Living the Sweat Life

by Keri Bender, a lululemon contributor

We all know that cross-training is key to increasing strength and avoiding injury while training for a big race, however it’s something I’ve struggled to integrate into my weekly running routine. Give me the option to run 10 miles or do 20 burpees, and I’ll take the miles!

A couple of weeks ago I took on a yoga challenge- try one new type of yoga each week.  My goal was to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit, try something new…and in this case, try something that even scared me- heated yoga.

Last year, while training for a marathon, I suffered from severe shin splints.  I tried everything to relax my legs pre and post run- ice baths, compression socks, Trigger Point, but what I found most helpful was adding in Restorative yoga.  Every Friday night, I took a Restorative yoga class that not only helped stretch me out before my long run on Saturday, it also helped calm my nerves.

In my prep for this year’s Austin Half Marathon, I’ve struggled with some tightness in my hips and psoas.  Three weeks into my yoga challenge I stumbled upon a heated power vinyasa class.  I tend to sweat pretty easily, so this was not something I was looking forward to.   And, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself loving this class!

Heated yoga is a great way to cross-train and to recover from a long run.  A heated practice offers tremendous benefits for runners including enhanced flexibility, recovery from injury (by way of deep stretching), and is a great stress reliever.

While it can be a bit intimidating to try something new, don’t be scared to give heated yoga a try.  My recommendation would be to ease into this practice by drinking plenty of water before you go, and try this as part of a recovery after a long run.  You’ll find the heated room actually helps to loosen your muscles so you can get a deeper stretch in your overworked muscles.

Interested in giving heated yoga a try?  Here are a few of my favorite local studios and classes:

Wanderlust LIVE (www.wanderlustlive.com)

  • Heated Power Flow, Heated VinYin

Bfree (www.bfreeaustin.com)

  • Bflow

Core Power Yoga (www.corepoweryoga.com)

  • Hot Power Fusion

For more ideas on how to live your best #sweatlife, check out lululemon’s inspiration gallery here: http://thesweatlife.lululemon.com

Enjoy, and I’ll see you on the mat!

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