Giveaway: One of My Favorite Things: KT Tape

One of my favorite things that has helped me recover from my shin splints has been KT Tape. I tried the original tape back in October when my left leg first started acting up and it was constant use of it that helped it finally start to feel better.

My favorite way to tape for my shin splints!

My favorite way to tape for my shin splints!

Then I discovered the PRO version of their tape, and it’s WONDERFUL. I still use it occasionally whenever my shin splints act up. I’ve had to try to pry it off my legs the day before graduation a couple of weeks ago. I love that they offer a variety of colors (I’m a big fan of the purple and the pink!) as well as a beige option if you don’t want it to be as noticeable.

PRO_carryingcase3

The empty cases make great storage containers too–I keep my pointe shoe accessories–toe pads and more!–in them

The one thing about KT Tape is that you have absolutely careful as to how you apply it. It’s taken awhile to master it, but once you do, it works REALLY well. You have to make sure you place it carefully and do not touch the sticky sides. Another key tip (one that I’ve struggled with) is to make sure you lay the ends down with NO stretch (they’re attached to the paper backing with a 10% stretch–so be careful).

Other tips that have worked for me including using a blow dryer to activate the adhesive (being careful not to burn yourself!) and sleeping with a sock over a foot application (usually a compression sock) to make sure it sticks down. I first gave this a shot after I put tights on over some slightly peeling tape–when I got home the tape was stuck back down!

For more tips, check out this post from KTTape.

The wonderful people at KT Tape have offered to give one free roll to one of my readers, so make sure you enter the giveaway here!

I was not paid for my review.  The opinions contained in this review are mine and based on my experience, and do not reflect the opinions of KT Tape or anyone else.

Struggling to Stay on Track

I need some motivation this Monday.

This week marks the beginning of the last two weeks of college classes in my undergraduate college career. Yikes. I’ve been super busy, and therefore practicing ballet and working out has kind of fallen to the wayside over the past week. I skipped Saturday’s ballet and pointe not for this reason–but because my shin splints were acting up like crazy after an attempted run on Friday.

When a friend posted on Facebook that she both admired and despised those who worked out during finals week it reminded me how much I need working out to help keep me sane. Although it takes 45 minutes to an hour of my time, it’s so worth it in the end because it helps keep me focused (sometimes you just need a break from staring at a computer for hours upon hours) and helps me sleep better. But, I need to remember to take it easy so what happened this past weekend doesn’t happen again.

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So today, I’m re-beginning my Couch to 5k training plan outside in hopes that training this way doesn’t kill my shins this time, and fitting in some yoga/stretching while I get some reading in.

How do you fit exercise into the busy parts of your life?

Should Dancers Run?

English: Running woman Nederlands: Hardlopende...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was going to post this earlier this week, but it just didn’t feel right, after the Boston Marathon bombings occurred. A few of the #sweatpink members ran the marathon, and thankfully they’re all okay. It’s great to see that everyone in the running community coming together after such a horrific event.

Now, I’ve only just started running, and I’ve dealt with a few issues with it (HELLO, shin splints) especially given the injuries in my background. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the idea of dancers–especially ballet dancers–and running, with many people saying it’s too high of an impact and stresses your body too much. Some suggest swimming, biking or the elliptical instead. Trust me, I love all three of those, but there’s nothing quite like running.

Personally, I think both are perfectly fine in moderation. Charlotte Stabenau wrote in a blog post for Pointe Magazine that she became a runner after being a dancer for a long time–and it only helped improve her stamina and confidence.

Especially as recreational dancers, why not go for it if you want to?

The best way to do it, as Charlotte wrote, is to start out slow. How do you manage that? Add running to your schedule slowly, 3-4 days a week (max), alternating between walking and running. Programs like Couch to 5k (available as iPhone Apps and downloadable schedules) are great. Another free app, RunKeeper, has a similar program (as well as a bunch of others of other levels).

Do you run or have your wanted to run?

*I am not a personal trainer or medical doctor, this is just information found through my own research that I have found useful.

Catching up on the Stretch, Plank and Squat Challenges!

King Pigeon Pose

My favorite yoga pose (Photo credit: lululemon athletica)

Good news is, while I’ve missed a few days of my squat and plank challenge–I’m completely caught up. While my boyfriend and I have a few days–we’ve caught up on the challenge’s days off. I’ve even managed to pull off a 1:30 plank, and I’ve been thinking about incorporating side planks and straight-arm planks.

Stretching has not been going quite as well. I was getting slightly sick of doing videos, so I basically ended up skipping stretching this weekend after a two-hour long ballet class and a super stressful Sunday (my 5k did not happen because of my shin splints). So I’ve been working on getting that back on track and Monday and Tuesday I just did some of the yoga poses and stretches I had worked on. Hopefully these will help me get closer to my splits in the end. Maybe I’ll get brave enough to put up some split photos when we reach the halfway point of our April challenge.

I’ve added another element of fitness to my daily routine to try to strengthen my calves for running and for pointe work (eventually–I’m taking baby steps in getting back to pointe work!). I’ve just been incorporating 3 sets of 12 calf raises and 3 sets of 12 single calf raises.

Now I just need to work more theraband stretching into my routine.

How have you been challenging yourself this April?

Sometimes It’s Okay to Give Up + Day 1 of April Stretch Challenge

Sometimes, you just have to know when to stop doing something (No, I’m not quitting ballet).

I’ve decided to drop out of the Broad Street Run (my boyfriend has too). After a long thought process and debating selling our bibs several times (between starting training late because of my shin splints and busy schedules).  After a particularly rough training day at the gym today, we’ve decided to pass on this year’s race.

While I’m a little bit sad about it, I feel like it’s for the best.

I’m not giving up on running, I’ve just decided to take it slower, and not unnecessarily push myself (seeing as how that’s what usually causes injuries). Part of it is so I can focus more on ballet (rather than killing myself trying to do both as I’m trying to come back from my injury). I plan on listening to my body more and stopping when I’m in too much pain (guilty as charged–I run and dance when I really shouldn’t be sometimes).

yoga

yoga (Photo credit: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS)

On a brighter note, my Squat and Plank challenge has been going well (Check out the Facebook Group–it’s still not too late to join!) Who ever thought I could hold a minute and fifteen second long plank? Not me, that’s for sure!

I also did day 1 of my April Stretch Challenge (I picked doing yoga to generally increase my flexibility). My mild shin splints feel better and my hips feel awesome.

How are you challenging yourself this April?

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