Can I Wear Invisalign to Play Sports

Many Invisalign patients lead active lives and play a variety of sports. If you play sports and are considering Invisalign or are currently undergoing treatment, you may be asking yourself if you can wear Invisalign to play sports.

The answer to this question depends on the type of sport you play. If you play a contact sport such as football, you should wear a mouth guard. In addition to reducing your risk of injury or trauma such as broken teeth, a mouth guard can protect you from a serious head injury like a concussion.

Therefore, if you play a contact sport, it’s wise to remove your Invisalign aligners before you put on your mouth guard. Do not wear your Invisalign aligners underneath your mouth guard so that your mouth guard can provide optimal protection for your teeth and lips.

The majority of school sports teams and athletic organizations require participants to wear mouth guards. While Invisalign may seem like a good substitute for a mouth guard, it cannot provide you with the complete protection you need while playing contact sports.

If you play a sport such as golf that does not require a mouth guard, you can keep your aligners in your mouth. You won’t have to worry about any sharp brackets or wires hurting your mouth during the game and can continue treatment without any issues.

As long as you wear your Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours a day, you’ll enjoy great results at the end of your treatment. For further information about Invisalign and sports, reach out to Raleigh Orthodontist Dr. Jason Gladwell of Gladwell Orthodontics.

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 with a Sports Management minor.

How Soon After Wisdom Teeth Removal Can I Run?

While wisdom tooth removal is a common procedure, it is still considered a surgery that comes with certain postoperative care directions. If you’re a runner, you may be wondering how wisdom teeth removal will impact your running schedule.

After your procedure, you should avoid your regular running routine for about a week. If you do wish to run, try to plan a light run that includes a longer warm up and a jog rather than a full-blown run. When you run, be sure you are not clenching your jaw and keep your posture upright.

Once a few weeks since your wisdom teeth removal have passed, you should be able to get back to your regular running routine. When you do so, remember to warm up, drink plenty of water, and stretch once you’ve completed your run. It’s also wise to focus on your core so that you can strengthen your abs and back and reduce stress on your neck, lower back, and jaw.

Since every patient’s wisdom teeth removal experience is different, you should wait until your dentist or oral surgeon has cleared you for exercise before resuming your running routine. If your wisdom teeth were non-impacted, you will likely be allowed to get back to running quickly. In the event they were impacted, your dentist or oral surgeon may advise you to wait a bit longer.

If you have further questions about running and wisdom tooth removal, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Brett Wells of Wells Family Dental Group.

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 with a Sports Management minor.

Staying Fit as a Digital Nomad

So you’ve taken the jump and are now living the life of your dreams, good for you!

You don’t have to tie yourself to a desk, you never sit in traffic, and you choose when and where you work. Could there be a sweeter way for a woman to make her way in the world? Well, how about the downsides? Granted, there aren’t all that many, but if you want to get the most out of it, you need to take a few simple steps to stay in shape and feel great.

Ditch the Junk Food

An extra bit of cake in Starbucks or some Thai noodles as a last minute takeout are both fun things to do; no one’s pretending they’re not! But you want to do it in moderation as with all good things. The trick is to remember that if you want to enjoy your newfound nomadic freedom, you need to give your body the energy that it needs to really thrive. You can’t really snooze at your desk because you don’t have one, and if you’re always run down, you’ll just end up working from home. And that’s pretty boring, right?

Cut out the junk food by making a few healthy choices throughout the day and healthy eating will become the one habit you never want to break before you know it. Starting the day with a smoothie is awesome. Have a light lunch with a salad and some lean protein like chicken or raw fish, and then make dinner a real event.

Cooking is Fun. Don’t Forget it!

The great thing about cooking is that the more you get into it, the more fun you’ll have doing it. If you want to be able to stick to your new healthy lifestyle, then making sure that your kitchen is always stocked up is the perfect way to get the ball rolling.
Anyone who’s always out and about or loves a bit of freedom throughout the day will love to come home in the evenings and relax. By having a fridge bursting full of healthy choices like organic meat and fresh fruit and veg, you’ll be the girl that your friends envy in no time as you show how easy it is to stick to a diet when you make it fun.

Try a dozen or so different recipes and tweak your favorites so that you can put your own spin on things. Before you know it, you’ll have a home menu that is to die for. Just make sure you have enough in for the friends you meet along the way as they all make a path to your door.

Stay Active: Embrace the Nomad Life

The great thing about being a nomad is that you don’t have to follow the crowd and sit in traffic at the same time each day. Doing that is just no fun, which is why you decided not to do it! Make sure you never lose sight of that by always making the best use of your time and working up a sweat at least once a day.

You could have a set time you work out in the local park if it’s sunny. Or you could join the gym and get through some work before and after at the nearby juice bar. Life as the nomadic woman everyone else envies is all about making time for everything life offers you. If you put aside half an hour a day to work out, you’ll feel the difference in no time at all.

Make the Most of Your Flexibility

People who are chained to their desks in offices all year round wait for those magical two weeks of summer holiday every year. You’re not like that, so make sure you make the most of your hard earned freedom and flexibility by taking yourself away for plenty of week-long breaks and long weekends when you can.

A great way to chill out and get back in touch with the real you is to take a walking holiday every couple of months. By exploring a new country and culture you’ll be able to meet a whole host of new people, enjoy great food, and see some amazing sights along the way.

The Camino de Santiago is a great candidate for your next trip as it boasts hundreds of miles of intertwining trails that can be walked by people of virtually any fitness levels. Ideal if you want to sample some Spanish delights and stretch your legs without burning yourself out.

Anything Else?

Just remember to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’re someone who’s taken a chance and shaped the life that you want to lead, rather than following the crowd.
A true digital nomad should be out there in the world, exploring anything and everything that takes her fancy.

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 with a Sports Management minor.

Beauty for Busy Active Women

We’ve all had those days when we’re too busy running around to stop and properly go through our full skincare routines. What happens if “busy” is your default way of life? If you are a woman with a very active lifestyle, here are some tips on how you can still take great care of your skin without having to come to a halt:

Nourish Your Skin from Within

Beauty companies like Well Within Beauty believe that great skin is the result of an overall healthy lifestyle. What you feed your body and how you treat it are just as important as the products you use. As an active woman, you probably already know that eating a balanced diet and taking vitamins affects your body in several different days, not just one.

Besides high-quality organic skincare products, Well Within Beauty also offers nutritional supplements keep your skin healthy and glowing from within. These plant-based supplements are packed with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants that renew, strengthen and protect your skin while boosting your overall health as well.

Master the Art of Cleansing

Proper cleansing is one of the most important steps in skincare. If you have a busy, active lifestyle, chances are you accumulate a lot of dust, sweat and excess oil on your skin when you come home at the end of the day. You need to cleanse your skin properly to keep it clear and healthy.

Master the art of the double cleanse. Double cleansing means that you first go in with an oil-based cleanser (you can choose from cleansing oils, cleansing balms, or straight up facial oils) to remove your makeup, sunscreen and all the grime that is sitting on the surface of your skin. You would then follow this up with a water-based cleanser (your favorite foaming or non-foaming cleanser) to get rid of any lingering traces of oil or dirt.

Why an oil-based cleanser first? The idea is that oil mixes with oil, so an oil-based cleanser can do a better job at breaking down the natural oils that gather on your skin at the end of the day than plain water can.

When it comes to your second cleanser, choose a gentle cleanser with a pH level of about 5 to 6, so that it mimics the natural pH level of the healthy skin. Anything too basic or alkaline can cause dryness or irritation and compromise your skin’s natural protective barrier.

Moisturize Religiously

As a busy, active woman, you probably don’t have the time to go through a complicated beauty routine. A lot of the steps in an elaborate skin care routine are aimed at targeting specific concerns, so if your skin is already in pretty good condition, you can skip these to save time.

One step you should never skip, however, is putting on moisturizer. The healthiest skin is the type that is well hydrated and moisturized. Healthy, hydrated skin does an excellent job of maintaining itself, so if you keep your skin well moisturized, it will do the rest of the work for you.

Never Skip Sunscreen

Lastly, you should remember to wear sunscreen daily. This is especially important if you are active woman, as you may be more exposed to the sun’s harmful rays in your day to day activities. Sunscreen is the single most important anti-aging product you can add to your skincare routine, so if you’re wearing sunscreen every day, you can skip all those other fancy creams and serums that promise to delay signs of aging.

These are some quick, easy tips on how you can enjoy great skin even with a busy, active lifestyle. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to have good skin—our skin is already pretty good at taking care of itself, we just need to support its natural abilities and avoid irritating it.

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 with a Sports Management minor.

Las Vegas Travel and Entertainment Guide

If there is such a thing as the most exciting place on Earth, Las Vegas is surely a serious contender. Known for its thriving gambling and casino industry and theme attractions, Las Vegas is, in fact, much more than that. This heart of American entertainment is home to an incredible number and variety of shows, performances, concerts, events, conventions, and shopping streets.

Vegas is so firmly resolved to entertain you that it stops at nothing to provide you with whatever you find worth your money. From the passionate gambler to the casual sightseer, everyone can have the time of their lives in the Silver City. Here is a brief guide to travel and entertainment in Las Vegas to help you make the most of your visit.

Travel tips

Vegas is a popular destination, and the flights are almost constantly booked. Besides that, the plane tickets can get very expensive if you aren’t careful enough to schedule on time.

There is a number of ways you can score cheap Vegas tickets, though. Most of these rules apply for any kind of plane tickets, except that with Vegas, the challenge is greater due to the huge demand.

First of all, you should organize your trip well ahead, so that you can buy your tickets while the prices are still low. Ticket prices tend to fluctuate a lot, but some say that the best time to buy tickets is 47 days before the flight. There is really no way to know for sure how airlines handle their business, but many have reported success with this method.

Nowadays, no one really goes to an airline office to buy tickets. Instead, people do that online. However, you should be careful with online booking because the website will attempt to trick you. For instance, if you select the same flight more than once, each subsequent time you will get a higher price. You can avoid this by clearing your browser cookies so that the website doesn’t know you’re revisiting.

Most people prefer to fly to Vegas from Friday to Sunday. However, those are also the most expensive days when it comes to flights. Instead, opt for a Saturday to Monday trip if possible, as you can save a lot of money that way.

Nightlife and entertainment tips

Nightlife in Vegas is spectacular and often very expensive. You can find clubs, casinos, and other similar venues all around the Strip. However, unless you bring a decent amount of cash with you, it really pays off to do some research in advance.

Concerts and performances happen all the time in Vegas. If you want to see a particular show, it’s best to find out about it as early as possible. That way, you will be able to purchase a ticket online from a third party. Otherwise, buying the tickets on the spot is much more expensive.

Casinos

Casinos in Vegas are among the best in the world but do not go there if you aren’t prepared to lose money. It’s important to have the right attitude and to be aware that losing money happens all the time. If you are passionate about gambling and have enough money at hand, you will have the time of your life in Vegas.

However, if you live overseas and dream about visiting Vegas, you should check out online casinos instead. That way, you can have a bit of Vegas glamour in your life regardless of your location. You can find some of the world’s best online casinos at New Zealand CasinosBeste Nettcasino, and GemSlots Welcome Bonus.

Clubs

When it comes to Vegas clubs, expect to see much higher prices than in other places. For example, in most clubs, the price of a single drink can be as high as $15. That’s not all you’ll be paying for since you usually have to pay for entry. You can be exempt from that rule if you are a lady because many clubs offer significant discounts for women if you come at a specific time. Men will have to pay more in most cases.

However, you can still save some money by finding a promoter instead of entering on your own. A promoter’s job is to get as many people to the club as possible, and they can let you in with a discount or for free. Keep track of all the fliers and promotional materials you get during your stay. The key to saving money in Vegas is keeping track of happy hours and discounts.

A final tip

Hopefully, you’ve learned something helpful from this guide. However, there is one more thing to keep in mind when visiting Vegas – you should know the rules of conduct.

Some tourists see Vegas as an opportunity to behave rudely and berate the staff in local venues or act as if they owned the place. Avoid acting out and treat others with respect, and you will see a significant difference in how they treat you. The employees in Vegas know the difference between a VIP and a rude guest. Do yourself a favor and leave the best possible impression, and you will have the time of your life.

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 with a Sports Management minor.

How to Improve Your Cadence

When it comes to cadence, we’ve all heard that the magic number is 180 – why is this though? At the 1984 Olympics, famed coach and running researcher Jack Daniels counted the strides of distance runners as they raced, and discovered that nearly all of them took at least 180 steps per minute. Many experts have cited Daniel’s work in suggesting to minimize overstriding, lessen impact forces on the legs, and maintain forward momentum, runners should always aim to hit that number. However, your cadence is hinged on your pace. Even Olympians take fewer steps per minute when they run at a slower speed. As a matter of fact, your easy and 5K paces may differ by up to 20 steps per minute. With that being said though if your cadence at 5K pace is below 180, it needs a boost. Here’s how to improve your cadence at every pace.

Take Notes:

First, establish your baseline cadence for all of your training speeds. On a treadmill, begin at warm-up pace and increase the speed by one minute per mile until you’re at 5K pace. As you reach each training pace (easy, marathon, temp, etc.) give yourself a minute or so to adjust to the speed, then begin counting your steps for 30 seconds. Multiply by two, record the number, then accelerate to your next pace. You should see that as your speed increases, your cadence increases. You can also do this on the track using intervals of 800 to 1200 meters.

Set a Target:

Add five percent to each of your recorded numbers. This is your goal cadence for each pace. According to biomechanics researchers, five percent is an attainable target that is still big enough to significantly reduce impact. So for example, if your easy run cadence was 160, aim for 168; if your tempo was 166, strive to hit 174.

Practice it:

One of the easiest ways to quicken your step is to run with a metronome (there’s an app for that!). You can also use things like JogTunes to find music with beats that match your desired turnover. Otherwise, monitor your progress with a 30-second cadence check every couple of miles. To accelerate the transition, schedule a workout like downhill sprints (Check “Get in Stride” below). If you’re struggling with the new target, lower it by two to three percent. Practice that revised cadence for three weeks, and then bump it back up again.

Get in Stride:

Here are some weekly workouts to train your legs for a faster turnover:

The Workout: Downhill Sprints

Details: After an easy run, do five accelerating sprints (strides) down a gentle grade of 150 to 200 meters, reaching top speed at the bottom. Walk back up for recovery.

The Workout: Fast Feet

Details: Using short, quick strides, take as many steps as you can in 10 meters. Keep your ground contact as short as possible. Jog for 10 meters. Repeat five times.

The Workout: Race-Pacer Tester

Details: Run fartleks of 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minute, and 1 minute at 5K pace. Jog one minute between reps. Do two sets. Count your steps or use a metronome during each rep of the second set.

 

Get Your FREE Guide to Improve Your Cadence

Want an easy way to refer back to this information? Get our FREE guide!

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 with a Sports Management minor.

Five Tips To Staying Fit In Summer

As we all know, there is oftentimes a tendency to “let go” during the summer. That letting go and having fun, however, doesn’t mean that we should let go of our waistline as well!

There are many ways that you can stay fit during summer. and the five tips that we’re going to be introducing today are both easy and fun. It won’t feel like you’re cutting off the festivities by spending hours and hours away from your family and friends by missing out on the great summer days and nights! In fact, it will even add to your summer adventures!

Looking to stay fit in a fun and easy way? Here’s how!

1. FUN — Summer’s All About Having Fun

The best part of summer is the freedom! Sure, it’s nice to just relax and stay at home — rest your tired bones and just watch a good movie. But even that gets dull after a while! That’s why our first tip for you… is to have fun! Try something new, like going out and having a swim at the beach. Maybe try out the new water park or heck, try out some skydiving. Whatever you want to try, just make sure to keep yourself busy and your body moving! Even a couple of hours spent window shopping at the air-conditioned mall is a lot better for your weight than doing nothing at home.

2. COOK — Eat Your Favorite Meals

Again, part of the beauty of summer is having that free time. Even if cooking is not your forte, you can try your hand at some home-cooked meals. This will help you stay away from eating out greasy and fattening processed foods. If you don’t like the waiting time involved, drag someone along with you and make it a fun activity. Control everything that you’re eating to help keep some of those infamous summer pounds away!

3. WATER — Stay Hydrated

This is less about having fun and more about making sure that you keep having fun! Summer days come with a stifling heat, and it can dry you out. Make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day. It’s been proven in several studies to help suppress one’s appetite and it’s even said to support the burning of fat. Summer opens up chances to try out activities or classes that you can’t normally do throughout the year. Sign up for something fun and exciting, like a swimming class or surfing lesson.

4. PREP — Prep Your Mind and Body

These tips are pretty good on their own, but if you want to take things further, then you’re going to have to think outside of the box. The key thing here is making sure that you get yourself ready. To do that, try warming up a couple of minutes a day, maybe even go as far as energizing yourself with some pre-workout supplements!

Just make sure that you’re planning everything out and staying away from injuries. The biggest thing here is making sure that you actually do something. To do that, you’re going to have to take control of your plans and stay motivated. Happy summer!

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 with a Sports Management minor.

Tactics to Help you For Your Next Exam

They say that if want something underneath you must stoop. The saying applies in all life situations include academics. Passing exams is not easy if you do not do your part as a student. Most students feel pressured at the last minute when the exam timetable appears on different boards of the school. Those who are not prepared for exams look for ways to pass them without struggling. While others sneak in phones to surf during exams, some spend the evening before an exam trying to cram everything under the influence of drugs.

Studies show that last-minute rush can never make you achieve better than studying earlier. Even if it is normal to be anxious over a paper, proper preparation reduces such anxiety so that your mind remains focused. Some common signs of distress include inattentiveness, feeling blank, headache, increased heart rate and nausea. The following strategies will help you know how to handle such symptoms during a test so that you can maintain high performance.

Come up With Useful Study Habits

Avoid being the deadline student who gets confused about what course to prioritize at the last minute. With so many courses in one semester, you need a plan on how you should revise for each session as the semester begins. Instead of idling around the school compound enjoying life, find constructive friends and create a study group. Form a schedule for you and your study buddies to meet for group discussions regularly. This will help you understand something that a teacher may have rushed on in class.

Sharing ideas will also help you put concepts in real life scenarios so that you can have relevant examples in a test. You can also form a habit of taking notes in class. Even when the teacher uses slides and leaves class notes on the class email, there are some things that he might say that you won’t find in the notes. Jot down what you feel is important so that you can refer back later.

Avoid Cramming

Reduce stress by preparing early enough for your exams. Your brain cannot accommodate everything all at once. Cramming brings uncertainty and tension since you are likely to forget even the concepts that you were sure about. Spending a whole night cramming affects your nerves thus increase stress in the morning. Even if you are a bright student, take some time to read outside class so that your exam does not make you sweat.

Come up with ways of improving your memory so that you won’t feel the need to cram. Create mnemonics to help you remember concepts that you forget quickly. Regular reviewing of your notes prevents you from forgetting so that you don’t have to cram.

Stay Focused

Being in school comes with distractions from your friends. You may find it hard to concentrate on your studies while there is so much to do. Remember that the primary goal in school is to pass exams. Therefore, know how to prioritize your studies above everything else. Be the lady who sits in front in class so that you can concentrate during lectures. Do not feel intimidated to ask your lecturer questions if you don’t understand something. Your friends may find this weird but learn from you at the end of the semester when you beat them in exams.

Do Not Hesitate to Get Help

If you are the kind of student who believes in drugs to pass exams, you are ruining your life. Save yourself from addiction by visiting https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/local-rehab-resources/colorado/castle-rock/. This center will help you find better ways of dealing with anxiety as you detox from drugs. When you get back to school, avoid peer pressure from friends who try to sell you pills for you to stay focused while studying. Talk to a counselor if you are too anxious to sit for a paper and let them help you prepare better for exams.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Man is to err and no matter the pressure to succeed, sometimes we fail. Take failure positively and correct your errors so that you can do better on your next test. Instead of feeling sad, find answers where you went wrong on a test and take criticism positively. Let every situation be a learning experience for you.

Remain Relaxed

Taking a hard test is not the end of life. Ensure that you have everything ready a before your exam. Get to the room early so that you can get a spot that makes you comfortable. Avoid being late to an exam room since rushing makes you more nervous. Learn to relax by breathing before you start your paper. Switch your thoughts to something different so that you can calm down. Once your mind is refreshed, you can now turn your paper and start. It is time to focus without getting anxious as you avoid anything that might distract your thoughts. Avoid fellow students who show more panic and concentrate on keeping calm.

Join a Team

Every student should be a member of at least one team. You can teach yourself baseball, handball or basketball. Such sports make you keep busy after classes so that you can improve the functioning of your brain. Ensure that you spend an evening playing your favorite game before your exam. This will give you a clear mind so that you can wake up feeling rejuvenated for your test.

Eat Something

Taking an exam while hungry is not healthy for your mind. Ensure that you eat before entering an exam room. Take fruits such as a banana to reduce stress and tension. This does not mean that you take stuff such as fries or sodas. Such foods are known to increase anxiety levels, thus, avoid them.

Final Thoughts

Every student is bound to feel some level of anxiety. What differentiates these levels is how prepared one is. Quit looking for unhealthy shortcuts to pass exams and find ways to reduce test anxiety so that you can comfortably sit for a paper without sweating excessively. Implementing the strategies outlined above will not only help you as a student but also prepare you for life challenges in future.

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 with a Sports Management minor.

Review of The Millennial’s Guide to Changing The World

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Let me begin by saying “The Millennial’s Guide to Changing The World” is the wake-up call, not just millennials need but everyone. For most millennials when we hear the term referring to our generation; we cringe a little because of the negativity that is associated with it. I personally, can’t think of the last time I heard “millennial” in a positive way. Here’s my review of The Millennial’s Guide to Changing The World.

In Alison Lea Sher’s debut book she writes in a real and relatable way. This comes from the facts, her life experience, and the overall drive to share her thoughts on what’s wrong with society, the world, and everything in between in the most real and honest way. However, she doesn’t stop there. She also offers real advice for what we, millennials, can do to change things.

I highly recommend this inspiring read. You can find it on Amazon through this link. You can also check out Alison Sher’s website: http://www.millennials-incorporated.com

Sher sums it up the best by saying this book isn’t just for millennials, but also for the baby boomers are trying to understand us, the forgotten Gen X’ers, and the Gen Z’ers who might be trying to figure out what their future looks like.

Let me say it a little for those in the back, this book is NOT just for millennials. It’s to help bring a common understanding between the current generations that are attempting to coexist on this planet.

Once I began to read this book I was like, “wait… that’s me!” Sher discusses how millennials are struggling with finding purpose in a society where a traditional lifestyle looks like education, stable job, marriage, house, children, etc. But, millennials are most often seeking higher levels of education than the generations that came before us. Despite that, we still face an extremely competitive job market that leaves a percentage of us… screwed. This leaves most of us having to push off the traditional lifestyle, if not possibly walking away from it altogether.

Times are constantly changing, and the millennial generation alone is changing the way things are done. There are people making careers on YouTube and Instagram. You’re reading this on my blog, something I rarely tell people about because of the raised eyebrow I know I can expect in response due to currently seeking a degree. Then there’s the fact our generation is one of the most aware generations and has a desire to make a difference in the world. We want to feel like we have a purpose and fulfill it.

Honestly, this book made me feel like I wasn’t alone. It somewhat reinforces the idea that I’m not alone in stressing about my purpose – common for college students. Sher includes a multitude of interviews with millennials who are doing various things. Real stories from real people giving a dose of reality to anyone who reads this book. Sher includes stories of people with identity struggles finding themselves, the ones who are still struggling to find themselves, the ones who are already making a huge difference in the world, and the ones who are just trying to survive. These stories are all important.

A point that Sher emphasizes is the idea that everything is connected. Meaning, everything we do and every choice we make influence our environment which, in turn, then affects us. That’s why there is this overwhelming need for change. As millennials, we have the resources and power to make a difference… and that’s what we need to do.

“The Millennial’s Guide to Changing The World” is the book our world needs right now. Sher manages to touch on everything from politics, relationships, our environment and gets real about what’s wrong with us (ALL of us). Her humorous approach is what makes this book an enjoyable read, but she shows that change is possible with little perseverance.

So if you’re looking to change the world, or maybe just make a difference, I highly recommend checking this book out. It’s one of those books you can truly read over and over.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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 with a Sports Management minor.

My Journey to Self-Love as a Runner

Can I get a little personal today? Some of you may know that I started this blog as a freshman in high school… at the age of 14, I knew I wanted to help empower women (men are welcome too!) on their fitness journey. Part of helping empower people is by helping them feel more confident which means learning to love yourself just the way you are. With that, today I wanted to share my personal journey to self-love as a runner.

I grew up running around a track, some of my biggest goals are running based. Running is a sport I’ve fallen in love with, but it’s been a rocky road with running. Even though I love my sport today, it wasn’t always so simple.

Despite growing up running, I wasn’t always thrilled about having a “runner’s body”. When I began to truly focus on improving in my sport, instead of focusing on improving my time, I could only focus on how my body looked. To me at that point, it didn’t matter that I could keep up with and beat others my age. It only mattered that I had larger quads and calves, strong arms, a defined back and core, but none of the other girls did. That for some unknown reason I was a distance runner with “thunder thighs”.

These thoughts weren’t limited to my early teenage years either; they were there up until I ran my first half-marathon just a few months ago – roughly 5ish years. It was at this point I was pushed athletically to limits I partially didn’t know existed. My entire life I was a 5,000-meter runner, with an occasional 10K thrown in, but it never occurred to me that it was because of my strong body, including my “thunder thighs” that I was able to quickly run these distances comfortably.

It’s been almost a year since my mentality of hating my muscular thighs, arms, back, etc switched to learning to love it. It’s because of my muscles that I can run.

My “thunder thighs” have helped finish numerous 5 and 10Ks and two half-marathons; plus running however many miles in each training cycle. Have pushed through however many 200, 400, 800m repeats. Lightly danced up a hill at the end of the race when you have nothing left in the tank. Somehow manage to keep pushing through even though your mind gave up a half mile ago.

I grew up not liking the way I looked because it wasn’t normal in my sport to look strong. Despite all distance runners being strong, it almost felt as though everyone else on the track could look strong but we couldn’t. The acceptance we see today is very new, but I’m glad that our sport is evolving. However, this acceptance goes beyond our sport. It’s becoming more prominent in other areas as well such as the fashion industry. A prime example is True & Co. who’s goal is to create bra’s that help women feel confident in their own skin.

Hopefully, with the evolution, our sport is going through, it will help give confidence to those young girls (or boys) coming up in our sport to love the way they are built even if it isn’t like their teammates. Despite the importance of that, I also hope it helps any of you out there whether you’ve grown up running or just picked it up a day ago, that no matter where you start you’re a runner. I see so many women constantly put themselves down in our sport.

Either because they have strong runner thighs, or because they “don’t look like a runner”. The beauty of our sport is the true diversity in it. I’ve toed the lines at many 5k, 10k, and a couple of half-marathons; I’d say 90% of the people there didn’t have what you would consider a “runner’s body”. It doesn’t matter how you look if you love running, yoga, powerlifting, whatever. Quit beating yourself down for not looking a certain way, learn to embrace your body.

Embrace it and learn to love it by understanding that without your “thunder thighs” you couldn’t properly perform in your sport. Without broad shoulders, keeping yourself balanced would be tougher. The list could go on, but you see the point I’m making. Your body is built the way it is because it adapts to the stress you put it under whether it be running, cross-country skiing, etc. I know it’s tough, but you can do it; you can learn to love your self just the way you are. Just takes looking at what you consider “flaws”, in a different light.

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 with a Sports Management minor.

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