Yoga isn’t just for pretzel twists. It’s for pretzel rods, too.

I’m going to cut to the chase this morning: Yoga – or some type of regular stretching routine – is basically essential for good health.

Running is cool. But flexibility is key.

Pilates did not really make me feel like this. But I thought it would. And I sure was sore the next morning. I'll have to keep working on this skill set.
I wanted to feel like this in my yoga class yesterday.

I love all of the gadgets out there these days that help us figure out how many steps we’re taking, calories we’re burning, miles we’re running, altitude we’re climbing…these little toys have a lot of value if they’re helping us to get moving and get after it. I love getting my “score,” figuring out what kind of a day I had, figuring out how to do more the next day. It’s fun and cool. And trust me, a half-marathon burns a truckload of calories.

But I actually felt like this.
But I actually felt like this in my yoga class yesterday. I’ll keep trying.

But there is a downside. Those gadgets don’t give us a great deal of credit for standing more or less in one spot for an hour or so in a yoga class, stretching and strengthening all of the muscles that get us moving in the first place. So it’s insanely easy to, ahem, forget to do it.

Confession: I have not been stretching enough. And it really came home to roost this weekend. I realized while talking to some exercise-minded friends on the weekend that in my zeal to train for Boston in the midst of work mayhem, I had forgotten that a healthy exercise routine covers three essential elements: cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility training.

Running and swimming and occasional spin classes have taken care of the cardio thing. But strength training? Not much. And yoga classes for flexibility? My last class, before yesterday, was in late January. Yikes.

So this is a reminder that yoga is not just for pretzel twists. If you feel like a pretzel rod, yoga will be good for you, too. Especially if you have an understanding instructor who watches everyone else get into a Triangle pose while you try mightily to bend your knees after a hard race the day before – and you wind up looking like a Parallelogram.

The perfect workout triangle: equal parts cardio, strength training, and stretching.
The perfect workout triangle: equal parts cardio, strength training, and stretching. (Image courtesy of sumetho /

It’s a part of the ol’ Workout Toolbox – and it’s something I’m going to delve much more deeply into, because I can’t believe that almost three months into writing this blog, I was so completely ignoring my need to take time to work on flexibility and strength. So, my bottom line message for you today is this:

Cardio, strength training, flexibility.

They’re three corners of the perfect…well, you know. Triangle.

Hopefully I’ll do better next time.

Yesterday’s #every48 workout: A 90-minute  Bikram Yoga class after a solid day of work. Felt great to be there, but whoa, my legs are still super-stiff after that race on Sunday.

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