Warning! Your Rest Days Could Be Ruining Your Gains

If you set aside a couple of days per week to rest and recover from your workouts, then you’re on the right path. Generally, the concept of a rest day is a good idea and will benefit you. It’s not healthy to workout every single day, you’ll overtrain and damage your muscles, leading to no gains at all.

I won’t have a go at you for being a tad confused here already. Clearly, the title says that rest days could be ruining your gains. But, I just said they were good…so…what’s all that about then? The keyword in all of this is ‘could’. Rest days ‘could’ ruin your gains, but only when they’re not used properly.

Now, you will be surprised to know how many people wrongly use their rest days. Which is hilarious considering how easy a rest day should be for you. All you really have to do is rest and recover, how can you possibly go wrong? Well, I’ve written this article to show you some of the bad things you might do on your rest days that lead to a lack of gains in the future. Give them a read, and follow any advice that might help you stop doing the wrong thing.

Eating Too Much

The thing about a rest day is that you shouldn’t do much physical activity at all. As a consequence, you won’t burn many calories on these days, but that’s okay! This only becomes an issue when your food intake is large. I know so many people that sit at home on a rest day and just binge eat. They think it’s a chance to have a cheat day and just fuel up on food ready for their workout the following day.

The logic behind this is fairly well thought out, so I’ll give you credit if you do this. To prepare for your next set of workouts, you consume a lot of calories and carbs to provide more energy and get you nice and refuelled. A bit like stopping your car overnight and filling up the tank, right? However, as I said, you aren’t burning many calories on a rest day, so all that food is just going to pile on, with very few calories coming off. It makes it harder to lose weight and could be why you’re not doing so. Instead, you need to follow a low calorie diet, particularly on rest days. Try and reduce the calories, even more, when you aren’t working out. This prevents any unnecessary calorie overloading and will keep you on the right path to fitness success.

Doing Your Cardio

Bizarrely, quite a few people set aside their rest days for cardio. I know, it doesn’t make any sense, it’s not a rest day if you’re exercising. People do this as they think you only need a rest from generic training. If you train using weights, then cardio counts as a rest, correct?

No, it doesn’t. You’re still working your muscles, you’re still putting your body through some tough work, it’s not a rest. You’ll run the risk of overtraining, which is exactly what you should avoid by taking a rest day. Do cardio either on the same day as your regular workouts or on another day. Rest on your rest day, don’t work out in any way!

Not Stretching

So, there are certain things you’re doing that you shouldn’t be doing, and there’s one thing you need to do that maybe you aren’t. Stretching is essential if you want to keep your muscles healthy and feel less sore. If you lengthen your muscles, you become more flexible, less prone to injuries, and will see more gains in general.

You should set aside time during your rest days to really go through a full body stretching and mobility routine. The reason you do it on your rest day is because you should have a good hour or so spare where you’d normally work out. Get a solid stretching session in to prepare your body for your workouts and keep it in good health.

After reading this, it’s maybe more apparent how your rest day can go totally wrong. If you’re eating loads, still doing workouts, and not stretching, then you’ve really messed up your rest day. I can’t stress enough how important one or two proper rest days per week will help you. Use them properly, or you will see issues with your gains. If you feel like you’ve maybe hit a wall recently, then this could be the problem.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Mental Health: Using Your Experiences To Help Others

Every year almost 1 in 5 (around 42.5 million) American adults suffer from some sort of mental health issue, including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. This is a scarily large figure, which only becomes more scary when you realize that it doesn’t take into account the huge numbers of cases of mental health issues within teenagers and younger children too. This large figure means that, although there are a lot of people suffering from mental health issues, there are also a lot of people that are suffering or have suffered, and want to use their experiences with mental health to help others. If you have suffered from a mental health issue, you will be able to better understand the person whom you are trying to help – You can also share your own experiences, so they don’t feel alone. Many people do this, and I have listed a few different ways in which you too can take your experience with mental health to help others. Of course, none of these options are a replacement of professional help, they are simply others forms of support, and forms that often help a person to realize that something may be wrong, and that they may need professional help.

Mentoring

If you are still of school or college age, then mentoring might be a good option for you. It allows you to engage one on one with people the same age as or a little bit younger than you and provide them support and guidance. Most people, when they first realize that something may be wrong with them do one of two things – They either search for their symptoms online or talk to a friend. As we all know, Googling symptoms is never a good idea, as it always says somewhere down the line that you’re dying of some rare disease that you don’t even find in your country. Talking to a friend, however, that is helpful. Friends are there to provide you emotional support, so are often the first people you tell about a mental health issue, even before family. However, some people may feel as though they don’t have a friend they can truly trust, and confide in, which is why peer-to-peer mentoring is such a good idea – It provides you with a confidant, who you can trust to listen to you and try to help you if they can.

Blogging

Blogging can assist you in helping others on a much wider scale than one to one mentoring. Depending on your experiences, you can write about a range of topics from self-help and techniques on coping with stress, to any medication you may be taking. Many people with mental health issues feel completely alone, but simply sharing your experiences can change that, and help them have a much more positive view of themselves. Blogging allows you the option to remain anonymous, and with plenty of useful tools and websites online, setting up a blog nowadays is relatively easy, so there’s absolutely no reason why this couldn’t be an option for you.

Vlogging

In the past few years watching your favorite channels on YouTube seems to be more popular than watching your favorite channels on an actual television, so if you wanted to aim your support and guidance at younger adults and teenagers, vlogging is a brilliant idea. There are many wonderful YouTube channels based solely on mental health, which have videos based on the suggested topics of blog posts from above. Many of the bigger YouTubers, such as Zoella and JackGap, also use their channels as a platform to talk about their own experiences with their mental health. This allows young people with mental health issues to feel more ‘normal’, by knowing that their favorite YouTube star also suffers from the same things as they do. There are many helpful guides online that explain to you how to set up a YouTube channel, which can make the whole process a lot easier – All you need now is a camera.

Become A Therapist

A therapist is a mental health professional, who assists their patients in reducing their symptoms of mental illness, by improving their emotional and cognitive skills, and teaching them how to cope with various challenges from everyday life. Granted, this isn’t the easiest way to share your experiences concerning mental health, and it certainly takes a lot of dedication, but if it’s what you want to do, then it is definitely possible. By taking an online psychology degree, you can study and get the qualifications you need to commence in higher education, while still having the time to hold down a full-time job.

Join A Therapy Group

If you don’t want to become a therapist yourself, joining a therapy group is another great way to share your experiences with mental health. Not only will it help you, as you can share you problems, hear others advice, and hear other people’s own experiences, but you can also help out other in the group in the same way. This is a lot like mentoring, except it’s not on a one to one basis, which in the long run might be better for some people – It provides you with a group of people who understand you, rather than just one, which could provide you with a sense of belonging.

All of these are great ways of using your own experiences with mental health to help others. Many of them could also help you improve your own mental health at the same time, as they provide you with an audience to which you can let out any feelings and emotions that you may have been keeping bottled up. However, you must always remember that, although you may want to help people, and although you may have in-depth experience of your own mental health problems, unless you do train to become a therapist, you are not a professional. You can certainly provide advice and support, but you need to know when to let a person know that you are out of your depth and that they need to speak to a professional.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Move More: How You Can Be More Active in Your Everyday Life

When we talk about being active and living a healthy lifestyle, it isn’t just about going for a run each evening but being completely sedentary the rest of the time. In order to be truly more active, then there needs to be some things that we change in our everyday lives. When we are always more active, at work, school or at home, then we are really on the way to living a healthy and active lifestyle. All of those extra things can help us to stay well. So what are some changes you could be making? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Walk More

It might elicit a moan from you or your family, but walking more is a great way to be more active. You’re using your whole body, burning calories, and getting your heart pumping faster than it would be in the car. Even something like taking the stairs over using the elevator is a good way to be more active and walk more. Plan your time better to walk to more places and you’ll really feel the benefit of it. You could also look to get a step counter to encourage you to be more active. We should be aiming for at least 10,000 steps per day, but many of us fall short of that. You can read more here if you want to http://stepcount.org.uk/. So if you’re curious to see where you are with that at the moment, then a step counter will be a good way to start being more active.

Take Regular Work Breaks

Work or school are going to be some of the places where we will find it hardest to be the most active. We can’t just get up and leave when we want. However, we can take breaks to have a quick walk around the office or to get a glass of water. You shouldn’t be sat at your desk for hours on end without moving. You should also think about standing at your desk if you need to, to get your body moving and some weight bearing on your feet. You could even look into getting a bike or elliptical installed under your desk, like this one https://www.hereon.biz/under-desk-elliptical/. What a fun way to be more active when you normally wouldn’t be very active. Employers should take note!

Use Standing Time To Move

Think about times in the day when you stand up but don’t do anything. You might be waiting for the kettle to boil or for the oven to heat up. But use that time to get in a mini-workout. How many squats can you do in the time it takes for your pasta to cook or the kettle to boil, for example? When you’re having a phone conversation, how many times can you go up and down the stairs or do something else that is active like cleaning the house? Multitask and get a few more mini-workouts in each day and it will help you to stay fit and well much more than people that don’t.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

How To Eat Your Way To A Healthier Weight

Food means different things to different people. To some, it’s seen as a means to an end, to others an enjoyment, and to a select few an obsession. Although food is there to give us energy, the impact it can have on our bodies has meant that it’s easy to become obsessed over. Whether the obsession is taken to the extreme with weight gain or weight loss, it can often mean that an unhealthy view can be taken. However, food also does a lot of good in the world. It keeps us going, it keeps us happy, and it does have the power to transform a negative obsession into something more healthy.

Whether you want to be able to boost your weight loss or gain to get yourself to a healthier weight, you can do it with food. But, there are a few processes that you will need to put in place. First of all, you’re going to want to adjust your mindset. And secondly, you need to be able to see and use food in new ways. By gaining knowledge and happily adjusting your thought habits, you should be able to eat your way to your own healthy weight range using four simple techniques.

Clean Up Your Diet

Purge The Processed Stuff

The first thing that you need to be able to do is to clean up your diet. Because if you’re trying to reach a goal weight, the foods you eat will matter. You will find that filling up on processed foods will not help you here. So you may want to pinpoint the processed foods you can easily remove from your diet, such as salad dressings. As well as some of the most obvious choices like frozen foods or ready meals.

Cook From Scratch

Following on from this, you should also aim to cook from scratch as often as you can. When you’re eating processed or convenience food, you don’t really know what is in the food you’re eating. So you could be eating more calories than you need to be. Likewise, when you eat out a lot or order in, you could be consuming unhealthy calories that you can easily cut out.

Go Green

Then, you should work on filling up on greens a lot more. It’s important to have more fruits and vegetables in your diet and with your meals. This way, you’re getting enough nutrients in and helping to keep yourself full. So work on adding more leafy greens to your diet if you’re looking to make healthier changes to what you’re eating.

Read The Labels

You will also find that reading the labels on everything you buy will help you to clean up your diet too. Sometimes, there’s a lot more in the food that you eat that you realize. But when you make a habit of reading the labels, you’ll be able to figure out what products you should drop from your diet, as well as getting to know what is in the food that you eat.

Focus On The Macros

Get The Balance Right

The macronutrient makeup of your meals is important. If you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight, or get there, you’re going to need to monitor your macros and ensure that you have the balance between carbohydrates, fats, and proteins just right. If it’s fat loss that you’re after, you need to ensure that your macros work towards fat burning to help you get on the right track.

Play With Your Portions

However, you may realize that not every piece of advice you get on macros and the right balance will work for you. So, you have to be able to play around with your portions in order to find out what works best for you. Because everyone’s body will respond differently to different macro make ups. You need to be able to work with the right percentage of each in order to get your body to respond well.

Switch Up The Ingredients

But you’re also going to want to think about the actual food choices you’re making for each macro. You need to be able to choose good combinations between carbs, fats, and proteins that will work well together, without sticking to the same meals all of the time. So make sure you alternate between ingredients if you’re hoping to get the best results.

Food For Fuel

See Food Differently

However, the way that you’re going to be able to ensure that you can make the right changes to the way you eat is also in your mind, and not just with your food choices themselves. If you’re wondering how long does it take to lose weight? you’re going to need to work on your mental state as well as your choices. To do this, you should try to see food as fuel, rather than an indulgence, to help yourself get on the right track.

Time Your Meals Well

To do this, you should ensure that you’re working with timing when you eat. If you want to be able to get the most amount of energy out of your food, it’s important to eat the right things at certain times of the day – especially when you’re exercising. And you’re going to want to tailor your macros to this too. You may find that low carb evening meals will help you here, depending on your overall goals.

Listen To Your Body

A huge part of making this work for you is to listen to your body. It’s easy to see food as a pleasure source as well as fuel, and cravings can often control this. But you need to be able to identify emotional hunger vs. real hunger. Real hunger can be satisfied by any food and will come on gradually, so try to weed out emotional cravings and focus on fuel.

And Don’t Forget The Snacks

Then, you’re also going to want to work with some energy boosting snacks. When it’s an energy boost you’re after, things like bananas and nuts are great. You will often find that snacking smart can also ensure that you eat well and make healthier meal choices.

Be Smart With Your Habits

Portion Size

Sometimes, it’s not the food that you’re eating that’s the problem, but the portion size. When you’re looking to lose weight, you should bring these in, and if you need to put on weight, you should focus on larger portions. But it’s all relative. You just need to learn to be smarter with the size of your portions.

Eating Environment

Next, you should think about your eating environment. This is one of the most important areas of how your mind and body connect. Because where you eat can affect how much you eat, and your digestion. So always try to eat at a table and focus on your food, rather than mindlessly eating while doing another task, as that can cause you to overeat.

Eating Mindfully

To work with that last point, and not against it, and to really ensure that you can eat your way to a healthy weight, you should work on eating mindfully. By eating more mindfully, you’re more aware of how you eat, your habits, and how to ensure you have a healthy relationship with food. To do this, you will find that eating in silence helps, so does chewing a certain amount of time, or using your other hand to hold the utensils. The aim is to be more aware of yourself eating so that you can stop when you’re full, enjoy the meal, and take a healthier approach to eating in general.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

5 Things To Avoid To Keep Your Lungs As Healthy As Possible

We all know that eating right and exercising is the best way to stay healthy, but there are so many things in life that can damage your lungs. Your lungs are one of the main parts of your body that keep you alive, so looking after them is imperative. In this article are going to be some examples of things you should avoid to keep your lungs as healthy as possible.

Smoking

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Smoking cigarettes is probably the most dangerous thing that you could put into your body. Not only can it harm your lungs and cause you to contract lung cancer, but it can cause many other cancers too. Did you know, that every cigarette that you smoke can take 10 minutes off your life? If you suffer from an illness like asthma or COPD too the effects of smoking can take it’s toll faster than someone who doesn’t suffer from any lung diseases.

It’s not just tobacco that can be harmful if you smoke it either, smoking any form of drugs can harm your lungs just as much as regular tobacco. Not only that, it can cause dozens of other health problems, including things like psychosis.

If you’re trying to quit smoking, visit your local pharmacist for help on quitting. It will save your wallet and your life.

Bonfire Smoke

There’s nothing quite like huddling around a bonfire and watching the flames engulf the firewood until it burns to glowing embers. However, breathing in bonfire smoke can do serious damage to your health. Even though it may smell nice, the smoke contains dangerous particles that can penetrate the walls of your lungs and cause breathing problems, headaches, runny noses and wheezing. If you are attending a bonfire, try not to stand too close so that you’re at less risk of reaping the damage that can be caused by bonfire smoke.

Asbestos

Asbestos is something that’s been around for centuries and is typically used in buildings for insulation. After the discovery of asbestosis, it was discontinued in the build of new houses. However, many homes all over the world still contain asbestos and can pose a threat to anyone who has a lot of exposure to it. If the asbestos is untouched, it shouldn’t harm you but if it is broken or removed the small fibre particles can enter your lungs and cause damage over time. If you’re in the industry of home improvements, make sure that you wear a face mask when working with asbestos to make sure that the particles aren’t accidentally breathed in. If your company haven’t been providing face masks, you could call a mesothelioma attorney for compensation because being exposed to asbestos could have potentially put you at the risk of cancer. Make sure you get yourself checked out if you’re experiencing tightness of the chest, shortness of breath and deformities of your hands.

Cleaning Chemicals

Even though we want to keep our homes clean and hygienic, using bleach without proper protection can lead to lung diseases like COPD, asthma, and can even cause people with current lung conditions to have even worse symptoms. Anything that contains bleach, chlorine, and ammonia is potentially dangerous. The warnings on the side of the product normally advise you to cover your mouth when using it to prevent the fumes from these chemicals harming your lungs. Like with working with asbestos, make sure that you wear a face mask when using these chemicals to prevent any damage to your lungs, even if you are only bleaching the toilet.

Carbon Monoxide

We’ve probably all heard that carbon monoxide is dangerous for the body, but why is that? Carbon monoxide is found in cigarettes (one of the many reasons you shouldn’t smoke) and it’s a gas that prevents your lungs from taking in enough air, therefore suffocating the lungs and making it difficult to breathe. Unfortunately, we are even at risk of carbon monoxide in our own homes, so it is definitely worth investing in a carbon monoxide meter which will tell you if any is detected in your home. Having appliances that use fuel in your home serviced regularly should decrease the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Avoiding these 5 things should keep your lungs healthy so that you can concentrate on keeping healthy through a good diet and exercise. If there is anything else that seems like it would be hard on your lungs like dust or particles in the air, make sure to cover your mouth to prevent damage to your lungs.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Hot For Health? Turn Your Humble Hobby Into A Killer Career

When you’re passionate about health, you can often find that it takes over a huge part of your life – but in a good way. If you find yourself practicing good levels of health with your diet and exercise as well as your mental health and a healthy lifestyle overall, you may find that the next step left for you is to consider injecting health into your career. Because when you’re passionate about a subject like health, it often means that you know enough about it to make it into a killer career. If that sounds like something you’d love, here are five health and fitness careers you might like to consider.

Yoga Teacher

Perhaps you’re an avid yogi, and you find yourself practicing every single day. Well, why not think about becoming a yoga teacher yourself? It may sound a little mad at first, but if you really love yoga, why not ditch your current career and walk down the path of becoming a yoga teacher instead? If you’re far along in your yoga journey, taking your training into teaching could be the natural next steps for you anyway, and you’ll finally have a career that you care about.

Nutritional Therapist

Or maybe you’re more into nutrition? When you’re really passionate about eating well and utilizing the benefits of nutrition in food, you could become a nutritional therapist. Then, not only will you be able to enhance your own knowledge and ensure that you know all there is to know about nutrition and the body, but you can also use your knowledge to help those that may be in need of your nutritional therapy services the most.

Fitness Instructor

When it’s more of a general passion for fitness that you have, you may want to get into fitness as a career. If you’re passionate and you know a lot about different training techniques, or you’re willing to learn, you could become a fitness instructor. Then, you could take your training and knowledge to provide professional and specialist services in your particular field, whether that’s strength training or weight loss.

Health Counselor

Or maybe you want to be able to take your passion to more of an executive level. When you want to help others with your passion, you should consider health counseling as a career. Whether you look into mental health counselor masters programs or start from scratch at the bachelor’s level, you will be able to train in a field that allows you to make a difference. Covering everything from eating disorders to depression, you will be able to use your passion to improve people’s lives.

Registered Nurse

Finally, if you want to take things to a completely new level, you may also want to think about training to become a nurse. If your passion for health is more on the caring level, you may want to become a registered nurse and train within a particular specialism. If you’re able to commit the years to do your training and you’re interested in nursing as a career, you will find that this job role will allow you to pursue your passion and prove very rewarding too.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Picture Perfect: Finding Photographic Inspiration

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of guides around the internet, all with the aim of making you into a better photographer. You can find articles which teach you how to set your ISO, aperture, and shutter speed to get the right lighting and color. And, there are even guides to help you master the art of composition. Of course, though, where a lot of these resources fall short is the inspiration. Taking a technically excellent photograph is easy. But, if it’s not interesting to you, what’s the point? To help you out with this, this post will be going through some of the ways you can find inspiration for your photography, and some of the things to consider before you hit the shutter button.

Think About Yourself

Like any form of art, photography is all about expression. The photographs you take will always be unique to you, regardless of the camera you use or the pictures you take. Everyone has their own style and way of looking at things which makes the way they approach a picture different to everyone else. For this reason, you should never be afraid to simply take the photos you want to take. For example, if you like computers, there’s nothing wrong with attending trade shows and events to take pictures of the items on display. But, some people would prefer to spend a day taking photos of the sea or woodland.

Of course, this process isn’t easy and is the whole point of this post. Most people struggle to identify what they’d like to capture and need a push in the right direction. One of the best ways to do this for yourself is by thinking of the places around the world which interest you. If you like the idea of visiting Africa to take part in a safari, wildlife photography might be your calling. But, you want to travel to Rome or Paris, taking snaps of buildings could be perfect for you.

Finding Something Interesting

It’s almost impossible to plan most photographs unless they’re product photos or the camera will be stationary throughout the shoot. Instead, the best photographers will take every chance they get to take the perfect picture. Whenever you travel with your camera, you should be keeping your eyes open for anything you can capture. The world is filled with wonders, making it easy to find interesting things wherever you go. You just have to make sure you save plenty of space on your memory card for everywhere you plan to go.

Along with keeping your eyes open, you also need to start thinking outside of the box. Perspective makes a huge difference in photography, with the position of the camera having a massive impact

Using Others To Inspire

Like most forms of art, the best photographic inspiration can often come from other people. By looking at professionals like Photographer Samuel Burns, you can start to get an idea of the standards experts expect. Along with this, seeing a professional at work will fill you with new ideas and ways to start making your photographs more interesting. When you see an image you really like, it becomes much easier to work hard to find the methods used to shoot it. Along with this, it will also give you a good goal to reach when improving the quality of your photos.

Along with looking to professionals for inspiration, you can also look for help from budding photographers in the same position as you. The Internet gives you access to billions of people, with a huge range of interests and ideas. Using this resource well can see you finding loads of fresh inspiration. Instagram is one of the best places for this sort of effort. The site is designed for images only, making it easy to find exactly what you want to look at. Using their tagging system, you can look up photography in your local area to see what other people have captured. As well as social media, though, you also have access to a wealth of forums and message boards to help you.

Before You Take The Shot

Now, it’s time to think about each photograph you’re going to be taking. To limit a number of bad images you take, it’s wise to ask yourself a couple of questions before you ever take a picture. To begin, you should think about why you’re taking a picture. For example, if you’re taking an image of a car, think about what is interesting enough about the car for you to photograph it. Once you figure out what you find interesting, you can move on to figuring out exactly how you’re going to take the picture. In the car’s case, it could be the shape of the side-profile of the car which you like.

To get a good picture from the side of the car, you’d want to level the camera with the center of it, trying to keep the camera as level as possible. Of course, the way that you take each picture will be different, and you will have your own styles which you like to use. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be thinking about it, though. Composure and composition are incredibly important to photography. So, if you ignore them for most of your shots, most will come out bad.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start looking harder for your photographic inspiration. Of course, like any form of art, this sort of effort has to come from within you as much as it relies on the resources you use to help. Only you will be able to make your photos better, and it could take some time. But, it’s worth persevering, as time can make you the master of anything.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

On The Field But No Longer Competing? Consider These Careers

Some careers are near enough impossible to break into. What little girl hasn’t dreamt of being a pop star at some point? For the most part, we learn that these careers are out of reach early on. By the time we reach our teen years, we barely remembering wanting them.

But, some dreams are harder to shake. For the sporty among us, the ideal career would, of course, be the chance to compete professionally. But, making a career as an athlete is tough. There isn’t much money in the field unless you’re top of your game. Olympians and world champions can afford to give up the day job, but that’s about it.

It may be that you had some success, but never quite managed to make it big. Or, perhaps your dreams never got off the ground, and your chance has passed. It can be heartbreaking, especially if you’ve held those dreams since you were young. But, hope isn’t lost. Holding onto an impossible dream will do damage and lead to financial trouble. But, the passing of your athletic ambitions could mark the time when you start making money from sports. Why? Because you’ll be more open to alternative options. These can be as satisfying and are, for the most part, easier to achieve. Finally, you’ll be able to make an income from fitness!

Here, we’re going to look at a few of the options available. You never know; one may catch your eye.

Become A Sports Teacher

Be honest; the statement ‘those who can’t do, teach’ came into your head the moment you saw this. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, teaching is an amazing way for the best athletes to spread what they know. If you want to specialize, you could work with college kids who are studying for degrees. Or, perhaps you would rather work with a variety of sports. In that case, secondary and primary education would be your best bet.

You will need a degree to make full-time teaching work for you, but studying part time means you could earn and learn at the same time. Or, you could opt to work as a supply teacher. This will mean less money, but it’ll ensure you can get straight to it. Whatever you decide, it may be worth going down this route before you commit. That way, you’ll be able to see whether this suits.

Could You Coach?

Teaching may have its merits, but when you’re dealing with a classroom full of kids, you may not get the engagement you’re after. Often, they won’t want to be there. And, the number of children you teach will make it difficult to form one on one relationships. If that’s what you’re after, you’re better off becoming a coach. Here, you’ll work with a few students individually. The chances are you’ve had plenty of coaches in your life, so you should already know what’s needed. You’ll be able to draw from your own experiences to provide coaching which works. This also has the benefit of keeping you in the athletic surroundings you love. With a bit of luck, your clients will lead you to those same rooms you competed in during your youth.

Go Down A Clinical Route

A clinical route to sports may take you away from the field, but it’s well worth considering. You could opt to specialize in helping rehabilitate sporting injuries. Here, you’ll need to develop your understanding of body and recovery. Using physical therapy, you’ll be responsible for getting athletes back up and running.

Or, perhaps you’d rather go down the psychological route. Sports psychologists stand to make a lot of money if they’re successful. Plus, this opportunity would reveal to you a whole new side of this thing you’ve loved since you were young. Bearing in mind that you would need to study to qualify for this role. But, something like an online Master of Science in Psychology would allow you to study when it suits. That way, you could complete your course in a shorter or longer period, depending on your needs.

Become An Event Organizer

Or, perhaps you’re ready to take a step back. Being at the forefront can be exhausting, and you may well have had enough. It’s possible to move from the limelight and remain within the environment you’ve come to know. Becoming an organizer for athletic events means you can sit back and enjoy the ride without having to worry about getting too physical.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Understanding The Relationship Between Mind & Body For Better Health

If there is one goal which we would all generally agree to being important, it is to remain as fit and healthy as possible for as long as possible. However, put this way, it doesn’t really tell us much. The truth is that there is much more to it than it at first appears, and getting to grips with that is the first essential step towards understanding it more fully. As it turns out, anyone who wants to improve their health in any big and lasting way will benefit massively from understanding a little about the psychology behind it all. Fortunately, such psychology is easy to understand and will help you with any health goals you hope to achieve. Let’s take a deeper look into the world of psychology to understand health a little better.

A Two-Way Relationship

It is often helpful to think of the relationship between health and mind as a yin and yang situation. In one sense, being healthy helps to promote a more positive psychological outlook, and improves mental well-being. But at the same time, fostering a healthy mindset is always going to improve the effectiveness of any decisions you make regarding your physical health. It might be beneficial to visualize the mind and body relationship as a swinging door: no matter which way you push it, it comes back the other way with equal force. Alternately, you might want to go the way of certain spiritual traditions, and consider the mind and body to really just be two parts of the same machine. Seen from this perspective, it makes little difference what you do for one or the other. Improving your mind strengthens your body, and boosting your physical health likewise brings about more positive and beneficial states of mind. We all already know that getting the mind and body in harmony can have hugely positive effects. This is made all the easier by considering that they are really just one thing anyway. Understand the basic nature of this relationship as well as you can; it will help you no matter what you attempt to do to improve your health.

Building A Strong Foundation

Seen from that viewpoint, it is clearly beneficial to try and build a strong foundation from both the physical and mental sides of the equation. If you look at http://trainingtips.com/strong-foundation/ you will get a good idea of what we are going for here. The better the foundation, the starting point, the more effective any subsequent actions to improve one’s health will be, so this is worth looking into at your earliest convenience. In truth, there is practically no end to what you can do to bring about this harmonious foundation – but there are particular first steps which are worth attempting.

For a start, it is a good idea to try and clear both mind and body of any particularly toxic substances. In the physical realm, this means avoiding any genuine toxins which your body probably doesn’t appreciate having inside it. In many cases, this is extremely difficult to do, especially if those toxins are highly addictive substances which you have been dependent on for some time. If this applies to you, consider visiting somewhere like www.orlandorecovery.com to try and rid yourself of the addiction. It might take a long time, but it will be worth it.

On the mental side, getting rid of toxins means working to remove the basis of unhelpful and damaging thought patterns. This, again, is for many people the work of a lifetime. You might even say that useless mental chitter-chatter is something of an epidemic human disease. Nonetheless, you can make small changes each and every day to gradually do away with these types of thoughts. Take up a meditation routine, even just half an hour a day, and you will be well on your way with this side of the bargain.

Keeping The Balance

Your main mission now is to continue to try and keep the balance between body and mind as you work on improving your health. There are countless fitness and health goals which you might be set on achieving. Regardless of what yours are, you should try to ensure that you always work towards them with both body and mind in the center of the issue at all times. This will ensure that you do not focus too heavily on one to the detriment of the other – a common but often unseen flaw which upends many attempts to improve one’s health. Put simply, you need to work on both improving your physical and mental well-being at the same kind of pace.

The Physical Side

When it comes to looking at improving your physical health, there are a number of easy and common changes which you might want to make. If you feel that you have become sluggish, then the first port of call will be to simply get moving in whatever way you can. This might mean going for a jog every other day, or it might even be something much smaller, to begin with. Whatever it takes, make sure you go at a speed which will not cause too much stress to either side of the equation. Take it as slow as is necessary in order to enjoy it, but as fast as you need to in order to see those changes you want to see.

The Mental Side

Of course, in tandem with this, you will want to think about tending to your mental side. This means continuing with that daily meditation practice, for a start. But it’s also a case of keeping stress at bay, killing it the moment it arises within you. This practice alone will do plenty in terms of keeping you centered and healthy, and you might be surprised at what a difference it really does make overall.

Health only comes to you when you focus in a balanced way on both your body and mind. Focus on those aspects of wellbeing which tend to both, such as good nutrition and plenty of rest, and you will be well on your way to greater health.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

You Shouldn’t “Walk Off” An Injury

While often used as a comedic device, the idea of being able to “walk off” an injury is nevertheless a persistent one. Trip and fall while out running? Walk it off! Stretch too far during a yoga class? Walk it off!

The whole idea is based on a fundamental lack of understanding about the human body. While there are some injuries which are temporary – momentary spasms of pain that will recede on their own – there is a huge threat caused by trying to “walk off” an injury that can’t be walked off. Of course, you have no way of knowing if the injury you have sustained can be walked off before you try it – but what happens if you give it a go, and what harm are you doing if you’ve calculated incorrectly?

Think About R.I.C.E.

You’re more than likely aware of what “R.I.C.E” means in an injury capacity, but if not, let’s be clear – it’s not this:

What it actually stands for is the way that you should handle an injury:

R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compression
E – Elevation

While you might think you will always know which injury needs the R.I.C.E. treatment and which doesn’t, you’re probably incorrect. R.I.C.E. is not just for those sudden, sharp injuries like turning your ankle – it should also be used for gradual stress injuries, that you might not even notice are building up.

As a rule, if you feel persistent pain – no matter how mild – in any area of your body, it needs to be R.I.C.E-d.

Strength Through Rest

You might think that because you work out regularly, use supplements like AlgaeCal, and have done your research, then you know best. You know that resting an injury can sometimes be worse for it than anything; back injuries, particularly, have a tendency to get worse rather than better if you cease all exercise.

However, learning about the AlgaeCal plant calcium side effects and researching the latest exercise techniques does not mean that you have the power to see into the future. How do you know the pain you’re experiencing in the moment is the kind that won’t benefit from rest?

Put simply: you don’t. It’s great that you have educated yourself on the supplements you should be taking if you exercise regularly and know your way around dealing with workout aches and pains, but you can’t predict the future. It’s far better to stop the moment you feel pain and make a clear-headed assessment of what’s happening to you.

Pain Isn’t Embarrassing

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the “walk it off” line is often used in comedic terms – i.e. someone walks into a door and is told to “walk it off”. This suggests that pain is an embarrassment, the fault of the person who is feeling the pain.

This isn’t the case. It might be embarrassing to trip over while running, but the pain itself should never be a cause for shame. Bodies go wrong. We make mistakes, miscalculate, and hurt ourselves – it’s completely natural. What is embarrassing is trying to carry on when your body is telling you to stop, thereby inevitably making life worse for yourself. Don’t fall into this trap; if something hurts, stop, evaluate, and then make a decision on how to proceed – no matter what anyone else thinks.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

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