Stretching after a run

Running is a great way to get a quick dose of a high intensity, calorie-burning activity.  Wherever you are, you pull on your shorts and t-shirt and shoes, and you are out of the door.  The only draw back to this instant gratification  is that when I don’t include that 10 to 15 minutes after my run to cool down and stretch,  eventually I run into trouble.   So, take the time to do a few simple stretches:

1)  Your feet! These guys just carried you 4 miles!  They need to be stretched and moved into some different directions.   Lay on your back and put the back of your legs against a wall.  Circle your feet in both directions, and wave your feet back and forth.

2) Your calves! Stand on the edge of  a stair, and hold onto a wall.  Lower your heel and hold the stretch for 30 seconds each foot,  and 60 seconds lowering both heels.

In my next posts, I will talk about stretches for the quads, hamstrings, knees, arms and head and neck.

Mindful Pushups

In yoga we do a modified pushup starting in a plank, and very slowly lowering the body to the floor with your elbows pointing to the back. This modified pushup is called “Chaturanga Dandasana” or “four limbed staff pose”.  The work here isn’t just limited to the arms, but includes the shoulders and the scapula. The shoulders have to continue to roll back externally as you lower. This isnt easy, as you have to body sense that the shoulders move freely down and externally as the scapulas remain wide, and roll down the back. Yoga rocks! Always striving for the perfect in the pose. I can do dozens of regular pushup, but only 5 yoga pushups.

Here is a detailed description of the pose from Yoga Journal.