Catching Katy

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#8. Yoga

#8 from my 30 before 30 list is done – I’m over halfway done! About 2 years ago I bought a Groupon for 20 classes to Red Hot Yoga. Luckily they accept them whenever – literally no expiration date – so I finally started to use it at the beginning on the year. Mostly thanks to another friend who wanted to go.

Yoga is great, especially if you typically hit the cardio and/or weights hard. Stretching is important – and I don’t do it nearly enough for as much as I run. And as I have discovered lately, training for a half marathon at 29 is definitely different than training at 24. I know it sounds silly but it is – if I don’t stretch now I pay for it. Insert yoga. Especially since I’m training for a half marathon right now, it feels great. And I am not flexible at all, so don’t use that as an excuse. It really does help you become more stretchy the more you do it! And actually the heat (this is hot yoga) helps even more. The heat is actually what scared me the most, but I go early morning and it actually feels awesome. This studio is great because you don’t feel like a fool – there are always other beginners and they are pretty good about making sure you are doing all the poses correctly (otherwise it’s kind of pointless).

I still have about 10 classes left on my groupon and we’ll see what I do when that is up but I’m hoping to keep going at least once a week! Now if I can only get in the habit of stretching on my own….

redhotyoga

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Exercise Perception

Another TED Talk listened to while running recently! Emily Balcetis, a social psychologist, looks at the factors that play into a person’s perception of exercise, which greatly influences their motivation to exercise. I am very lucky in that I am naturally motivated to exercise and be active (mainly running), but I know it does not come easy for a lot of people. Looking at physical markers (waist and hip size) as well as perception, Emily Balcetis discusses the factors that play into a person’s motivation to exercise.

The studies and results are interesting, but the main lesson learned is not necessarily that helpful – they learned that those people who kept their “eye on the prize” (i.e. focused on the finish line) viewed the distance to the finish line as shorter. But if you’re a trainer, for example, you can’t just tell your clients to focus on the finish line and expect their motivation to increase. It’s way more complicated than that.

But the ideas of varied perception are very interesting and have even been very relevant lately (dress being white/gold or black/blue). Knowing that people’s perception of exercise varies and knowing what factors correlate with different perceptions can be helpful to professionals who work with people in their plans for exercise and nutrition.