Enter an address, a map comes up, click on your starting point, click on each turn and the red line moves and the distance increased. I made this 2.5 mile route for my husband and I to run yesterday morning. I love being at home and having that track right by my house so that I can measure my time and distance easily and that nice spongy track is not so nasty on the joints and seems safer without those uneven sidewalks and tree debris (in this neighborhood there is a lot of tree debris, it is called Royal Oak after all!). However I love that if you are somewhere else in the world you can just pull up a map, track it out and go! I plan on using this little nugget a lot more.
The other thing I wanted to talk about was stretching. Something not everyone is super good about doing. But it's something I am die-hard about doing. (Remember me, super paranoid she is going to get an injury lady) Even when I wasn't running or even really exercising regularly, I always stretched. I hate having achy legs and I always feel so much better when I am all stretched out. That's why I loved when I took yoga from my friend who is certified, if I was hurting anywhere when I went I was pain-free when I left. Wish yoga classes weren't so expensive. Sigh. So anyways, I will give you a low down on the leg stretching routine my hubby and I are doing when we get home from running. Disclaimer: I hate hate hate that I am the one modeling some of these but as you will see my husband couldn't handle some. I discovered during this photo session that A. Men don't realize how to carefully take pictures of women so they are flattering and B. Apparently 23 lbs down is not enough to make me comfortable in front of a camera yet. Anyways here we go...
First things first, hamstrings a characteristically tight muscle located on the back of your thighs. There are many ways to stretch this muscle. There are three that I really like. If you are a person who is not overly tight you can do this one:
Sitting on the edge of the bed with one leg up on the bed, put your hands on your hips or the top of your thigh and keeping your back tall lean forward and lift the chest until you feel a good stretch behind the thigh. Hold 20 sec and do 3 on each leg. (My husband is too tight for this one, he can't get his knee even down straight!)
So he does this one
Put one heel on a step, put your hands on your hips, keeping back very straight lean forward at the hips with chest lifted until you are again feeling a stretch behind the thigh. Also 20 sec hold 3 on each side.
Now that is fine for during the stretching routine post-exercise however some people (like my husband) need more substantial stretching. This is for the people that really need to work on this area, you know who you are!
Lay with one leg up on door frame and the other leg through doorway. Two options either get your behind all the way up to the door frame and then stretch your knee as straight as possible and hold. Or you can keep your knee straight and then get your buttocks as close as possible to the wall. This was my poor tight husbands attempt at keeping his leg straight and getting as close as possible, he is about a foot away and his leg was already starting to bend at the knee. And although he is faking a serene face he was nearly screaming, hurry up hurry up, it's killing me, seconds before this picture was taken. Maybe I should stall so he has to stay there for awhile. For someone like my husband I would recommend a good 3-5 min per leg. Spend some time with the toe pointing straight back toward you, some time with the toes pointing out stretching the outside of the leg and the toes pointing in stretching the inside of the leg. Also spend some time flexing the foot up and down which will add an additional stretch all the way from hip to ankle as it glides the sciatic nerve.
Next muscle we target is the hip flexor.
Kneel in a marriage proposal position. Balance yourself with your hands either on your front knee or on the floor. In our land of hardwood floors we kneel on a pillow or our patella say "Ow!" Lean all the way forward until you feel a pull on the back hip. Remember to keep hips square. Hold 20 sec, 3 on each leg
Standing where you can hold on to something sturdy for balance, pull one foot up towards buttocks. Hold 20 sec, 3 on each leg. Be sure to keep bent thigh straight down in parallel with standing leg.
Sit with legs out in wide V position. Sit up tall, back straight lean forward until a inner thigh stretch is felt keeping hands on floor to support a proper stretching position. 3 x 20 sec (are you noticing a trend?)