I often get emails from people looking for advice about how they can fit running, weight lifting and yoga in each week without overdoing it, especially when you you have conflicting goals, such as training for a half marathon and doing your 200-hour yoga teacher training course at the same time.
The short answer I usually give is to just focus on one — whatever your priority fitness goal is at that time — and adjust your schedule as your goals change. Unlike training for a triathlon, combining running, lifting and yoga together is essentially concurrent training (where you simultaneously train for adaptations associated with resistance and endurance training), which can lead to overtraining syndrome and a decrease in performance. That said, there is a way to combine the three activities, depending on what your priority is at the time, to maximize the benefits of each and to stay safe in the process. (more…)
Since I’m coming off a busy long weekend and have no idea what to post on the blog so far this week, here are 7 things you might not know about me:
I am [wildly/strangely/obviously] obsessed with: dark chocolate and peanut butter. But you already knew that, I’m sure.
I have a collection of: Beach pebbles and sea glass. I pick something up every time I’m at the beach, and put it in my jacket pocket. Sometimes I forget they’re there and get confused when I stick my hand in my pocket only to pull out a handful of stones. When I remember to take them out, I put them in a meditation bowl or in the glass vase with my bamboo plant.
I secretly (not so secretly): Want to be a minimalist hippy living in a tiny house by the sea growing my own food, writing a novel and taking in rescue animals.
When I was 7, I wanted to be: Jane Goodall and a children’s book author.
If I could do one thing today, it would be: Get on a plane to an exotic country to explore and relax for a bit.
I’ve always dreamt of: Hiking Machu Picchu.
My favorite way to travel is: By car or train, even thought it takes longer. I love looking out the window and stopping in small towns you wouldn’t normally get to experience.
Are you on Instagram? Do you practice yoga — or would you like to start?
Then join the #7daystretch challenge with Sweat Pink and prAna for a chance to win some workout gear!
I’m joining prAna and Sweat Pink for a super fun, #7daystretch #liveinprana challenge – it starts today (Monday, August 24th) and ends at the end of the week (Sunday, August 30th). Join in on the fun – answering daily prompts (see below) – or if you’d prefer to lurk, you can follow along on FitApproach or through the hashtags: #liveinprana #7daystretch #sweatpink!
We’ll be talking about how we (the community) embrace a prAna lifestyle (#liveinprana) and are challenging ourselves to stretch a little deeper, farther and more mindfully for 7 whole days (the #7daystretch). And we’re not just stretching our bodies so you don’t have to be pretzel to join in, we’re also stretching our minds and souls!
I’d love for Debbie, Susie, Katie and Jill to join me for this fun challenge. Complete the fun mad-lib below on your blog or Instagram account and let’s get stretching! (more…)
When the 1 million minutes challenge with Fit Approach started, I set out to achieve 3,000 minutes of activity over the two months of the challenge. And according to my Garmin and LEAF activity tracker, I came fairly close to that goal by running, hiking and strength training my way to 2,640 is minutes of activity. Of course, I totally failed to track everyday at Fit Approach, which only racked up my official time to 340 minutes. Despite my lame contribution, us Sweat Pink Ambassadors (SPAs) have racked up 375,839 minutes so far — well done SPAs!
The best part of this challenge for me was seeing how all the SPAs were logging their minutes on Instagram. Sometimes when I would be on the fence about going for a run, I’d open Instagram and see a photo from a fellow SPA that made me want to lace up and get out there. (more…)
Looking to mix up your strength training routine? Try this fusion of isometric yoga asanas, dynamic yoga asanas and resistance training. This is actually one of two workouts I’m doing right now and it’s super fun 🙂
WARM UP with 5 sun salutations
3 x barbell squat/deadlift/row – Grab a barbell and load it with a weight you can manage to row in a bent-over position for 6 reps. Hold the bar in front of you and squat down, push back up and lower bar into a deadlift position, making sure to push your butt back behind you. Once in the lowest position, row the bar to your chest then slowly lower. Push your hips forward up and extend back up into standing position. Rest between sets for this one.
3 x down dog kickbacks – Get into high plank position and press back into down dog. From here, lift one leg back behind you, keeping your hips parallel to the floor. Bring that same leg in and your knee into your chest. Repeat.
3 x push-up side planks – Get into a push-up position and lower down until your chest is close to the floor. Push up and roll onto the side of your foot, stack your legs and lift one arm straight up overhead into side plank position. Return to push-up position and alternate sides.
3 x crow/jump back into cobra – Get into crow position and try to hold the pose for 5-10 seconds. Contract your core and shoot your legs back out behind you, while lowering your body to the floor. Curl your toes over, extend your back and press up through your palms into cobra.
3 x lateral raise – Grab a set of dumbbells and stand shoulder-width apart, weights slightly out in front of you. Raise them out to the sides until your arms are parallel with the floor; slowly lower.
3 x glute bridge – Lie on your back with your knees bent, heels of your feet on the floor. Squeeze your butt and rise up into bridge, hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower before your repeat.
Have you tried mixing yoga into your strength training workouts? What are your favourite yoga poses?
I was first introduced to Tonic apparel while attending the Every Woman Moves conference weekend in Whistler almost five years ago. This local Vancouver-based yoga and lifestyle apparel company uses environmentally friendly manufacturing processes when creating their clothing, which is awesome. Their stuff is high quality and made right in Vancouver, which is also awesome. Tonic is available in select specialty stores throughout the world, including Breathe Athletic here in Victoria on Fort Street.
If you happen to live in Victoria and are free today between 10 a.m and 4 p.m., stop by Breathe Athletic for Tonic’s Promo Day event! Ania from Tonic Lifestyle Apparel will be there to chat about their Canadian-made brand of athletic clothing and to give away complimentary headbands. There will be a draw for a fabulous Tonic outfit and a 10% discount on all purchases and light refreshments. Can’t make it in store? The discount applies to purchases made online as well.
Below are a few of my favourite pieces on their website right now. I especially like the sweat shirt/infinity scarf/fuchsia capri pant combo. If I didn’t have an office job where I had to dress business causal sometimes, I would live in that outfit 24/7.
I’ve been a runner for over seven years and have completed many marathons, half marathons, 10Ks, trail races, triathlons and even an ultra. I’ve been a gym junkie since I was about 22 years old, and finally decided to take my love of resistance training to the next level last year by becoming a certified strength and conditioning coach.
The first time I tried yoga was at a community centre when I was in high school. I went with a bunch of my girlfriends, and almost got booted out of the class for snickering during cat-cow pose. (It was Kundalini yoga, so there was a lot of heavy, guttural breathing, which was making us giggle like a bunch of, well… immature high school girls.) We decided if wasn’t for us, especially after the instructor made us sing a song at the end about a long-time sun. (I still remember that song, and we’d jokingly sing it on occasion in class at school, operatic style.)
I didn’t try a yoga class again until I was about 21 years old. I got a pass for Christmas and went a few times. I really enjoyed it, but couldn’t afford to go regularly. I did my own thing at home based on what I learned in the studio for several years, practicing less and less until the only yoga I did was a few stretches at the end of my runs. (more…)
Me and my bestie Janine in Thailand celebrating my 21st birthday. Chang beer… worst hangover of my life.
In nine days, one third of my life will be over. (Yes, I plan to live to at least 90.)
The big 3-0 birthday has been troubling me ever since I turned 29. I hear life is better in your thirties, but I suppose it could be the whole you’re-getting-older-and-can’t-drink-wine-like-you-used-to-on-a-saturday-night thing that bugs me the most about this birthday. I also think it’s because I’m not where I thought I’d be at 30.
This comes up for me pretty much every time I catch up with friends and family at parties or over coffee. I get to hear about upcoming nuptials or babies on the way, which is all lovely and awesome and I’m genuinely excited and happy for them… but then when they ask what I’ve been up to, even after I excitedly describe my new business and my blog and recent fitness magazine article, the next question is always, “So, are you living with your boyfriend yet? Are you going to have a family?” followed by a sympathetic look and a complete change of subject. (more…)