core

How Aging Female Runners Strengthen Their Spine

Aging is a very natural part of life. It might not be the most pleasant experience though. There is a stigma attached to growing older. Society has an obsession with youth. However, there are ways to age gracefully and well. One of them involves daily exercise. Exercise keeps the body strong and limber. Running is a popular exercise that many men and women love to indulge in. Unfortunately, many women experience spine issues that are connected to running. As a woman naturally progresses in age, consider these tips to help strengthen the spine.

Wear Supportive Shoes

Supportive shoes are incredibly important when you are a runner. Your feet hit the pavement really hard and if you don’t have comfortable cushions in place to absorb the shock, this can end up damaging your joints. This will inevitably affect your spine. In order to fully support your body, make sure that you wear supportive shoes that are specifically for running.

Get Professional Treatments

Self-care doesn’t just apply to your body after a long day of work. It also can be applied after a workout. If you know that you have spine issues, it’s best to invest in osteoporosis treatments. To have a professional administer specific care to your back and bones is important. It’s also a good idea to invest in a good masseuse. Massages can do wonders for the lymphatic system and they can also do wonders for your muscles. When your muscles feel strong, this will impact the health of your entire body including your spine.

Work Your Core

Be intentional about doing exercises that strengthen your core. Your core is the area that supports your upper body and your spine. Your core involves your abdominal muscles, and there are plenty of workouts that you can do to strengthen your core. Consider developing a strength-training regimen that caters to this area.

Practice Good Posture

If you sit at a desk all day, understand that this can take a toll on your back. In addition to making sure that your seating is comfortable and supports your back, practice good posture. Work on making sure that you sit with your shoulders back and relaxed. Along with these four tips, make sure to remain gentle with your body. If you’re in the middle of a run and feel pain, slow down and walk. Don’t be afraid to take a break.

It’s also a good idea to try other low-impact exercises like swimming to switch things up. Consider running on asphalt instead of concrete. Asphalt is a lot softer to run on. That way, when it’s time to hit the pavement and start running again, you’ll feel ready to go.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.

Knowing Why And How To Strengthen Your Core

If you’re new to fitness training or just trying to get back in shape; you might be wondering how important is it to strengthen your core in transforming your health? It’s often mysterious; with knowledge about it sometimes only circulated within professional athletes and online bodybuilding forums. But before you target this part of your body in a workout you need to know what it is and the function it plays in the human anatomy.

What is The Core?

The core is deemed as anything that is not your limbs, such as arms and legs. The core is where the human body generates balance and power in order to carry out a movement. The means that your glutes, hips, pelvic scapula and abdominal muscles make up the core of your body; which makes it the central structure of the body where the majority of your weight is centralized. And while the abdominal muscles do play a key role, training the core is much more complex than just focusing on getting a 6-pack.

How The Core Functions

As fighter jet pilots push their aircraft to the limit, the high-gs cause the vision of the pilot to fade, darken and eventually black out. Professional combat pilots rely on staying conscious while they perform combat maneuvers, and so their core must be extremely strong. Core-conditioning consists of sharp inward contractions to brace the inner abdominal muscles, lumbar spine, glutes, and to a lesser extent the thighs. Pilots do this, to keep the blood in their lower and upper body, properly circulating and resist pooling in their legs as this causes the brain to stop receiving a fresh oxygen supply. This is essentially why other athletes train their core so that the central strength of the body gives the rest of the body a strong platform.

Abdominal Vacuum Pressure

Working on your core is not recommended if you’re overweight. Tummy vacuums condition your transverse abdominals (TVA)which are known as the innermost, deepest layer of ab muscles. If you’ve lived a dormant lifestyle, your TVA may not be functioning at all; so getting a response is going to take persistence on your part. To perform this exercise; get on all fours, arch your back upward, and with a deep breath in, then out, as you exhale suck your stomach inward as hard as possible while your upper body maintains relaxed. Try to imagine it by pulling your bellybutton in toward your spine. Do this repeatedly while holding each contraction for 15 seconds at least 5 to 8 times each set.

Bent Leg Shrugs

This can be done with a barbell, but it’s best to use to the kettlebell. Bend your legs slightly, and while your arm is holding the weight, shrug your shoulders without bending your arms. At the same time, suck in your stomach with each rep. This will contract your abs and work deeper and deeper into the inner layers with each shrug.

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.

What is Clean Bulking?

Getting in shape doesn’t always means slimming. For those that are already slim, it can often mean bulking up. Clean bulking is a way of combining diet and exercise to build muscles mass. It’s most popular amongst men wanting to tone up, but recently many women wanting to develop a fuller figure have developed an interest in it too.

Much like slimming, clean bulking require discipline and a lot of motivation. If you’re eager to start here are some of the steps you’ll need to take.

Fixing up Your Diet

You can’t bulk up unless you’re upping your calorie intake. This can scare many people off that fear they’ll get fat as a result. However, if you’re complimenting extra eating with lots of exercises, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Like any slimming diet, the key is still to eat healthily, so that all energy is converted into muscle. Instead of processed carbs like sugary snacks and fried foods, consider eating lots of potatoes, rice, and pasta. Protein is also essential to muscle growth and many people will take supplements such as protein shakes. Organic meats, eggs, nuts and milk can be another great unprocessed source of this protein.

On top of eating the right amount of food, you’ll need to consume a healthy amount of water. Other minerals can also help with a progress. You can find many dietary tips and meal plans for clean bulking online.

It’s all Connected to the Core

A healthy core will affect every other part of your body. It’s what helps you to balance and keep you upright. Most people assume that the core simply means the abs, but it actually incorporates all your torso muscles.

Individual exercises can help with many core muscles. Dips can help build your pecs – you’ll find help online on how to do dips at home for the chest. Sit ups, crunches, Russian twists, and leg raises meanwhile can be great for the abs. Endurance exercises such as the plank meanwhile are great for strengthening your whole core and good additions to add at the end of a workout.

Working Your Arms

There are many ways to bulk up the arms. Push ups and pull ups are great for testing most of your arm muscles. Specific exercises meanwhile can be catered to more specific arm muscles groups such as bicep curls and tricep dips. Gyms will often have all the specialist equipment, but you can often achieve the same result simply by buying a pair of dumbbells and working out from home, as well as getting imaginative with furniture (a couch is brilliant for tricep dips and elevated push ups).

Leg Day

Many people, specifically men, will pay little attention to their legs when bulking up. Forgetting leg day however will make you look disproportioned and have a knock on effect later as your legs aren’t able to support the rest of your body.

Many activities are great for building leg muscle. Cycling works out all your muscles groups from your quads to your calves to your glutes. Other exercises are more focused such as deadlifts and squats that specifically target your quads. If you have a gym membership, you’ll find many machines that can further build up your legs.

Creating a Routine

Bulking up requires a good routine. If you’re working out every day, a sensible option is to cycle between core, legs and arms. This will allow you to focus on each group whilst also allowing enough recovery time. Another approach is to exercise your whole body in one session but to give yourself a day’s break between each session.

A personal trainer may be able to help you create a routine that fits around your weekly schedule. As soon as your routine becomes comfortable, you can then start to up the stakes by increasing the number of reps, the time or the weight.

Whilst most of your exercise regime will be strength-based, it’s good to also include some endurance in there. Cardio exercises strengthen the heart and a healthy heart is much needed when bulking up to provide the extra muscle mass gained with the blood and oxygen it needs.

Staying motivated

Keeping motivated is the biggest challenge. Often the best way to stay motivated is to have a tangible target. This could be a target body shape, a target strength that you wish to be able to reach or a clothing size. From week to week, you should also be setting yourself micro-goals. These could be anything from beating your time at the plank to managing an extra weight.

Tracking your progress is important. Some gyms will have machines that do this for you so that you can keep on target with each week. If you’re training at home, you may be able to use apps to measure your progress. Having body stats available can greatly help to spur you on.

You can also take photographs in the mirror. These will show you how far you’ve come and may provide you the motivation to keep going.

Blogging and social media reporting also helps for some people. From week to week you can report your progress so that others can read and get inspired or simply spur you on.

Some people also find that training with someone else helps. This could involve training with a friend or could involve hiring a personal trainer to help put you through your paces. Make sure that if you are training with a friend or family member that you’re still sticking to your routine. Exercise classes may work for some, but probably not for the majority – whilst the likes of CrossFit incorporate many weight exercises, they do not stick to a routine from week to week and focus more on general fitness. Bulking requires specific training catered to the individual in most cases and you’re unlikely to be able to follow this working with a group of people with different goals and needs. That said, such as exercise groups can be still good to do on the side and have been known to introduce many people to weightlifting and new exercise ideas.

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.

Guest Post: Why Every Runner Needs Proper Cross-Training

So you want to become faster this year? What should you? Most people simply start running more. However, unless you’re an elite athlete, you don’t really need to run more than three (or maybe four) times a week.

So in addition to running, you should do some proper cross-training as well. Cross training will surely keep you motivated to get all of your workouts complete. There are numerous advantages of cross training, including (but not limited to) avoiding burnout and injuries.

What’s more, if you start focusing on a completely different group of muscles (that you may not work enough when you’re running) will ensure that you will become a better and stronger athlete from top to bottom.

But is every cross training technique helpful? As it is with anything in life, cross-training has its downsides. So before you start hitting the gym, you need to ask one question – does this exercise involve moving your pelvis?

The Proper Movement of the Pelvis

This is simply the most important part of healthy running. The frontal and transverse planes of your pelvis need to move properly (it moves sort of like a seesaw, from side to side).

If you spend too much time on exercises that hold it still, you’ll eventually start moving more slowly and become more prone to injuries. Also, keep this in mind – your brain memorizes movements. So if you manage to strengthen your muscles and learn all the right movements, then you’ll be both strong and mobile enough to run better.

Naturally, if you want to cross-train properly, you need to make some serious lifestyle changes, including changing your diet, timing your meals and getting used to careful meal prep.

But let’s get back to the topic at hand – first you need to learn about the right exercises – because if you learn and practice the wrong ones, even if you manage to strengthen the right muscles your training will still be useless. So let’s look at a short list of some cross-training activities, and see how they’ll help you become a better runner.

Why Every Runner Needs Yoga

  • The Big Benefits

Yoga can improve your strength and mobility, especially of your hip joints and core, especially in warrior poses and sun salutations. And if you pay special attention to all the different kinds of movement your pelvis makes, and allow it to move more, yoga will be even more effective.

  • The Possible Downsides

While there are no huge downsides of yoga, you don’t actually need to spend more than two to three hours a week practicing yoga. Only a small amount of it will do the job – so don’t overdo it.

Why Every Runner Needs Swimming

  • The Big Benefits

Freestyle swimming is great for runners for one main reason – it helps them line themselves up from foot to head. But you’ll maybe have to consult a trainer; because you’ll need to do everything properly (proper freestyle involves rolling side to side and lengthening one side first and then the other).

  • The Possible Downsides

However, the effectiveness of swimming mostly depends on what stroking technique you use. For instance, some strokes that doesn’t involve a lot of turning like the butterfly and especially breaststroke are actually not beneficial at all.

Why Every Runner Needs Strength Training

  • The Big Benefits

Most strength enhancing exercises involve spiral movement, balance and of course, turning – all of which are essential to running. And when it comes to pelvis movements, one great exercise for this is pulling a cable and creating resistance while you turn – this will move your pelvis a lit and strengthen your core.

  • The Possible Downsides

On the other hand, you need to pay special attention to small details, because training on machines that don’t move your pelvis at all can be bad for your running abilities. So before you start using certain machines, you’ll need to evaluate the equipment and learn what it does for your body.

Final Thoughts

Those are just a couple of reasons why every runner needs strength training. So what do you think about our list? Do you maybe have a different cross-training routine? If you do, you should definitely leave a comment in the section bellow and share it with the rest of us.

What Are The Benefits of Core Slider Disc Workouts

Slider discs are one the smallest and cheapest pieces of exercise equipment available. Now you might have confused them for the discs you put under furniture to help move it, but these discs can broaden your range of exercises while reducing your risk of injury. They also work your core and abs a lot differently than your typical exercises. Here are the benefits of core slider disc workouts.

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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.

Guest Post: 5 Workouts to Do in Your Backyard

Staying fit and physically active is very important for our overall health, not to mention the ideal appearance. With constant workout sessions, one can combat different issues a lot easier. It is well-known that exercises boost the immune system, makes the joints more flexible, helps us get rid of toxins, lift up energy levels, etc. In order to create an effective workout routine, you don’t need to invest a lot of money or visit gyms. Your body is your best tool. Which is why we’re sharing 5 workouts to do in your backyard.

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