What Doesn't Bend, Breaks

I've been running and squatting and lunging and kicking...and well, you get the picture.  I've been really on top of working out consistently, but I've let one aspect of my fitness go by the wayside.  Stretching.  When I'm doing a workout DVD, I always skip the warm-up.  Yes, yes, the cool down, too.  When I go to a class, I phone in those portions of the workout.  I do just enough so the teacher won't call me out.  I'm awful.  In my defense, though, I was invariably led to believe that those parts of the workout were optional.  Or maybe not optional so much as unimportant.

Well...my thighs hurt.  No, they hurt.  I'm already not the most graceful lady in the city.  Try watching me maneuver through downtown with achy thighs, tight hips, and sore ass muscles.  Not a pretty picture.  I've learned my lesson.  I will never again end a workout without stretching my muscles.  Learn from my mistakes, kids.

We're all up to date on how I feel about Tara Stiles' Yoga, right?  I pulled this oldie but goodie from her youtube channel, and it's made my legs feel 90 percent better in one day.  Miracle.  If you're a runner or just doing a lot of exercise involving your legs, give this video a try.  You'll be your old pain-free self again in no time.

Also, if you're looking for something a little more indulgent--maybe you're treating yourself for sticking to your regimen--you may want to try a massage.  I'm not really the "get rubbed down by a stranger in a poorly lit room" kinda girl, but the massage I had at Urban Oasis may force me to rethink that position.  I had the deep tissue massage, which, truth be told, isn't a relaxing experience but it's not supposed to be.  It's strictly a "get the tension and pain out of your muscles so you can get your whiny ass back on the track" kind of massage.  I'm a fan.

I felt refreshed and brand new afterward, and my legs felt lighter and more flexible.  Success!  A thirty minute deep tissue massage will cost you $65 at Urban Oasis.  Or for $100, you can get an entire hour.  Try the North Avenue location: 939 W North Ave. Chicago, IL 60642. (312) 640-0001.

There's no time to fall apart, guys!  Summer is right around the corner!

Anyone have any other tips for getting rid of aches and pains?  Let me know!

Filed under: Workouts, Yoga

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