To Stretch or Not To Stretch

Morning everyone! I have to make this post quick because I am really running behind today.

I had a great morning run even though the wind was pushing at me head on! I always seem to push a little harder when it’s windy, maybe it’s because I want to get finished faster.

After my run, I did some stretching and strength exercises (squats, lunges, abs, etc.). I rarely stretch before my run, I just walk for about 5 minutes then get right into my run. But I always stretch after my run, when my muscles have been warmed up quite a bit. Some experts may argue that you should always stretch before exercising, but this method of stretching has been working for me for years so I’ve kept with it. Also, just last year, researchers from the University of Nevada found that static stretching (stretching before exercising) may actually hinder athletic performance.

After my run, I wasn’t very hungry but wanted to eat a little something before I headed off to work.


I had a perfectly ripe pear. So sweet and juicy, and just the right amount of food for my not-so-hungry tummy. I did not have any protein to speak of this morning, but I did bring some Dr. Kracker flatbreads to munch on in case I need a protein fix before lunch.

Alright, gotta scoot for now. Have a great morning.

Fitness Magazines Motivate You To Live Healthy

I recently had someone ask me what health magazines I read. Oh my – there are so many! I am a magazine fanatic, but I especially love health and fitness magazines. I just love getting a bunch of little tidbits of health information all wrapped up in a nice, portable, easy to read package.


As for subscriptions, I subscribe to several magazines, mostly health-related, including:

  • Shape
  • Self
  • Fitness 
  • Real Simple
  • Marie Claire

And, there are many more that I don’t subscribe to that I frequently read, whether I get them from the library or read them while relaxing at Barnes and Noble. Here are just a few that I read (although do not subscribe to) on a regular basis:

  • Body and Soul
  • Yoga Journal
  • Natural Health
  • Fine Cooking
  • Cooking Light
  • Bon Appetit
  • Runner’s World

Health and fitness magazines are not the end-all, be-all in wellness information, but they provide a nice overview of what’s new and different in the wellness world, as well as new twists to old favorites. They also provide great ideas for recipes, new fitness or food products, and continued motivation to stay healthy. Although every magazine reguritates information, or at least topics, at some point, I can honestly say that I learn something new each time I read a new issue of my favorite magazines.

Now, on to my day….

What a difference a day makes! Although I still don’t feel completely rested, I woke up with way more energy than I did yesterday – maybe it’s because today is my day off! By the way, I did not do my Yoga Download last night. I became too engrossed in writing and watching Harry Potter at the same time. I’ve seen the first HP movie a dozen times but it never gets old.

I started my day with a 4 mile run, then walked for a short time. The weather was just perfect too, low humidity and 70 degrees. 

I had an appointment early this morning so I had to make a quick breakfast and get out the door.


I had a little cheerios with about 2 tbsp walnuts and, what else? Blueberries! I’m still trying to use up the monster-size blueberry container I purchased from Costco. It’s been almost 2 weeks and they are still in the fridge and still fairly fresh. 

I headed to may appointment then onto the grocery store where I picked up a ton of fresh fruit – bananas, pears, apples, etc. Can’t wait to dig in..

I was super hungry by the time I returned from the store – I’m really surprised I didn’t buy more groceries considering I was so hungry.

Time for lunch…

7.31 sandwich

I had a 1/2 sandwich made with peppered turkey breast and low-fat hard salami, a little white cheddar cheese, and some dijon mustard, all on a piece of 12-grain bread. I also had a few carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, and some Kettle’s Salt and Pepper chips on the side. Perfect for a hot summer lunch.

Carrot stick

After lunch, I took a quick dip in our pool. Once I was used to the cool water, it was quite refreshing on a hot day. 

Now, I’m off to write more articles. Chat with you later.

How Yoga Instructors Affect Our Practice

Starting my day with yoga is usually a very uplifting experience. But, today’s class did not energize me as much as usual and the main reason was because of the instructor. I really feel that the yog or yogini can make or break your yoga experience. Some may argue this point, but I’ll give you a first-hand example.

Yoga PoseMe, working on my yoga balance in my backyard. 

I am use to a very centered, down-to-earth instructor who is quite challenging but also helps you as much as you need during each session. My usual yogini, we’ll call her Kate, always has a positive attitude, a smile on her face, and seems to really love teaching yoga classes. Her positive energy really flows to the class too. This is obvious when you see the many relationships she’s built with her students and her class is always full. So, each week when I attend class, I know that I am going to leave feeling even better than I did when I walked in the door.

At last week’s class, “Kate” mentioned that she would not be teaching the class today and that she would arrange a fill-in yoga instructor, we’ll call her “Lori”. So, I headed into class today, still very sleepy, but ready for a super-charged class. The class was unusually bare, only about 4 people in there other than myself. When 8 AM rolled around and there was no instructor to be seen, I began to wonder if there would even be class today. But then, in walks “Lori”. I took one look at her and my heart sunk. She was the yoga instructor I had about 5 years ago when I first started practicing yoga. She is not at all upbeat and seems to always be distracted and in a bad mood.

Yoga Reflections: I wish my yoga class looked !

Today, she looked even more rushed and distracted than I had remembered. She said that she was finishing up with another client (apparently she had a personal training session right before class) and that she’d be a few minutes late, then walked out of the room. I debated on whether I should walk out right after her but began talking to a fellow classmate and couldn’t make my tactful escape.

“Lori” finally started class at 8:05 AM and took us through a series of basic sun salutations, not very challenging, yet somehow her pattern seemed disjointed. She would leave us in poses for what seemed like forever, while she fiddled with the music or looked out the window. And, not once did she come over to me or anyone else in the class to help with poses, which really seemed odd to me. I stuck with it through the entire class, making myself do extra deep stretches and take extra deep breaths. After 50 minutes of sneaking peaks at the clock, class was finally wrapping up. We all went into savasana and Lori promptly left the room! I assume she had more important things to do. She came back in, literally, five minutes later to sit and say Namaste.

Now I know that every yoga class can’t be an out-of-body experience, but I expect a little more from my yogini than what I got today. I am debating whether I want to let my usual yogi know that her temporary replacement was less than professional. But, after I thought about it, one of the principles of yoga is that you should always think positive and keep a positive attitude. So, I think I will keep my negativity to myself for the time being. But, if “Lori” walks into my Saturday class again, I’m walking to the nearest exit.