fitness

Is Social Media Beneficial Or Harmful When Working Towards A Fitness Goal?

Social media is so interwoven into the fabric of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine a time without it. Many have taken to these networks to share snippets of their daily routines, and to show off successes and progress. The fitness community on social media is wide-reaching, with a hefty number of diet and wellness pages/profiles to follow.

You may also notice friends posting gym pictures or photographs of their healthy meals for others to see and like. On top of that, many fitness apps even come with an option to sync or share progress on social media.

All this can make you pretty excited to start using these platforms in similar ways, or might urge you to follow some advice-filled accounts for tips and tricks. But is social media really beneficial for you when you’re working towards a fitness goal? Let’s look at the pros and the cons.

The Pros

It’s Good Motivation
Being surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of people aiming for the same thing as you can make you feel incredible motivated. You’ll find people with your body type, people who face the same struggles as you, and people who will keep you going when you feel like giving up. Sometimes, posting your goals and progress on social networking sites may even help you stick to them.

You Have Access to a Sea of Information
There is endless data available through social media. You can find products, diet plans, exercise routines, and excellent advice that can really help you achieve more during your fitness journey. Best of all, it’s completely free. You can follow a personal trainer on Instagram and watch videos of his workouts without needing to pay for his services. And in all honesty, that’s pretty neat!

You Become Part of a Community
Being part of a health-driven community means that you’ll never be short of people to turn to, discuss ideas with, and get personalized advice from. You may even gain a few workout buddies! Yes, there are bad seeds in every group, but you’ll ultimately find like-minded acquaintances who can encourage you to grow while you, in turn, encourage them. There’s no better feeling!

The Cons

Anyone and Everyone Can Share “Advice”
The number of “bloggers” and “fitness gurus” who are actually just out to make a quick buck or gain some fame can make finding good people to follow a tricky task. Many may offer terrible advice and get you off to the wrong start. Keep in mind that even the best of fitness personalities may sell out once in a while and promote a fad diet or an expensive product that makes ridiculous claims and promises. Avoid the fraudsters and check for qualifications. Legit bloggers and gurus will be more than welcome to share their qualifications and achievements with you.

It’s Not All Real
A social media picture, perfectly framed and shot so as to show someone’s best angles and finished off with a caption followed by tens upon tens of hashtags, isn’t a good representation of real life. It’s a photograph taken out of context. It presents these fitness gurus as something more than human with a perfect lifestyle and all the free time in the world to burn off that many calories per day. Only the most flattering snapshots are shared, and it can make you feel like you’re just not good enough or making progress as fast as you should.

You Could do it For The Wrong Reasons
Seeing other people progressing faster than you, or going on a more difficult regimen than you’re on, can really get you thinking. You could start feeling jealous, or suspect that the grass is greener on the other side, and try to imitate or catch up with your peers. In reality, you should be attempting a healthy lifestyle for no one else but yourself.

Conclusion

So, is social media any good at all when you’re trying to get fit? The honest answer is that it depends on how you use it. Social media is a tool, and if you harness it right, you’ll be able to use it effectively and to your advantage.

Breanne Fleat is a writer, peanut butter fanatic, and keen Instagrammer at ProteinPromo. Keep up to date with their latest posts by following the link. And don’t worry, all our professional advice is presented by a qualified exercise scientist!!

Love Your Body: How To Stay Motivated To Get In Shape

In the everlasting quest to get fit and achieve the bodies we’ve always dreamt of; it can be hard to motivate yourself to get out of bed or off the couch and go to the gym. Here are some tips on how to stay motivated to get in shape…

Get A Fitness Buddy

First of all, talk to your friends to see if there’s anyone who shares similar fitness aims to the ones that you have; and if so, it’s time to buddy up and start getting fit together! Whether it’s going for Saturday afternoon hikes together, attending yoga classes and then going to a juice bar afterward, or simply going on dog walks around the block together. Having a fitness buddy will make getting in shape a lot more fun for you; plus you’ll be able to spur each other on to do more and more.

Get Outside

Spring is finally here which means that you can take full advantage of the great outdoors to get healthy. There are plenty of things that you can do outside to get fit; ranging from getting off the train a stop early on your way home from work and walking for an extra ten minutes, to going to your local open air swimming pool and taking a dip in the cool water. Biking is also getting increasingly popular; if you’re lost on what equipment you should buy, look at this year’s best mountain bikes reviewed online to find the one that’s the best fit for you and your lifestyle. Make sure that you’re aware of what’s going on around you if you’re biking on the road; wear a helmet and don’t listen to music.

Raise Money For Charity

If you’re planning to run a marathon, but you’re worried you might give up halfway round; sign up to do it for charity and get your friends and family to sponsor you; and remember it doesn’t have to be a marathon, a 5K can work just as well! Make sure that you train properly, so your stamina is good, and that you have excellent quality running shoes along with clothes made of moisture wicking fabric; make it easier on yourself by having the right tools! Pick a cause that’s close to your heart to keep you motivated as you go around the course.

Find What You Love

Finally, if you hate whatever fitness exercises you’re doing, then it’s hard to motivate yourself. Not everyone learns to love the gym; doing weights or machines in the same room as a lot of other sweaty people simply isn’t for everyone. Likewise, not everyone will love running as it can feel depressingly solitary if you’re more of a sociable person. Make sure that you’ve found an exercise that suits you; whether that’s a twice-weekly Zumba class where you can dance to your heart’s content, or a yoga class where you can find spiritual as well as physical fulfillment, or even a regular hike that you can take with your dog. The best way to feel motivated is to love what you do.

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: Healthy Sleep During Training is More Important than Getting Some Shut-Eye the Night Before Race Day

Do you really need a good night’s rest the night before a big run? The short answer is yes and no.

Of course getting adequate hours of sleep the night before a race is bound to make you feel ready to take on the world in the morning. And not getting enough sleep is bound to make you feel sluggish. But how much does healthy sleep or the lack of it really affect athletic performance?

A Single Night of Zero/Poor Sleep Has Little to No Effect on Physical Performance

Yep, you read that right. Getting healthy sleep the night before a big race isn’t actually that important for physiological endurance.

While it sounds crazy, it’s also backed by several scientific studies.

In one Dutch study, a control group of men who had healthy sleep and another group of men who had zero sleep the previous night were pitted against each other in 20-minute cycling time trials.

The healthy-sleep group clocked in an average of 7.68km during their trial. And while the researchers expected considerably lower results from the sleep-deprived group, they clocked in a near-identical average of 7.62km. Other physical measurements during the trial, particularly their average heart rate, also came out near-identical.

In another study in 2007, experts from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences analyzed a variety of existing studies on how sleep affects physical performance.

Much to their surprise, the experts found that even a few days of poor sleep translated to stable physiological markers of endurance. But while leg strength, oxygen demand at various speeds, and fatigue resistance were all unaffected by a single night of poor sleep, it was mental cognition that suffered.

And it wasn’t the first time that lack of sleep resulted in poorer mental performance.

The Brain is More Dependent on Sleep than the Rest of the Body

In a 2009 study, European researchers found evidence of decreased endurance in athletes who ran after staying awake for 30 hours. However, they also found that the 30-hour lack of sleep had a very limited effect on the test subjects’ actual cardiorespiratory/thermoregulatory function and pacing. Rather, the lowered performance was a result of their altered perception of effort.

The 11 men who were involved in this study completed 2 running trials. The first trial was after they had normal sleep. The second trial happened 7 days later, and after they were kept awake for 30 hours.

While the test subjects ran farther during the first trial, they reported feeling like they ran the same distance during the second trial. This led researchers to conclude that the decreased endurance was psychological and based mostly on their altered perception of effort (especially since they found evidence that a single night of sleep deprivation had limited effects on indicators of actual physical endurance).

Several past studies also indicate that short-term sleep deprivation can result in poorer memory, longer reaction time, and an unstable mood.

You’re certainly bound to not feel good and ready if you haven’t had enough sleep the night before a big race, but don’t let that feeling fool you. While your brain is telling you that you need sleep, your body could very well be as ready as ever to perform during race day.

If you’ve been training regularly and getting adequate sleep (at least for the past week), getting little to zero sleep the night before race day is unlikely to affect your actual physical performance and endurance.

More Sleep in General is More Important than How You Slept the Previous Night

Instead of the single night before your race, what you should really be concerned about is how you sleep on a regular basis.

In a 2011 study on Stanford basketball players, researchers found that extending sleep to 10 hours per night (for 5 to 7 weeks) resulted in increased performance metrics. They also found similar increases when the study was repeated in other sports like tennis, football, and swimming.

As Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory researcher (and study author) Cheri Mah explains, it’s not just about how you slept for one or two nights. Rather, it’s about “prioritizing sleep over the whole season.

While one night without sleep can be slightly detrimental to your endurance, there are some athletes who say that it makes no difference at all. One of these athletes is American long-distance runner Bobby Curtis, who won the NCAA title for 5,000 meters during his senior year on a somewhat irregular sleep schedule.

Curtis says that while not sleeping a few nights before the race didn’t affect his performance when he won the title, his training did suffer when he didn’t get enough sleep over the last couple weeks.

As Stanford’s Cheri Mah rightly suggests, it’s important for athletes to maintain a consistent sleep schedule that ensures they get adequate sleep.

So instead of worrying about how you’ll be too excited to sleep the night before your big race, focus on getting enough sleep during training. That’s when sleep really counts.

Problems You Think Are For Old People Only

The human body is a fantastic machine that you can train to react in certain ways to certain stimuli or to perform in a specific fashion. For example, athletes have trained their body to a level of strength and endurance that goes beyond your average Joe’s fitness level. Additionally, in the manner that you train your body, you need to fuel it with a specific type of nutrients to help it generate its energy and maintain its health.

Training, appropriate eating habits, and a healthy lifestyle routine are key to the prevention of some of the most destructive diseases of the century; such as diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses, and obesity. But you might not have realized that developing a specific form of training and routine today can save you from experiencing body degradation in older age, or worse from experiencing today the troubles generally reserved for seniors. Here’s what to look after.

Develop A Healthy Dental Care

Tooth decay, toothache, and tooth loss tend to be associated with mature adults. You rarely imagine that tooth loss could happen to young people. But it does, and more and more young adults need to receive dental implants. Tooth loss, in young adults, is the result of a variety of factors; including poor mouth hygiene, lack of dental checkups, gum disease, unhealthy eating and drinking habits, and calcium deficiency. As a rule of the thumb, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of needing implants in your young years. Looking after your diet means a lot more than staying fit indeed.

Your Mental Deserves Attention Too

It is not uncommon to see loneliness and depression among older adults, who can naturally become isolated as they age and lose their independence. But, depression is one of the most common mental diseases among the young population. Unfortunately, in older adults like in students; it is too easily ignored. Depression can be triggered by a number of factors; whether it is stress-related, genetical, or even as a response to major life events; even a positive event such as graduation. So it’s important to keep track of your emotions and to keep an active lifestyle to reduce any risk. Isolation is a natural response to the student life, especially around the exams period. So make sure to join a learning group during these stressful days and to develop coping habits such as sports.

Keep Making Brain Connections

Memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease tend to be naturally connected to old age. However, brain degeneration can happen at any age, especially if you don’t keep your mind active. While you will naturally lose brain connections as you grow older; if you are used to learn and train your mind with crosswords, books or even logic puzzles, new connections will be able to form more easily. In short, the more you use your brain, the longer you can retain it in a working condition! But remember the Latin saying, “mens sana in corpore sano”, a sound mind in a sound body; Getting regular physical exercises is also key to keeping your mind sharp.

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: Going to the next Level: How Fitness Clothes Can Improve Your Workout Routine

Everybody knows that saying “You are what you wear” but it’s commonly associated only with dressing for business meetings or going out while dressing for a workout seems to be neglected. It’s a messy activity anyway and you’ll just get sweaty, so why not just wear an old T-shirt and get it over with, right? Well, professional athletes’ and trainers’ experience says differently. Wearing proper fitness clothes goes far beyond wanting to look good for gym selfies, too – it’s a question of improving your workout results. Here’s how getting the right shorts or leggings can level up your fitness routine.

Dress to impress… yourself

When you wear a certain piece of clothing, your mind goes through a mental change scientists call enclothed condition. This was confirmed in a study that showed the importance of our association with certain pieces of garment meaning that when you put on your fitness wear, you become more eager to go the gym and get your workout done. It’s a matter of confidence, actually – if you know that you look good, chances are you’re going to act like that as well. That’s why psychologists and fitness experts suggest you should get dressed for a workout way ahead of time – to get yourself motivated.

In fact, with the rise of athleisure wear trend, fitness clothes are becoming an integral part of street style fashion. Now you can incorporate trendy bodybuilding shorts or fashionable leggings into your everyday outfits without worrying people will look at you funny. Activewear is getting more and more attention in the fashion world as well and it’s all good for promoting healthy lifestyles. Putting on some good-looking fitness clothes is the easiest way to give yourself a motivational boost, so don’t hesitate to take yourself shopping.

Say hello to better results and goodbye to injuries

Besides looking good, proper workout clothes are important for your safety as well. Improper fitness clothes are one of the main reasons people get injured, right after incorrect techniques, not stretching, and not warming up enough. Even if you’re a beginner who just goes jogging for a few minutes before work, wearing the wrong kind of shoes might get you in trouble and cause serious injuries. Purchasing the right shoes will depend on the type of physical activity you engage in, so make sure you give it some thought.

On the other hand, weather conditions also play a major role in your workout routine, especially if you like working out outside. If the sun is shining, you’ll need some kind of cap to protect your head and a long-sleeved shirt to prevent sunburn. Cold season demands long-sleeves, too – to protect your body from cold and the wind and keep your muscles warm. Ankles are the ones that suffer the most damage during any kind of workout that includes feet movement, so you’ll want to make sure they’re well protected with high-tops. Finally, your workout clothes must fit you well in order to improve freedom of movement and provide good support at the same time.

Go the extra mile with new technologies

A couple of years ago, wearable tech started to gain its momentum and that’s why, nowadays, we see more and more companies introducing smart watches, activity trackers, fitness apps, etc. Now the trend has expanded to workout clothes as well with the idea that you can get better performance by wearing smart clothes.

Compression garments, for example, have been used in the medical field for years and now they found their role in a workout. Namely, they can increase the blood flow thus supplying your muscles with much-needed oxygen and helping your athletic performance get better. This is beneficial for the recovery period as well. Heart rate monitors are now built in sports bras so you can go even further without the fear of pushing yourself too hard. They even came up with running shorts that improve your posture. All of these are a normal part of the professional athlete’s workout routine but now they’re available to enthusiasts, too. Of course, simply purchasing fancy equipment is not enough to get you in top form but it can surely help you improve your performance and get even better results.

Spending a fortune on workout gear isn’t a way to success but investing in a few high-quality pieces can surely get you going in the right direction. Look good, get yourself motivated, and make sure you’re well protected – and the results will come in no time.

Nicole Noël is a travel addict and a passionate writer. She always seeks new adventures, and she loves to share her experiences. She’s architecture and interior design enthusiast. In her spare time, she loves to design furniture, clothes, and jewellery. She also enjoys preparing and eating delicious food with her friends. You can read about her adventures on her social media streams.

Running Away From Life’s Problems

Too much of a good thing – it seems like something that’s impossible when you’re enjoying it, but it’s true. You can overdo absolutely anything, even if it’s the most favorite thing in the world for you to do or indulge in. Taking everything to the limit and going overboard can put you off in some cases, but in others it can ruin an activity for you completely – and not just in mentality, but in physical form too. Here’s why it’s a bad idea to start running away from life’s problems.

Slowly Overdoing It

You don’t notice that you’re going too far on the whole exercise regime until something starts to happen. It could be that you’re starting to feel fatigued, not getting the same amount of energy or endorphin release from your workout as you usually do, or that – in extreme cases – you have passed out from the sheer exhaustion. Taking your routine to the next level can help in some cases, but you need to take into consideration just how much you can take on and do in order to get you there.

Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

With exercise comes the need to be able to do other things alongside it. Keeping up a relatively unhealthy diet whilst pumping weights in the gym will do nothing good for your body. You need fuel from certain food groups that junk food just won’t cover; your body will go into a sort of starvation mode if it isn’t given the energy that it needs. Think of it like putting petrol into a diesel car – it just doesn’t work. It’s not as extreme as your car breaking down instantly, but that’s generally the jist of what could happen.

When Things Start to Go Wrong

It isn’t just diet which affects exercise and the whole routine that you’ll have going on there. There are other things that come into play as well. Drugs are often used to increase performance, and it’s not a new thing – doping issues have been going on long in the Olympics and even before this. There has always been something that a human can ingest that will make them better at whatever they’re doing. If you feel like you have taken this path and it’s getting out of control, consider seeing an addiction counselor to get you back on track. The quicker you nip the problem in the bud, the better you’ll be feeling.

How to Stay on Track

Keep a clear mind and give yourself something to focus on. Maybe enroll in a marathon or similar race to channel your energy into something positive. Don’t overdo it and try not to get too involved to the point where you are exceeding your limits. If you know that you struggle with going over the top, sit down and write a concise plan to give you clarity on what you need to do to achieve your goal without harming yourself. The more structure that you’ve got to work off, the less chance you have of going off the rails and doing damage which will take an age to reverse.

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.

Stuck In A Fitness Rut? Transform Your Average Workout Into An Inspiring One

If you’ve been doing the same workout and exercises for months on end you can start to lose motivation. Our bodies don’t improve the same way they did to start with, and we become frustrated and demoralized by the same stale routines. Mix up your workouts to get the best results. This will ensure you’re working different parts of the body, and keep your workouts exciting! Here’s what to do if your stuck in a fitness rut. 

A Simple Solution

The common misconception that body weight training is just for boys, is finally being broken down. More women than ever are taking up some form of weight training and seeing the amazing results firsthand. It may be intimidating but this form of exercise has huge benefits and is a lot of fun. This is a popular form of exercise amongst those who want to ditch the gym equipment but still build some muscle. You’ll burn fat fast and increase your core strength with these types of exercises. Another great thing about bodyweight training is that you can scale up or down easily depending on your fitness. Simply add more reps of increase or decrease time limits to modify simple workouts.

Take it Outside

Exercising outdoors has huge benefits which have been extensively reported. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge, you really should. Gyms are great because of the equipment and sense of community that they can provide. It’s easy, however, to start to feel like you’re stuck in a fitness rut. Working out outside isn’t limited to running either. Get creative and use what mother nature has provided! Hiking, swimming, kayaking and even paddle boarding are all great ways to get fit.

These types of exercises can get you excited about fitness again and help mix things up. If you want to get super creative try stand-up paddleboarding workouts. The balance and strength needed to stay upright on the board really work your core. In addition, it’s a low impact exercise, which makes it great for older people, or those with damaged joints. Read some SUP reviews to find out the benefits and get some tips and inspiration.

Top Technology

It may sound odd, but introducing some great tech into your workouts could really transform them. There are now advances which mean you can listen to music via headphones whilst you swim. Apps can chart your workout, progress, and tell us where we need to improve. Getting feedback and keeping a log of our workouts is a great way to improve them. Technology really can be a useful aid when trying to improve your exercise regime. Keep a track of which areas you’re focussing on and it’ll become clear which areas you’re neglecting. If you find yourself doing cardio most of the time, integrate some strength training too.

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.

Load Your Guns: Best Arm Strengthening Exercises

Lots of runners focus on strengthening their legs and improving their cardio when they are busy training. Very few think about working their arms and improving upper body strength. But no matter what type of exercise you prefer, even if it is running, you should always work on strengthening your entire body, even the parts you don’t use that much. For instance, when we run we use our arms to help propel our whole body forward. Plus, if you have strong arms, you will be able to carry your water bottle with you on your runs without feeling any aching in your arms and shoulders!

Ready to load your guns? Here are the best arm strengthening exercises for giving your arms plenty of power.

Biceps Curl

What you need: dumbbells

How it’s done: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold tightly onto your dumbbells in each hand. These can be as heavy as you like but it’s best to work your way up rather than starting off with very heavy weights. Have your arms down by your side with the palms facing the thighs. Then just bring your arm up and bend at the shoulder. You should rotate the hands so that the palm is facing you and level with your shoulder. Pause here for a minute before lowering and repeating with the other arm. You should do this for about 15 reps on each side.

Pull Ups

What you need: pull up bar.

Are you wondering what about pull up bars? This is the most common equipment used to strengthen arms, and here’s how you can use them. You just need to grip the bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin touches the bar and then lower yourself slowly down. You should aim to do this for ten to fifteen reps. When you find this gets too easy, try to lift and lower yourself slower, as this works the muscles more.

Plank Press

What you need: yoga mat, dumbbells

First of all, position your dumbbells so that they are at the head of your mat. Next, get into a plank position. Ideally, your feet need to be slightly wider than shoulder-width. The dumbbells should still be on the mat, within your line of sight. Now you need to lift one of your hands and pick up a dumbbell. Make sure your hips stay still so that you engage your core muscles. Bring the elbow up so that you are now holding the dumbbell right next to your shoulder. Now simply extend the arm forward, so it is straight out in front of you. Then bring the arm back to the bent position, so the dumbbell is back by your shoulder. Repeat this for ten reps and then move onto the other arm.

You will find that most exercises that work the core muscles will also be very beneficial to your arm muscles. But hopefully, the three exercises I have mentioned will help you to greatly improve your arm strength, which can, in turn, improve your running ability!

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.

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.

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