exercise

Mind Over Matter

When it comes to getting fit, so many people seem just to be able to up sticks and completely transform their lifestyles without even trying. This gives many of us the impression that good health and fitness simply comes naturally to some of us; meaning that the rest of us are destined to be unfit or overweight forever more.

What a lot of us fail to recognize is that sure, it may seem as though these fitness fanatics can whip themselves into shape at any given moment. But in reality, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.

That girl with the perfectly sculpted shoulders and rock hard abs? Her body could be the result of years of work in an uphill struggle. The point boils down to the fact that if you really want to get fit, you need to work for it. And if you want to work for it, you need to change your mindset. Trying to embark on an aggressive fitness plan with an unhealthy mindset is a complete no-go; it’s a little bit like trying to run a marathon with a sprained ankle. Get your mental health in order, and watch the amazing effect it can have on your physical health too. Here’s the importance of mind over matter.

Change Those ‘I Can’ts’ Into ‘I Can’s’

The number one thing that stops people achieving their fitness goals is believing that they are going to fail. Of course, we do have to be realistic – in some cases, you might indeed fail. But that’s okay. We all fail at things from time to time, but it isn’t an excuse to give up. Instead, make a point of learning from your failure and let it guide you in what to do next. When you stop being so harsh on yourself for not getting things right first time, you will open yourself up to growth and progress.

Erase Any Long-Standing Mental Health Issues

Putting pressure on yourself to excel physically, while ignoring any mental issues you may be struggling with, is only going to catch up with you in the end. If you have been struggling with something such as anxiety, depression, OCD or any other type of mental health problem, visit a clinical psychologist who will be able to help you recover. You would be surprised at how much more motivated you feel to go out and exercise (and not to eat junk food) when you are taking significant steps to improve your mental health.

Cut yourself some slack

One recurring theme in people suffering from mental health issues or body image disorders is that they constantly beat themselves up for veering away from their goals. If this sounds like you, the important thing to remember is that we are all only human. Even the fittest people in the world have the odd ‘cheat day‘ every now and again, after all. Eating a few slices of pizza is not going to undo all your hard work in one sitting; so don’t spend time dwelling on the things that don’t really matter.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Why It’s Important to Listen To Your Body

Taking care of your body when you are exercising should be your top priority. Without the body there to do the job, you can’t focus your energy into what you enjoy/is good for you. From eating the right food to listening to what your body is wanting and needing, it can be a pretty tough gig to constantly follow up everything that is happening. But there are some things that you may not be noticing with your body that could be a sign of something more meaningful and important going on. Here’s why it’s important to listen to your body.

Sleep

If you’re not feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep, you probably aren’t getting the amount of hours that you need. Although the recommended is a solid 8 hours, there are few people who can actually achieve this – we wake ourselves up more so than we should by looking at our smartphones in the middle of the night to check the time, or stresses and worries can start to creep upon us. Think about when the last time you slept through solidly was. If you can’t remember, it may be time to start going to bed earlier to try and get your 8 hours in. Another cause of feeling tired and restless when you wake up is sleep apnoea. This can come in two forms – obstructive and central – and it restricts your breathing so that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen while it is trying to rest. A simple sleep test will be able to determine whether or not you have it.

Heart Health

Most people aren’t aware of their heart rate and how fast it is meant to beat – it’s usually between 60 to 100 beats per minute, with a rise considered for exercise. It can be hard to constantly keep a check of your ticker, but if you feel like it’s not working as it should be it’s time to get it checked out before it’s too late. Even an irregular heartbeat can be a sign of something more serious; atrial fibrillation, or afib for short, is a condition that is brought on by a malfunction of the electrical system to your heart. Looking up afib information online is easy and can help massively with keeping you alert to the sign and symptoms of it.

Limbs

Pain in your arms and legs during or after exercise is commonly associated with going a bit too hard on your work out, but if it’s lasting any time longer than it should (a couple of days at the most), and you are feeling completely exhausted by what you have done, it could be a sign of adrenal fatigue. The best thing you can do is head to a doctor to get diagnosed and make sure that you’re not suffering more than you should be.

What’re Your Thoughts

Taking care of your body is of the utmost important, but it’s hard to do it unless you’re really considering the signs and symptoms it is offering to you. If you’re feeling unwell or unusual, don’t consider it as a one-off – get it checked out.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: Top 10 Weight Loss Exercises

Losing weight can be a difficult prospect. With so much information out there, it can be tough to find the right method. In this article, I’ll be talking about some fantastic weight loss exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime, and can help increase your metabolism so your body will burn off fat like butter.

There’s a common belief that only long distance or cardiovascular endurance type of exercises are good for weight loss. While you do lose weight while doing those exercises, they don’t increase your metabolism very much, because they don’t build much muscle mass. By doing some strength training, you will increase your muscle tone, and this will increase your metabolism. This can dramatically help you lose weight.

Squats

Squats are a great way to strengthen your upper legs, calves, stomach, and lower back. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Take a deep breath in. Pull you arms back behind you, and begin to swing them forward as you squat down. Put the weight on the balls of your feet. Swing your arms so they tips of your fingers barely touch the floor. Inhale as you stand up. Repeat as many times as you can. At first, you’ll be able to do ten or twenty, but you’ll be able to increase over time.

Push ups

Push ups are another great way to increase your lean muscle mass. They work pretty much every muscle above the waist. Start in the push-up position, and then raise your backside so that you are in an upside down V. As you lower your midsection, sweep your chest and face forward, and then lift them up. Your legs and waist should be just above the floor, and chest and face should be pointed forward. Return to the V position and repeat. This is fairly difficult, so don’t expect to do more than a couple the first time. Just keep at it, and be prepared to be amazed at the changes in your upper body.

Sit up

Build good looking abs with sit ups. There are countless variations, so just choose one that you are familiar with. A common one, which works plenty of muscles, is called the mummy sit up. Lay down on your back, like you are getting ready to go to sleep. Then sit up without bending your legs, or lifting them off the floor. When you can do twenty-five of these, consider yourself to have stronger stomach muscles that pretty much anybody you meet.

Walking

Walking makes the best exercises list not because it is extraordinary but because you do it every day. It is extremely easy to stick to a workout plan when it includes walking because it’s something you do anyway. Simply making yourself walk more or further is much easier task than keeping that New Year’s resolution to go to the gym three times a week!

Planks

A plank is a variation of a push up and really works the core muscles. It includes pushing up off the ground as if you’re going to do a push up, but instead holding the pose for at least one minute. A repetition of ten to twenty planks per day will shed the pounds quicker than with 500 pushups a day! It is a good idea to start out slow as just one of these can really make a difference in your overall weight loss.

Dance

Dancing is an incredibly fun and easy way to shed pounds quickly. It also falls into the category of walking in that it is something that is easy to do when you are cleaning house or just lazing around on a Saturday morning. Remember it is always the things that are enjoyable that help you lose weight fast and that is because you are more likely to stick to the regimen if you aren’t bored or feel like you are punishing yourself.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings are a safe and effective exercise for most people. It’s a great full body workout that recruits several different muscle groups. Kettlebell swings not only improve muscle definition, but they’ll work on your cardiovascular endurance as well. If you have back pain, these are a great low impact exercise to improve endurance and strengthen the muscles of the back without a lot of risk for injury.

Strengthening Exercise

Strengthening exercise builds muscular strength and is a great complement to aerobic exercise. Lifting weights or utilizing resistance training machines are a great way to build muscle strength, but you can also successfully build muscle in the comfort of your own home by doing sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts or taking a 2-5 pound weight with you when you go for a walk. Resistance bands can be purchased and used in the comfort of your home, as well.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility training is important because as we age, the full range of motion of our muscles and joints can decrease, and stretching can prevent this from happening. It’s easy to incorporate stretching into your exercise routine by stretching for at least 5-10 minutes before and after aerobic and strength-training exercise programs. And be sure you don’t overstretch, as this can injure your body.

Combo Workout Regimens

Combo workouts are quicker ways to lose weight. Doing the same workout every day can not only be boring but it can also prevent you from seeing true results. Once your body becomes conditioned to a workout it begins to slow down in way of progression due to muscle memory. But this is only one reason that combo workouts make such difference in your weight loss success.

These ten exercises should be enough to get you started. Don’t push yourself too hard, and add repetitions only when you feel comfortable. Give yourself a couple of months, and prepare to be amazed at how well these simple exercises will burn fat and dramatically change the way your body looks.

Kelly is the founder of RegularityFitness, where she and associates blog about the best fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a good shape and healthy. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter

Put Your ‘Gym Fear’ To Bed: Exercise While Feeling Great!

If you’ve not worked out in a while or are trying a new activity, it can leave you feeling a little self-conscious. Many people speak about ‘gym fear’ or ‘gym anxiety, ’ and it’s no wonder really. Going into an unfamiliar place where everyone looks great, who make working out appear effortless and know exactly what they’re doing can leave you feeling a little insecure. But don’t fret, pushing out of your comfort zone and taking these steps shows you’re trying. And who knows, in a few months you could be one of those making it look easy! If you need a bit of motivation or help with your confidence when it comes to working out, here are a few things to try.

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Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Get Your Body in Shape by Summer

Now that we are finally closing the door on winter, we are starting to think about the summer months. After all, summer is when we can finally get our short sleeved tops and shorts out of the wardrobe again. And we tend to take our main holiday in the summer months! And this means we will have to get our beach body in check. But is it too late to be in shape by summer? A lot of people think that they won’t be able to get their dream shape by the time the sun arrives. But it can be a possibility, so don’t give up. Here are some ways you can get your body in shape by summer.

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Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Make Exercise Part of Your Lifestyle

The problem many people can have with exercise and fitness is they see it as separate from their daily lives. Do you go for an hour jog before work then get on with your day, or hit the gym evenings and weekends to get your exercise quota in? It doesn’t have to be this way; it’s easy to incorporate exercise into your everyday activities and move your body without even thinking about it. Here are a few tips to help you easily make exercise part of your lifestyle.

Bike to Work

You have to get to work, and you have to exercise. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Even if you live a long way from your work; you could get a foldable bicycle and cycle to the train or bus station. Fold it down, then when you get off cycle the rest of the way to work. It’s good for the environment, far cheaper than monthly gym memberships, and in some cases might be a lot less hassle too. Rather than getting stuck in traffic you could get some fresh air and arrive for the day feeling energized.

Play Sports With Friends

Instead of socializing in the pub, round up your friends and do some activities together! It could be something formal and set up like a team sport at a local sports center. It could be something more casual like a game of rounders at the park. You could even be paintballing or rock climbing. You’ll have fun, get quality time in with the people who are important to you, and get some all-important exercise in too. Throw in some healthy competition, and everyone is sure to push themselves that bit harder, which is no bad thing! Either round up your existing pals or meet some new ones; sports clubs, Facebook groups and online forums are where you’re likely to find those with a similar interest to you.

Get The Family Involved

If you have kids, running around with them is a great way to get yourself (and them!) tired out. You could arrange a family bike ride, and even pack a picnic if you’re going to be out for the day. You could go on hikes with your kids and dog, or throw a ball or frisbee in a wide open space. Plus you could even play tag or run around in a nonsense made up game they have made up. Your children are sure to enjoy the quality time with you, and it’s good for their health as well as yours. Make it fun, and they’ll enjoy being active and it will set them up for healthy habits for later in life.

If you get up and moving and have fun; you’ll do a ton of exercise without even really feeling like you are. This is the best way to stay in shape, there’s no worry of missing gym sessions or “falling off the wagon.” You’re simply going about your day but keeping active at the same time.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Sick of Being Sedentary? Exercises You Can Do From Your Office

Back when we as humans used to have to hunt and chase down our food, getting enough exercise wasn’t an issue. However for many of us in the modern day, bringing home the bacon means being sat at a desk for long hours which isn’t the best for health. Back, neck and joint issues can arise from being seated, and because we’re not up and around burning calories, it inevitably leads to weight gain too.

When you have to spend eight hours plus every day sat at your desk; it can leave you feeling like there’s not much you can do about getting more exercise. Unless you’re motivated enough to hit the gym every night after a long day’s work, which let’s face it most of us aren’t. However, there are things you can do which can help, and make all the difference. Sedentary jobs are linked to obesity which can cause everything from diabetes to stroke to heart attacks- so anything that can help prevent this is no bad thing. Here are some of the exercises you can do from your office.

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Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: Safe Exercising After Plastic Surgery

Healthy lifestyle that’s consisted of wholesome nutrition and regular physical exercise, is taking the world by storm. However, some body and health issues, such as overly large breasts, cannot be corrected with healthy practices alone. A surgical procedure is then the most sensible solution.

In the post-operative period, people are usually anxious to return quickly to their normal exercise routine; which may interfere with the results and cause complications. This is why it’s wise to follow doctor’s instructions concerning the prescribed physical exertion in the recovery period.

For example, basic guidelines after any surgery involve minimal activity in the first 48 hours, and a low-cardio routine in the next few weeks, such as walking or super slow mode on the stationary bike or treadmill. Now let’s see how the workout plan differs for specific surgical procedures to help stay safe exercising after plastic surgery.

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Diana Smith is a full-time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

Your Next Fitness Craze

Running, swimming, and the gym. Three pretty standard ways of getting your heart pumping and your muscles toned. But what happens when you want a little more out of your fitness routine; and how can you have fun with your friends whilst keeping up your daily cardio?

There are a variety of brilliant activities you can share with your friends; even the ones who aren’t so keen on keeping up their fitness levels as you. From a simple game of rounders in the park to playing tag with your kids; it’s all about the amount of effort you put into it. Let’s have a quick look at some alternative, fun ways to get your body moving, and possibly your next fitness craze.

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Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Stop Complaining And Stay Comfortable As You Work Out

Do you work out and complain the whole time? Being comfortable as you work out is more than possible, and is so much safer. Use the following info to make sure you can stay comfortable as you work out, and stop complaining for good!

Never Neglect To Check Your Form

If you’re uncomfortable as you workout, it might very well be because your form is off. Maybe your knees are going over your toes as you squat or lunge. Maybe you’re not quite in the right position. If you neglect to check your form, you could end up with injuries, lose your range of motion, and all sorts. Make sure your form is as good as it can be all the way through each set. This is why so many people do their exercises in the mirror. Watch a Youtube tutorial if you’re unsure!

Find The Perfect Pair Of Shoes

The right shoes are essential for staying comfortable as you work out. Think about it; if you try to go for a run in a pair of Converse, you’re going to be uncomfortable. You can buy shoes that are great for all types of workouts, so if you do a mixture, they might be best for you. Try some on in the shop so you can decide before you buy. You want a pair that will last a long time!

Make Sure Your Outfit Isn’t Hazardous

Have you considered that your outfit might be hazardous to your workout? You don’t want to spend the workout pulling up your leggings or making sure you’re not falling out of a loose top. Your outfit must be suitable for the type of exercise you’re doing, so you can feel good and stay safe.

Find Accessories to Make Your Workout Easier

There are all kinds of accessories that will make your workout more comfortable and a little easier. How about wireless earphones? If you like to listen to a playlist of your own as you workout, going wireless will stop the wires from getting in the way. If you’ve had injuries in the past or you’re recovering, something like a knee brace could be the right choice.

Warm Up And Cool Down

Warming up before your workout is crucial, but so many people get it wrong. Here’s how you should be warming up:

  • Dynamic exercises, such as star jumps and body weight squats.
  • A really light set of your first exercise.
  • A couple of minutes on a cardio machine to get your heart rate up.

Notice how warming up should not include stretches! Stretching a cold muscle is a bad idea. Stretch all you like after a workout to keep things supple and as pain free as possible, but don’t stretch before.

Just Get On With It!

Rather than spend your workout complaining and finding reasons to half-heart it, just get on with it. Focus on your exercises, listen to your playlist, and stay off your phone. Ideally you’ll be in and out of the gym in an hour, and it’ll feel like it goes so much quicker!

What’re Your Thoughts?

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

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