Fitness, Running, Vegan

Yoga, Pilates, and Running oh my!

So I’m really excited about getting this blog up and running and gaining new readers.  I just have so much on my mind that I want to ramble on and on about that I don’t know where to start!  I have totally enjoyed my transition over to being Vegan.  There have been so many positive things that have come from going down this path.  One, I have lost weight without even trying.  But I do have to give some of that credit to the fact that, besides eating a diet that is nutrient dense, I also work out anywhere from 3-4 times a week between yoga, Pilates, and my occasional run.

I’ve been doing yoga for about 6 years now.  Currently I attend class once a week.  (I used to go 3 times a week and I would like to get back to that.)  I have a wonderful yoga instructor that I have been with the whole time.  I would highly recommend her if you live in North Austin, Cedar Park, or Leander TX.  Her name is Veronica Armstrong and she currently works at the Cedar Park Recreation Center, as well as at Flow Yoga.  Veronica also offers a donation based class on Saturday mornings at HK Taekwondo.  The classes that I normally attend are a Hatha style with Vinyasa Flow.  For me yoga is like my religion.  It makes me feel at peace with my body and mind.
I currently only go to yoga once a week because at the beginning of this year I discovered Pilates and currently attend those classes twice a week.  I am fortunate enough to work for a wonderful company that offers Pilates classes to it’s employees free of charge, twice a week, right at work!  I love being able to get in an hour long workout without having to do anything but change my clothes.  Pilates has been a wonderful addition to my yoga and running.  Yoga, I feel keeps me flexible, and Pilates has helped me tone up through strength training and resistance.  I am still very new to it all but I hope to keep Pilates as a regular staple in my workout regimen.

I have been a runner for about 6 years now.  I have always been a believer in doing restorative exercise, like yoga (and now Pilates too), to improve your running.  Many different athletes would also agree with me there.  After four years of running and dealing with some of the pains associated with it (shin splints, hip pain, knee pain, and lower back pain) I started to learned about, and transitioned to, minimalist running or “barefoot” running.  I learned that if you let your foot act more like a foot, by not wearing traditional, coffin like, running shoes, you can perform at a different level.  A level that, for me, has rid me of any and all prior aliments.  I learned to allow my body to work the way it was designed and in turn improved my running.

Now imagine doing the same with your diet?  So the next thing I started to learn about was what you fuel your body with and how it affects your physical abilities.  Basically, if you put poor, over proceeded, chemically altered and animal based foods in, then you will have a less desirable out come in whatever physical activities you do.  Imagine only putting foods into your body that are in their purest forms and have not been shot full of chemicals.  When I started to do that, by switching to a vegan diet, I was worried at first how it would affect my running.  Would I be getting enough of the right “fuel” to still run 3 or 4 miles at a time?  The answer was a BIG yes!  I actually hadn’t been focusing on my running at all since my last race in December of 2012.  I would run on and off but I wasn’t on a schedule like I used to be.  So, when I went out for my first run after being a vegan for a month, I was worried that I wouldn’t make it past a mile.  Boy was I surprised!  First run out I did 3 miles no issues and the next time I did 4 and it was like I had never stopped training.  And I felt so good!  I wasn’t tired or thirsty or hungry.  I honestly felt like I could have even went another mile, but I didn’t want to over do it.

So yes, I am a firm believer in, if you take care of your body it will take care of you.  You will recover faster, be able to push yourself longer, and over all just feel better.  I’m not a doctor but I have found that eating a healthy diet that is void of all animal products and in turn, nutrient dense, has greatly improved my physical activities and over all I just feel better.  I can’t wait to share more of my discoveries and journeys with you.  Until then, Namaste!


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