I Run Every Day

Okay, the title of this post is not 100% true, because I do not, in fact, run every single day. But it’s a phrase that sounds kind of nice, and I say it to myself as kind of a mantra to motivate myself — to remind myself, really — that I am a runner, and that running, and exercise, is really, really important.

We talk about routines on this blog, and how important it is to develop one; not just in running, but in all walks of life. Really, when you think about it, running every day is kind of a metaphor for how we could approach many different things. For example, I approach my “diet” the same way I approach running — just build on it a little every day, repeating the same steps, over and over. I don’t “diet”, per se, which is why I put it in quote signs, but I definitely have a food regiment that I try to stick by. Each morning, I’ll make a little smoothie with a splash of low-sugar orange juice, a couple of tablespoons of Greek yogurt, and a couple of handfuls of blueberries or strawberries. That’s how I start my morning, every morning.

And then when I get to work, we have a cafeteria there, and I’ll get a couple of eggs on a plate. I’m a low-carb kind of eater, so high fat/protein doesn’t bother me at all. And then for lunch, I’ll get some kind of salad, with a protein like chicken or turkey, and top it with all kinds of vegetables. For dinner, it’s the same idea — pick a protein like fish or chicken, a couple of vegetables, maybe a salad, and that’s it. Now, the point of all of this is not to bore you to tears about what I’m having for lunch, but to draw a connection to developing a routine that can better your health in the long run (no pun intended), and how it can tie back to running in general.

We all have our running routines, whether we think about it consciously or not. While it’s the physical act of running that keeps us in shape, it’s the idea of that routine, and us sticking to it, that really is the force behind we do.

And if you can apply those kinds of routines to different aspects of your life, well — you’d be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

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A Clean Soul Makes for a Better Run

yogaI’ve been running for over a decade now, and yet still — I’m always looking for ways to get better. I’m of the belief that self-improvement is the key to life, and this applies to running as well: no matter how good you think you may be, there will always be room for improvement.

So lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on spiritual and mental improvement, and how having a calmer, more peaceful mindset can help benefit your physical capabilities. I have started to take this advice to heart, and recently I have been incorporating a few things here and there that I think have made a difference in my mental approach to running, which has allowed me to relax and feel at peace with myself. Before I go out for my morning run, it all starts with a little yoga.

I’ve never been a big yoga person, just because I found it to be quite a bit pointless, to be honest, but now I can honestly say I’m a convert. I absolutely love it. So after I wake up and have my coffee, I head over to the mini-home gym that I built for myself, and I lay out my yoga mat. Now, before I even get started, I make absolutely sure that my meditation is area is clean as a whistle — that means I’ve wiped it down clean, and I even do a little dust-busting with a vacuum that I found on Jane’s Best Vacuums. After it’s clean from all the pet hair from my dogs, I turn on a little soft-key music, and get started, and go for about 15 minutes. That’s all it takes, really, and after I’ve got my session in, I’m ready to roll.

I’ve found that this really does provide a marked improvement in my mental well-being, and it’s perfect for when I’m about to leave the house and hit the pavement. My mind is clear, my soul is clean, and my runs have never been better.

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Improve Your Running Skills with a Home Gym

home-gymAs someone who lives and breathes running and fitness, I’m always looking for ways to improve my abilities and skills. If there’s something that I think will make me a better runner, I’m definitely interested in hearing about it. Lately, I’ve become a little fatigued — mentally, as much as physically — with running every day. I don’t know what it is, but I think I’ve hit a wall of sorts.

So I was talking with a buddy of mine, who’s probably in the best shape of anyone I’ve ever known, and I was telling him about this fatigue. Now, as much as we both love running, he made a point that made my ears raise up: sometimes, we need a break from running, and cardio exercise in general. Then he told me it was time to do some weight training.

Now, I’m a running maniac, but I’ve never really tried to do any kind of weight lifting at all. It just never appealed to me. But I took his advice and was determined to do something about it. The only thing is, I absolutely loathe gym memberships, because I think they’re a waste of money (a monthly fee), and I don’t really enjoy working out with other people near me. Also, I don’t think treadmills are very good for your knees. So what my buddy told me was to think about investing in a home gym.

I have a pretty big basement, but never thought of adding any fitness equipment to it. So I went on Google and landed on Jane’s Best Fitness, a website that reviews all kinds of home gym equipment. One thing that kind of caught my eye was a rowing machine (check out some rowing machine reviews here). You know, that machine where you sit in the seat, and row back and forth like you’re in a boat. It’s an excellent workout that exercises a lot of different areas of the body.

So I went ahead and ordered one of those. It got to my house last week, and I’ve got to say — I’ve been loving and using it every day. It’s provided a nice break from the daily grind of running, and I love that I’m getting some nice variety in my exercise routine, and that I’m also building muscle mass at the same time.

I think, as time goes on, that I’ll continue to add new pieces of equipment to my mini-home gym. I really like how it’s worked out so far.

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