. Like maybe on constant repeat, starting around 12:01 pm. Turn it up loud so it drowns out the voice in your head that keeps repeating “how is this happening?”

San Fermin, Sonsick

 

Robyn, Dancing On My Own

 

Spoon, The Underdog

 

Whitney Houston, How Will I Know

 

Kate Nash, Later On

 

Post-Run Stretch Sequence

I almost never cool down and take time to stretch after running or working out. I’ve just spent however many minutes exercising, and when I’m done, I want to shower and move on with my day, not spend more time stretching and giving my body some time to release and wind down from the workout. But I always feel so much better when I take a few minutes to stretch my legs. I really have a tendency to tighten up after a run and then continue to feel tight and uncomfortable all day. A short stretch routine post-run almost entirely does away with that discomfort. I am lazy, though, and if I have to create my own stretching routine, I’m far more like to just skip it. Lately, I have been using this short yoga sequence to loosen up legs after my runs. It’s really quick–less than 10 minutes–and hits all my major areas of running-related tightness. Check it out if you could use a little guidance and motivation to add a bit of stretching to your running or workout routines.

 

Plantar Fasciitis Exercises

Plantar fasciitis is a common complaint among my clients. While it most often affects runners and other athletes, anyone can suffer from plantar fasciitis. The condition usually presents as sharp heel and arch pain in the foot, and results from inflammation and a break down of the fascial tissue in the plantar surface, or sole of the foot. One way to recognize if you have plantar fasciitis is if you experience a sharp, stabbing pain in your heel, especially when you first wake up in the morning. The plantar fascia stiffens overnight, and the pain is often most noticeable when you take your first step out of bed in the morning, before the tissues have had a chance to warm up and soften.

Left untreated, plantar fasciitis can become quite debilitating, leading to persistent pain while walking and standing. Luckily, plantar fasciitis can be treated pretty easily, especially if you catch it early and spend a little time each day doing some exercises and stretches to reduce pain. The videos below offer some easy exercises and additional information about treating plantar fasciitis.

 

 

 

Loosening Tight Legs: Yoga for Runners

We finally got some cooler weather, which means I am back to running again for the first time in weeks. It feels so great to be outside on a breezy morning pumping my legs and enjoying the rhythm of a good run, but boy are my legs tight and sore afterward! I had forgotten how quickly you can lose your running fitness when you take a little time off.

As I get back in the swing of doing a few miles in the morning, I realize that I’m going to need to be a little more diligent about stretching and post-run recovery. With that in mind, I’ve decided to return to two yoga videos that I’ve used in the past to help ease post-run leg tightness and target my main sources of running pain and tension.

First up is a great routine for releasing tightness in and around the IT Band. If you suffer from chronic ITB tightness, or are dealing with pain and discomfort in your hips and the outside of your thigh, I recommend incorporating this short video into your weekly routine to help ease ITB tension and bring some relief to your entire hip, glute and thigh region.

My second recommendation is a video that is perfect runners or anyone suffering from tight hamstrings. This routine helps to slowly, but deeply stretch and release hamstring tension. I always feel much more mobile after I do this routine, and my legs once again feel like they are working with me instead of against me.

You don’t have to be a runner to experience the benefits of these videos. Anyone suffering from leg pain or tightness, whether too much or too little activity is the culprit, can improve range of motion, release deep muscle tension and reduce pain and discomfort by incorporating these short videos into their regular wellness routine.

Foam Rolling Tutorials

The increased humidity over the past couple of weeks has made my running routine more challenging. I am a winter runner. I will take a cold, windy run over a steamy, humid run any day. Summer running always requires some adjustment on my part, and I often find that my legs feel tighter, less flexible, and of course, more fatigued after warm weather running. My skin and fascia feel taut and uncomfortable, and I have had to develop a regular foam rolling routine to target this specific tension.

If you have never tried foam rolling, but find that your body feels achy and tight in a way that can’t be fixed through basic stretching, you might want to give foam rolling a shot. Here are a few videos to get you started. If you already practice foam rolling, check out these clips to make sure you’re performing the moves properly.