Tag Archives: Running

Frugal Fitness (Healthy Living on a Budget Part 2)

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In a world where decent running shoes can cost upwards of $100 and yoga classes can easily be $20 a pop, it’s easy to feel like staying fit must be a luxury reserved for the rich.

Thankfully there are other options for those of us who just can’t get our zen on when it feel like our money is being flushed down the drain…Here are some of my favorite free or cheap ways to be fit:

Camel

Yoga: 

Yoga can cost over $100/ month for a membership at a yoga studio. If you have the money in your budget and find a studio you really love, then by all means do what makes you happy! But know that there are other ways…

1.) Doing yoga in the comfort of your own home can be a great way to start your day and a lot more relaxing than battling rush hour traffic first thing in the morning. Yoga dvds are great, but you can also find free yoga downloads at www.yogadownload.com for a wide variety of yoga styles. Myfreeyoga.comhas even longer yoga videos you can watch for free. For an experienced yogi or yogini, Dave

Headstand

Farmar does some challenging Power Yoga Podcasts that you can listen to for free. I

wouldn’t recommend them to beginners because it is difficult to do the poses without seeing them unless you know the names.

*When we get a new computer (please, IRS, send us our amended refund already!), I hope to share a yoga video of my own, but for now those sites should keep you busy!*

2.) For those who feel the yoga experience is best enjoyed socially, or those who need just need to get out of the house, there are options for you, too! First of all, if you haven’t already, sign up for daily deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social.  I recently bought a package of 20 yoga classes from a local studio for $20- originally $240 (gasp!)- from Living Social but I see similar packages on both sites.

Another good way to save cash while checking out different studios is to take advantage of the newcomer specials many studios offer. Core Power Yoga, which is a chain with studios in several states, allows new clients a free week of yoga, no strings attached. Many other studios will offer deals such as your first month unlimited for $30.  Some studios offer reduced priced or even donation only classes certain days of the week.

full pigeon

 

Ditch the car:

Walking, biking and even taking public transport to your destination are all ways to add more physical activity to your day with spending money- in fact, you will certainly see savings in the gas money you would have spent!

1.) Biking: I have to admit I was afraid to start biking in Portland for a long time. Being forced to share a car between my husband and I forced me to give it a shot. I’m still getting used to it- my neighborhood is hilly! But it is getting easier and more enjoyable. I save about $5.50 in gas every time I ride my bike to work. It seemed like it was more timing consuming to bike at first, but I only have to leave about 15 minutes earlier than I would if I drove, and since my total transit time is about an hour round trip, I can count that hour long bike ride as my daily workout and cross that off my list! I also feel it energizes my to do this first thing in the morning and sets me on the right track.

2.) Walking: Are there places you could be walking to instead of driving? I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance of a beautiful park where I can go to read or draw, a post office, a library, a grocery store, and a whole array of shops, restaurants, and bars tucked into a cute little “neighborhood” nearby. Today I walked to the library (30 minutes round trip), and then to a beading shop and a consignment shop (60 minutes round trip). It sounds like a lot of walking, but I decided to consider it my cardio for the day, did a pilates video, and my workout quota was met! I traded in some old clothes at the consignment shop and got this pretty new workout top without having to pay anything!

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3.) Public Transit: To be honest, this is the form of transportation I use least. It’s often faster, cheaper, and a better workout just to ride my bike. I do enjoy taking the bus downtown though, mainly because then I don’t have to deal with parking! If your destination is farther, public transportation is a great way to get a little more walking in, save money, and reduce pollution. Just be sure to bring a book!

Running:

I used to hate running. Some days I still do… But one of the things I love about running is that it can be done almost anywhere! All you need is a good pair of running shoes (or not- barefoot running is becoming quite popular!) and a bit of space outdoors and you can get a great cardio workout. During the winter, I prefer to run indoors, but as long as it is nice out I much prefer to run outdoors. The fresh air and scenery can’t be beat and gives me a boost when I feel tired! Plus, I can run outside for 30 minutes when I’m pressed for time, whereas a trip to the gym would end up taking almost an hour with transit time.

For awhile I resisted signing up for races because of the cost, but I have found they actually give you so much in free samples, food, and booze (still puzzles me) that it is worth it for me to do every now and then. Plus races are a lot of fun and great for motivation! Some races will charge less for the participation fee if you do not get a t-shirt.

Lastly…

DVDs:

The tried and true… I can remember my mom working out to Buns of Steel with Greg Smithey when I was growing up. The headbands, the colorful leotards… this was the golden age of corny workout videos! Still, having a few “go-to” DVDs can be very helpful in sneaking in a workout when you are running late, don’t feel like going out, or want to try a new type of workout in the privacy of your own home. They only cost about $10-$20 and can be used over and over. I have a pilates DVD that features 5 different pilates workouts, so I don’t get bored and stay challenged.

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The most important thing about staying fit is doing things that you enjoy! If you want to spend a few bucks on a class or gym membership that really motivates you, go for it! But if you think cutting fitness costs out of your budget will hurt your routine, give one of these suggestions a try!

xo/Nikita

10k Race Recap!

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Woo! There is nothing like running 6.4 miles (yes the trail was a little longer than a true 10k which should be 6.2) and a mojito to start the day off right! I was even able to convince my morning-hating husband to get out of bed at 7:15 to come and support me! He wasn’t able to register for the race because he didn’t think he would want to do it before and when he finally decided to go for it, it was full. He did join me in a beverage and some treats after the race though :)

Mmm 10 am mojito...

This was my first 10k race only my second race ever. I did my first race last month and it was a 5k. I have been so scared to start doing races because I’m a pretty green runner and not super fast but I’m so glad I decided to try it out! I actually run a lot faster on my races than I do when I run for fun or fitness. I don’t consider myself a competitive person, but I guess I do try to keep up with the group which motivates me to keep a faster pace than usual. My game plan is this: I pick a person a little ahead of me and match their pace for awhile. Then I pass them! Sometimes this doesn’t work and they pull ahead. But like I said, I’m not too competitive so it doesn’t bother me! It’s more like a game than a race to me.

I don’t know my exact “chip time” yet, but I think I ran 6.4 miles in about 54:30. I wasn’t even sure that I could finish in under an hour so I was pleased as punch!

To train for the race, I have been doing about 3-4 runs a week. I go about 3.5-4.5 miles most days and have a “long run day” on Saturday where I have progressively worked up to running 7 miles. This is just over the last month and I hope to get up to a higher milage, but that’s where I’m at now! About a year ago I couldn’t even run a mile, so I feel like I’ve come a long way! I also crosstrain during the week. I do 2-4 days of other types of cardio, such as the elliptical, bicycling, the “rowing” machine, or walking. I throw in 2 or 3 “strength” days, where I might do a pilates video or lift some weights. And of course, I do yoga at least 5 days a week. My yoga practice varies in duration from about 10 minutes on days I’m rushed to an hour on a more leisurely day or a day I’m sore and want some “active rest.”

I have flat feet, an old ankle injury that likes to pop up and say hello every now and then, and because of these issues am more prone to injuring other joints such as my knees and hips. (Umm did I mention I’m only 23? Should I really be falling apart like this?) Anyhow, injury prevention is very important to me because I hate having limited mobility! Here are the most helpful things I do to prevent injuries:

*YOGA! Yoga is great to stretch and strengthen your muscles as well as reduce lactic acid build up in the muscles. Lactic acid is responsible for the soreness you feel after working a muscle too hard.

*Crosstraining rather than running all the time

*Icing my legs and ankles after a long run- I hate cold more than anyone, but this really works to reduce inflammation and prevent soreness the next day!

*If ice is unavailable- pop an ibuprofen. I don’t advocate taking a lot of pain killers or pills of any kind, but ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory than will help to both prevent and treat soreness. I took two this morning before the race because I knew I wouldn’t be able to ice my legs afterwards.

Of course, nutrition and performance go hand and hand, so I made sure to properly fuel my workout! Last night I had a nice carbohydrate and protein rich meal of veggies and chickpeas over millet topped with lite feta and hydrating watermelon for dessert. This morning, before the race I had an infamous kale smoothie: 3 kale leaves, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/ cup frozen strawberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon maca, stevia to taste, and 1 cup soymilk. I topped it with some homemade granola! BAM. It was earlier than I like to eat, but I wanted to have something to run on.

After the race, I was not hungry, but I figured I should give my body something to replenish its glycogen stores and some protein for muscle recovery. I had a banana and half a piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter that they were giving out for free, as well as a mini jamba juice smoothie (also freebie). Of course I also had the mojito that was complementary… I probably could have done with out it though. There wasn’t a lot of alcohol in it but really any amount was more than I needed…

Once home, I showered and dressed and around 12 my hunger hit! I whipped up a super food salad to feast on:

That’s an all raw, all delicious salad composed of a bed of wasabi arugula, cucumber slices, shredded red cabbage, carrot ribbon, sprouted quinoa, sprouted lentils, and avocado with a homemade lemon-tahini dressing. Topped with salt and pepper of course- I earned the salt! I did a lot of sweating :) I also had a mini protein bar that they were giving out at the race with my lunch.

It was tasty, but after looking at the ingredient list, I wouldn’t buy these on my own… Not terrible but not exactly a “whole food” product.

Do you have any special running/ training tips or routines?