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The Wren

Filtering by Category: Fitness

5 Great After Work Yoga Poses by Lauren Conrad

Renee Woodruff

Long day at work? Try these awesome yoga poses by Lauren Conrad to release a little tension and to give your body the love it deserves. And PS - if you aren't a familiar with her site, it's a good one to bookmark and reference often!

Downward Dog
If you are a regular yogi, you know that downward dog is the foundational pose of most yoga flows. It’s home base. And it’s also the best move you can do after sitting all day. It stretches your shoulders, lengthens your back, and gets blood flowing to your brain. Simply make your body into an inverted “V” shape, and push your hands into the floor to stretch your legs and back.

Mountain Pose
This pose may seem simple, but you’d be surprised at how much good it can do for those sitting joints. Stand comfortably with your feet hips-width apart and reach your arms to the sky. Then move your torso backwards into a slight backbend and let your neck and head relax. You should feel a lengthening in your legs and an opening in your chest muscles.

Forward Fold
One of the best poses for stress and anxiety, forward bend is a position you should be implementing into your everyday routine. And the best part is that you can do it anywhere (even on your lunch break!). According to Huffington Post, this post provides a feeling of release in your body and mind, allowing you to let go of anything hectic that’s going on at work. Stand with your feet hips-width apart, bend your kneed slightly, and fold your hips down to the ground. Let your arms and neck hang for at least one minute for a full release.

Cobra Pose
This back bend not only feels good after sitting all day, it also lengthens your spine and opens up your chest and shoulders. Lay on the ground with your arms bent and place your hands directly under you shoulders, as though you’re about to do a push up. Then gently straighten your arms, bringing your chest up off the ground. If this feels comfortable, you can eventually graduate onto an Upward Dog pose, where you lift up your thigh and hips as well.

Butterfly Pose
Good old fashioned “criss cross applesauce” is actually an incredible yoga pose that opens up your hips and lower body. It’s a great way to ease any tightness you may feel from sitting for a long time. Sit on your hip bones with your back straight and your knees out to either side. Focus on melting your knees lower to the ground, gently, to really give your hips a stretch.

6 Fitness Tips to Keep You Motivated

Renee Woodruff

Here are six great tips to help stay motivated with your fitness routine. I personally find that working out with friends has had a huge impact on my life. The key to staying in shape is really about keeping active. You don't have to hold yourself prisoner to the gym to be "working out". There are several ways to stay physically active -- walk the dog, clean your house, take the long way home (walking, of course!), run lunch time errands, take the stairs, park your car further than you normally would. The list goes on... I always say, find what works for YOU and stick to it. 

Now, go get em!

5 Tips to a Better Night of Sleep

Renee Woodruff

You've probably read hundreds of articles dedicated to the subject of sleep. Since we spend a huge chunk of our lives in a horizontal position, it rightfully deserves a lot of conversation. For reasons that have affected my family growing up, I'm addicted to feeling well rested -- so much so, that I've dedicated an entire section on my website to products that I've found help me "sleep like a baby."

Here are the top 5 recommendations that I would make to someone that is looking for a good night of sleep:

1. Exercise. Mental exhaustion is not the same as physical exhaustion. Do something active every single day even if it is just 25 squats and 25 push ups in the morning before going to work. Get a FitBit and make it a goal to hit 10,000 steps. Do yoga. Take a class at your gym. Go running with a buddy outside. Just do something to help wear your body down so that it is ready for sleep.

2. Don't Eat Too Late. Every time I have a late dinner and then try to fall asleep I'm just setting myself up for disaster. Try to eat dinner on the earlier side so that your body isn't working harder than it needs to when it comes time to get rest. In addition, it's good to give your digestive system a break. If you eat before 8pm and don't eat breakfast until 8am, you're giving your belly the much needed rest it deserves.

3. Shut Down ALL Screens. Don't expect to be able to fall asleep immediately after sending a text or getting those last minute emails done or, for that matter, while watching TV in bed (the worst!). Go old school and read a book in bed for at least fifteen minutes prior to sleep, preferably fiction to give your brain a chance to stop thinking about everything that happened that day or all of the things you need to accomplish tomorrow.

4. Pamper Yourself. Take a salt bath or a long shower. Deep condition your hair. Exfoliate. Shave. Oil yourself with coconut or sesame oil afterwards. And use lavender oil just before getting into bed to calm your nervous system. 

5. Meditate. If all else fails and you find you are having two or three inconsistent nights of sleep, consider adding a regular meditation practice into your routine. My next post will provide some tips on this as it deserves more discussion than just a paragraph. I've found this to be extremely beneficial in getting some serious shut-eye.


10,000 Steps & Counting...

Renee Woodruff

I'll never forget the evening, over Easter Weekend, when Dave and I spent the night dancing away with his family in their living room to our wedding playlist. The clock was about to strike midnight, and I was lagging on my daily FitBit goal (his mother, Dana and sisters, Emily and Sara, and I are all very competitive about this), but they already hit their steps for the day! You'll see by watching the video below just how intense things became when the countdown began...(and of course, because I'm marrying a film maker, this got turned into a spec ad for FitBit).

As a part of my wedding workout routine I've vowed to hit 10,000 steps every single day starting today. I welcome anyone who wants to join in to friend me on FitBit (Renee Woodruff) and let's do this together!