Health & Nutrition

Dumbbells, kettlebells, exercise bands…what does all of this equipment have to do with running? It turns out, it can mean the difference between running good and running great!

With a bit of resistance training using some light - moderate weights or bands, and even your own body weight makes a huge difference in going further, longer.

Tasha Turnbull of T2 Fitness and our latest BGR! U instructor breaks down why strength training is beneficial to your running game, and at the end of this post, learn how you can incorporate strength training as part of your fitness routine beginning March 1!

These are Tasha’s top reasons you should add strength training to your fitness routine:

  • Ease of motion: Studies have shown that the more muscle you have on your body, the easier it’ll be on your joints while running. In turn, your motion becomes more efficient as your body will require less energy to complete the movements.
  • Smoother stride: According to Tasha, “building muscle mass increases your body's range of motion which can enhance the fluidity of your stride and reduce your chance of injury.” #PreservetheSexy
  • Endurance: Strength is power. Tasha says strength training helps to “improve your strength and ability to push your body forward for long distances.” In addition, toning key body parts that propel the body forward when running like your hips, glutes and core will help lessen muscle imbalances.
  • Preserve the sexy: Tasha says it best, “In essence, strength training helps to increase your posture, improve muscle stabilization (especially core muscles), reduce your chance of injury, improve muscular imbalances, and improve your running economy (the rate at which your body uses oxygen while running) which can all improve your running speed and performance.” #YesPlease
  • *Bonus*: These results can change your body composition, decreasing body mass, rev up your metabolism and give you a leaner look!

Interested in learning more about strength training or ready to take this next step in improving your running game and in turn, your health and fitness level? Sign up for our next BGR! U course, Tone Your Run with Tasha here. Class begins March 1!

*BGR! U was recently named to the first ever #Rodale100, honoring trailblazers positively impacting lives around the world, alongside the literal movers and shakers of the wellness industry, like Nike and Fitbit

By: Vivinne (Kala) Williams (@KalaViv)

You do not have to be bendy, spaghetti thin or young to do yoga! The body-positive movement and increasing diversity is opening up the stereotype of who does yoga. Back in the day when I began studying yoga (I got certified to teach in 1994) I was usually the only person of color in the room. But the yoga itself made me feel so wonderful, and I felt welcome even if I stood out.

So while I stopped running in college, I still stay active, I love brisk walking around NYC.

Read through the instructions completely first before trying them. Then have it with you as you do them. And always-listen to your body. Each body is different and each day is different. You should never feel a sharp pain, if you do stop what you are doing and rest.

 Benefits: this series stretches out the back body, the hamstrings and back especially as runners tend to be tight in those areas.

Do this on level grassy ground or inside on a mat, not a hard surface.

  1. Swan:
    • Lay on belly, arms by the side palms facing the sky, forehead touching the ground/mat. Inhale, Exhale lift head, upper body, legs and arms up. Roll the shoulders back and down away from ears, arms angled out like airplane wings. Palms face towards the body as you hold, and arms are about a foot away from the body.
    • Breath deeply in and out 3-5x. Exhale and relax down, rest, turn head to the side.
  2. Childs pose: from previous position push up to all fours then bend knees all the way- till buttocks are resting over heels, chest on thighs, forehead to ground. For most people it’s more comfortable to have hands under forehead. if this bothers your knees then just lay on your back and hug bent knees to the chest and breath and relax.
  3. Lunge stretch:
    • Place left knee down on ground, right knee is bent, foot flat. Front knee stays in line with ankle is safest alignment. Hands can stay on either side of front leg resting on the ground.
    • Optional- after a few breaths, they can rest on that right thigh; this deepens the stretch, if it’s too much rest hands back on ground. Breath deeply in and out 5-10x. Switch sides.
  4. Downward dog:
    • Start on your hands and knees, hips in line over the knees. Hands usually do best a bit in front of the shoulders or try directly under the shoulders, fingers spread wide.
    • Inhale, Exhale lift hips into the air, relax head and face.
    • You will most likely feel stretch in shoulders, back and back to thighs, it’s ok to bend knees if needed.
    • Breath deeply in and out 5X and come down to knees. Relax.
  1. Single-leg forward bend:
  • Seated, bend the left leg up so left foot is by inner right thigh.   Right leg is straight out from that hip, foot is flexed heel forward toes back.
  • Inhale arms up overhead, exhale bend forward, rest arms on either side of that right leg, near the knee or calf or if you are very flexible, near the ankle.
  • Keep the head in line with spine, don’t round the back. Think that belly rests on the thigh, then chest only then would head go forward to touch the leg. This is not your goal, it’s simply a way of understanding the proper positioning. Breath deeply in and out 5-10x. Switch sides.


Post-run: If you are not used to stretching much especially after running, take it easy, as since you are quite warmed up, you are liable to stretch fairly deeply.

Pre-run: I actually recommend, doing a bit of aerobic warm up, then once you feel the blood is moving through the major muscles-do these before your run, to enhance your warmup.

 Get a 25% discount off of my Zen of Crisis: 3 Practices for Stress” ( by using “bgrdiscount” at checkout.

 Vivinne (Kala) Williams has 19 years experience teaching holistic wellness & has been featured in Self, Yoga Journal & Essence magazines. During a brutal stint in academia these practices helped her survive the stress of work-place bullying and unemployment. Her site is On YouTube.


Awwww! Spring is FINALLY on it's way (hopefully), but with the arrival of April, there IS one thing we're guaranteed. Rain. The old adage, "April Showers Bring May Flowers," can be heard around the country. Whether or not there's any truth to that is questionable as discussed in Slate Magazine, but there's no need to get technical.  What we do know is that, we can bet that rain is one of the hurdles we'll have to jump to get to the coveted summer months. We're keeping hope (and positivity) alive with our "Run Happy" Motivation board on Pinterest inspired by Brooks and their "run happy" mantra. If you're in a rut, can't bring yourself to run in inclement weather, or just plain tired, there's sure to be something there to keep you inspired. But, don't stop there, we want to know how you run happy! (Check out my BEST race photo showing me running happy!) So, what are you waiting for, go there and pin away!

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