fitness

3 Ways To Alleviate Running Pain

Running is a hard, but enjoyable past time for us. It gets us fitter, it makes us feel good by releasing endorphins into our system, increasing our quality of life overall! However, like any sport, running does come with pains and aches, some more serious than others. There are many different ways to alleviate running pain, and here are the best 3 ways to do it!

Get The Right Pair Of Shoes

Running shoes are incredibly important for the well-being of your legs. They properly distribute the weight of your feet across the sole and support your feet, unlike normal trainers. This is important because naturally, humans run on their feet! But in shoes, we run flat footed, and over extended periods of time, this causes damage to the feet themselves, the ankles and the knees. If you’re not running very often than a normal pair of running shoes will do you fine, but if you’re a more regular runner you need to get specially fitted shoes! Companies like FleetFeetSports offer fitting services and can find the perfect shoe for you, eliminating the risk of getting any foot related issues!

Stretch Out After Each Run

Stretching is also a very important component of running. When you exercise, your muscle contract and relax, however, due to the intensity of exercise your muscles don’t fully relax, instead they keep slightly contracted all throughout your run. If you get back from a run and don’t stretch out, you will continue to feel pain in your legs! Stretching forces your muscles to stop their constant contraction, meaning that you can relax and not have any problems. As an example, many runners will have stumbled across problems with the dreaded iliotibial band, causing a clicking whenever the knee is bent. This can be incredibly debilitating, however, if you purchase a foam roller from companies like Trigger Point there are stretches you can do to slowly nurse the IT band back to full health!

Get Physiotherapy

This is the last line of defense in alleviating injuries, and should only be done if you really need it! Physiotherapy differs from person to person as each problem is unique. However, they do offer medication and exercises after a consultation and examination of the problem you are having. Then a physician will take you through the necessary things you need to do. The treatment can often include massages and other muscular stimulation exercises. If you want to find out more about this topic, because it is very complex and specific, go to PainEndsHere.com. Companies like this are able to offer professional help for those that need it. So, if this applies to you then you should definitely reach out to one of these businesses.

So there you have it! The three best ways to alleviate running pain, any of these are guaranteed to make your pain go away. However, if it is more serious you need to make sure you see a doctor because you can’t remedy everything yourself! If you’re looking for other ways to avoid injuries when preparing for a run, read this.

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 Turn Your Passion For Fitness Into a Career

Are you a health and fitness enthusiast that is wanting to turn that passion into a career, but unsure where to start? If you find that your friends and family turn to you for health and fitness advice or maybe you spend most of your days either outdoors enjoying being active or planning your next healthy recipe then a career in fitness and health could suit you down to the ground. Follow our top tips below on how to channel your love for all things sporty and active into a successful and lucrative career.

Consider Your Speciality

First of all you are going to need to establish a specific area that you think you could specialise in. Think about the different areas of fitness and health that really get you excited and then set about getting yourself really involved in those areas. If it is long distance running then sign yourself up to the local running clubs. If it is nutrition then try and get yourself involved in local organisations that specialise in nutrition and diet.

Getting yourself involved in specific organisations and clubs will help you to not only gain a deeper understanding of your chosen field but it will also present an invaluable networking tool which you will be able to tap into further on down the line when you are setting yourself up. Therefore the best place to start is to research all the different areas of fitness and health that you are interested in and then get yourself involved in as many organisations as possible to gain valuable experience and knowledge.

Start a Blog

Starting a blog has never been easier and as blogs are one of the top ways to share tips, expertise and knowledge so they are a great option for anyone wanting to establish themselves as an expert in any industry. So if you are obsessed with sharing healthy recipes or feel you have original and unique ways of getting fit then this is certainly an avenue that can work really well. Start by getting down all your ideas and setting up a blog with software like WordPress or Wix. Then link your account up with other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and get to work creating unique content that sets you apart from other fitness and health bloggers.

Re-Educate

If you are thinking about going a more academic route with regards to your new career choice then thinking about going back to school is a really good idea. Thinking about a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology is a good idea for anyone wanting to get into physiotherapy or any other more scientific or medical areas of sport and fitness. Or if you are more interested in nutrition and diet then look into courses that offer an in-depth look into that side of the industry so that you can confidently market yourself as a nutritional specialist.

Any qualifications and certificates that you can get under your belt will go a long way in establishing yourself as an expert and will give you the confidence to pursue an exciting new career in fitness and health.

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

5 Tips For Getting Back On The Track After a Muscle Injury

Things are going well. Your running times are improving all the time, you can feel your body adapting to the demands of the sport, and you’re confident that all in all, you’re on the right track (hey) for running success. And then you feel a twitch in your leg and, just like that, you’re laid up and unable to run. There are two options in this scenario: you can lie down and bemoan your luck, or you can do all you can to get back up and running as soon as possible. Let’s take the second option, and get back on the track after a muscle injury.

Keeping Things Cool

If you’ve injured yourself now, then you’re fortunate that it’s summer, because things are about to get pretty cool. When you have a strained muscle, ice will be your friend. How you do is up to you; you can get an icepack and target the sore spot exclusively, or you can be brave and have an ice bath. Settling into a bath of icy cold water might not sound like much fun, but it has bags of benefits before your injured muscle, including boosting your all round recovery, boost circulation, and even give your happiness levels a lift too.

To The Core

You might have a massage to help you unwind, but to recover from a muscle injury? It’s true. A deep tissue massage will relax your muscles, which will soothe the pain of the injured area, and also get those deep-lying toxins and tight muscle areas moving, too. Beyond speeding up your recovery, there’s another obvious advantage to getting this type of massage; you’ll feel extra relaxed, which might be important when you’re not able to release those tensions through long running sessions.

Stretch it Out

Stretching is an underrated tool for runners. For starters, if you make stretching part of your everyday routine then you’ll be greatly reducing your chances of getting injured; indeed, it’s because of inadequate warm-ups that cause most injuries to happen in the first place. When you are injured, stretching will help strengthen your muscles in a low-impact way. When you get back to running, your muscle will be stronger and less like to be re-injured if you’re stretching every day!

To the Pool

Everyone knows how important momentum and being in the “workout groove” is when you’re trying to build endurance and prepare for a long race. If you’re lying on the couch every day, then by the time you get back on the track you might have lost the edge you’ve gained during your training. As such, head to the water when you can’t run. It’ll cause no troubles for your legs, but will help you stay active and build up your endurance. And who knows: you might fall in love with swimming, too.

Rest

OK, last tip: when you’re injured, it’s extra important that your patient and get plenty of rest. If you neglect to do either of these things; then you’ll run the risk of having a relapse as soon as you’re back running. Not what you need!

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 Hit Your Health and Fitness Targets

When it comes to health and fitness, everyone has different aims of exactly what they want to achieve. But the vast majority of people struggle to hit these goals, largely because they don’t have a proper plan in place, the motivation that is required or their lifestyle gets in the way. Of course, this all comes down to you and how much you want to achieve your aims. But if you have the level of commitment and motivation required, there are some ways that you can make reaching your health and fitness targets easier.

Start Off With a Plan

To kick things off, you need to have a good plan in place that details what you need to be doing. If you are aiming to build muscle, you could write down the exercises you are planning to do, when you are planning to do them and how you will build this up over time. If you are planning to lose weight, you should think about what method you are intending to take, whether it is one that follows the principles of intermittent fasting or one that reduces certain food groups. Ultimately, having this plan to start off with will help you to achieve your goals.

Break Down Your Goals

Your long-term goal might be to get to a certain weight, but if you only have this as a goal, it may be difficult to maintain your focus. Instead, you can break this goal down into subgoals that are achievable and measurable. Your first goal might be to get a certain amount of exercise every week, and then it might be to prepare a certain number of your own healthy meals. All of these subgoals will help to contribute toward you achieving your main aim.

Give Yourself Motivation

Everyone gets their motivation from different areas, so it all depends what works best for you. A lot of people find that getting a workout buddy can make all the difference as they can drive you onwards on the days that you really don’t feel like exercising. Other people give themselves motivation through positive visualisation of how they will feel when they actually achieve their aims. Experiment with different things until you find a method that works well for you.

Experiment with Different Workouts

If you are continually doing the same type of workouts time after time, it is much easier to become bored and lose your focus. Going back to the plan we talked about at the start, you should always try to be trying to build different workouts into your regular routine. There are all kinds of things that you can try from new fitness classes to different sports. And while you still may want to keep the core of your workout the same, adding in a bit of variety will help to keep you engaged and interested.

These are just four things that you can do to give yourself the best chance of hitting the health and fitness aims that you set for yourself.

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.

The Ways In Which Your Lifestyle Can Affect Your Fitness

More people than ever are becoming obese and suffering chronic health conditions as a result of poor lifestyle choices. The sad thing is that many illnesses can be avoided by maintaining a sensible lifestyle. While there are many people who suffer from health-related issues as a result of their health choices; many more people suffer from smaller health complaints or a lack of fitness that can impact the way they feel. If you are looking to increase your health and fitness; then you need to understand how your lifestyle can affect your fitness, and then you can do something about it.

Leading A Sedentary Lifestyle

Along with overeating, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest causes of obesity. More people than ever lead sedentary lifestyles, where they do not meet the recommended amount of at least thirty minutes of physical activity per day. The health problems linked to a sedentary lifestyle include heart conditions, diabetes, and cognitive decline. This is an easily remedied lifestyle change; however, and there is much that you can do to ensure you live a fitter and healthier life.

Instead of driving everywhere, try walking, cycling or running. A practical way you can do this is by leaving your car at home and getting to work using your own body. Our bodies are more resilient than we believe them to be, so even if you struggle at first, you will soon get used to the cardio, and you will even begin to enjoy it! Joining a gym is an option for people who find the environment of a gym encouraging and motivating; although it is not for everybody. Consider a home workout program, or even get into a routine of walking your dog or going on regular walks or hikes with your family.

Smoking And Drinking

We all know that smoking and drinking alcohol in excess is not good for us, but did you know the extent to which it can impact your health and fitness? Smoking is a habit that, thankfully has become less popular among younger people. However, it is still an addiction for a significant portion of the population. Tobacco cigarettes contain many chemicals and carcinogens that are proven to result in illnesses and even death. Regarding your fitness; smoking will almost certainly decrease your abilities and the ability for your body to use its lung capacity efficiently.

An article on drinkaware.co.uk lists several ways in which alcohol can affect your sports performance, most significantly if you are injured drinking alcohol can slow down the process of your body healing. Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume will make a huge difference to your fitness as well as your waistband; the number of calories in alcohol can take you over your calories needs for the day without you realizing,

Undereating or Overeating

While eating too much is usually the biggest causes for people not meeting their ideal weight, and therefore not reaching their fitness goals; undereating is also a reason you may not be reaching your fitness goals. If you need to lose weight, you will need to be in a calorie deficit and ensure that your nutrition needs are being met. Tracking your food is helpful for some people as it allows them to be aware of what they are eating and where they were going wrong in the first place.

If your fitness goals include building muscle and gaining weight, rather than losing it; then you will need to be in a calories surplus. Your body will require extra calories from good sources of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Although it is tempting to eat high-calorie junk as a quick way to gain weight; this will have an impact on your fitness and overall health.

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

Exciting Exercise Options For Every Bored Gym Bunny

When you love to workout, you often find yourself hitting the gym a couple of times a week. Whether you love to use the cardio machines and run up a sweat, or hit the weights and build a bit of muscle, you often find that doing the same thing all of the time gets super boring really fast. But what can you do to change that? Aside from switching up your workouts every few weeks, you may also want to think about getting out of the gym and trying out more exciting forms of exercise.

Cross Country Running

If you love to do cardio at the gym, but you find yourself getting bored with it, why not think about trying running outside instead? It can be a lot tougher than running in the gym, but the challenge is always exciting. And, if you want it to be as good as it can be, run cross country. Running the roads can be fun, but going through fields and enjoying the countryside views can be one of the best ways to enjoy your run.

Biking

When you feel like you want to do something completely different to what you do in the gym, why not think about starting to cycle? Trying out biking can be a lot of fun, a vigorous workout and a bit of a rush too. When you’re looking at the right bicycle, be sure to check out the best hybrid bikes under $1000 while you do your research. With a hybrid bike, you can ride the roads in an everyday manner, but you can also explore the mountains. And heading out into the mountains is definitely an exciting workout option.

Roller Skating

If you want something less vigorous but just as fun, why not have a go at roller skating. As a kid, you probably got out on your skates all of the time. But as you get older, you forget all about the fun you had and feel as if you have to try out more serious forms of exercise instead. Until now. When you’re bored of the gym, get on your skates and enjoy riding around with friends or racing yourself.

Wakeboarding

Or maybe you want to get out into the water and have a go at a fun kind of workout that way? Although there are so many different water workouts that you could try, wakeboarding is definitely one of the most fun. Not only can you enjoy the action and adventure of throwing yourself around on the water, it’s definitely a challenging workout too.

Rock Climbing

Finally, you may also want to think about trying out something completely different like rock climbing. If you want something that will push you both mentally and physically, rock climbing is it. But don’t worry if you don’t have the experience. You can try it out at indoor centers and even get instruction before you’re thrown in at the deep end. Then, when you’re out on real rocks, you’ll get both excitement and a workout all rolled into one.

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: How to Get Your Belly Ready for Swimsuit Season

Swimsuit season is coming and if you are not ready to embrace some body positivity and show off your body the way it is, it’s still not too late to shave off some of that unwanted fat from your belly. Not to worry, I’m not going to just tell you to eat less and exercise more, that “secret” has been out for a very long time and it clearly doesn’t work for everyone, but maybe some of these other tips will help you get belly ready for swimsuit season.

Ditch the Transport

Moving is the best way to get your metabolism going, and moving absolutely doesn’t have to be just exercise. Throw away your car keys and the bus pass and start walking, cycling and roller skating to your destinations. This seemingly small increase in activity will do a lot more than it might look on the surface; by constantly using your muscles, you are never putting your body in a dormant state. Which is when our metabolism slows down. If you have a desk job, try not to use the phone to contact your colleagues; rather walk over to their desk and talk to them. When watching TV, try not to just sit or lay down, but rather watch it while ironing the clothes, doing some light stretches, or even just sitting up straight. In short: unless you are purposefully sleeping or resting, try to never be in a position where your body thinks it can fall asleep.

Hydrate

You probably already heard of the “drink a tall glass of water as soon as you wake up” tip. Not only does if flush out the toxins, but it wakes up your body; telling your metabolism that it’s time to wake up and start working. You should always drink a glass of water or tea before eating; it will fill your tummy to a certain point and make you feel full sooner. We, as humans, tend to overeat. Because the signal that goes from our belly to our brain telling us that we’re full isn’t instant; so by the time we get it, it’s already too late and we’ve eaten more than we should. Not to mention that water helps fight cellulite – the other enemy of summer and bikinis – and gives us smoother skin and better hair.

Targeted Fat Reduction

It is simply impossible to target the fat on one part of the body with good eating habits and exercise. Sure, doing certain exercise will give you better muscles in that area; but the fat we lose is the same all over our bodies. The only way to reduce fat in a specific, targeted area is with medical assistance. Don’t worry – in this day and age there is no need to go under the knife. Non-invasive treatments like cryolipolysis are available in some clinics, and they are great for people who want fast results and just don’t have the time to commit to a weight loss plan. But remember – this isn’t a magic wand; you will still have to change up your lifestyle if you want to maintain the results.

No matter what your summer goals are, there is no point in crash-dieting or boot camp workouts a few weeks before the summer. The only way you will be happy and healthy long-term is if you implement changes into your lifestyle that you can follow every day. Start with small, simple changes, and if they stick, you can work your way up to a lifestyle you want to lead. We all feel great when we look great, but it’s important to remember that all bodies are different and all we should be doing is try to be healthy and happy.

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.

The Link Between Your Workout And Your Food

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. In truth, it should be something along the lines: What you eat makes you. Indeed, your food is the fuel for your body, from pumping the energy it requires to workout, via maintaining all basic functions – that’s why your body continues to burn calories even when you don’t exercise –, and to rebuilding your energy after a workout, or even after a sport injury. The nutrients you give your body will have an impact on your performance, and on your overall health in relation to sports. While, naturally, training is still the key influence in achieving your goals, what you put on your plate needs to be thoroughly chosen. What you eat supports what you do when you work out.

#1. For The Gym Workout

If you are a gym addict, it’s likely that you are making the most use of all the gym equipment. As a result, training at the gym is the kind of workout that can easily last a couple of hours. From the treadmill to the weights, via the rowing machine, following a full-body workout program – it’s part of healthy recommendations for your fitness training, as it’s risky to build up strength in only one part of your body – demands a lot of energy. As a result, more and more gym members like to rely on supplements such as the pre workout from 1st Phorm, which is designed to provide an energy boost, as well as sufficient endurance to sustain your gym program. Do make sure, though, not to abuse these workout supplements. If you’re not going to train hard, there is no point for them. But if you want to help your body change faster through tough exercises, you need support in both strength and endurance, therefore you need a pre workout shake!

#2. For The Running Program

Runners are well aware of the various needs of their body. Indeed, you need to maintain your activity for the duration of the run – in other words, you need the endurance to keep running – and the energy to perform well. Additionally, running is a high-impact activity, consequently, you need to be looking after your joints and bones too. Working with vitamins and mineral supplements is the best way to ensure that you’ve got the right nutrients for your run. Vitamin B12, which is essential to the formation of red blood cell to carry oxygen through the body is key to fight off fatigue as you exercise. It also helps your body to break down the fat and protein into running energy. Calcium is indispensable to maintain your bones and to prevent cramps and bloating, which can be nasty side-effects from running.

#3. For The Yoga And Dance Stretching

If you need to get flexible as part of your workout, you may want to help your body stretch muscles and joints with the right diet. Oranges help you to fight off free radicals, which are produced when you exercise. As a result, your muscles recover faster and can be more flexible. Grape and grape juice are useful in improving your overall joint health, among other health benefits. Oily fish, which is rich in omega-3, can reduce inflammation, especially around the joint area. Finally, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is used to improve circulation. As a result, it helps to repair muscles and to keep you flexible all year round.

#4. Food To Refuel After A Workout

Naturally, you don’t only need food as a preventive approach to your workout. You also need food to refuel after a tough workout, as this will help your body to prevent soreness. As a rule of the thumb, you should have a recovery snack 45 minutes after your workout. Your snack needs to contain a mix of carb, protein, and fluid to help your muscle replenish its energy, repair the muscle tissues, and hydrate your body. But a recovery snack is not a full meal: you should be aiming at 40g-50g of carb with 15-20g of protein only. In other words, that’s the equivalent of an apple with some peanut butter or two slices of whole grain bread with honey and nut butter.

#5. Food To Recover After An Injury

A sport injury is never fun, especially as it stops you from exercising until your body has recovered. However, you can improve your recovery time with the right type of food. Indeed, protein-rich food will facilitate the muscle repair and also help your body to maintain its muscle mass and strength as much as possible. Fibers will help to reduce the unwanted body fat that can develop when you’re immobilized. Finally, vitamin C from fruits and veg is key to rebuild tissue after an injury.

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.

Runner’s Body: The Nutrients You Need To Perfect Your Stride

No two bodies are the same, therefore it’s natural that our dietary needs are unique to the individual. For example, women’s nutrition is different to men’s because their bodies require different amounts of vitamins and minerals to perform their functions. The same is true between runners and non-runners. Once you take up this intense activity, you need to adjust your diet to make sure you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to perform well. If you keep eating the same diet as before, you’re likely not consuming enough nutrients and your runner’s stride will never improve. Here is the right diet to boost your energy levels.

 

Vitamin B12

Taking 2.4 mg per day can help runners break down the fat and protein you eat for the energy you need to get through a workout. It also assists in forming new red blood cells, which carry oxygen through the body. Deficiency can lead to a type of anemia—and fatigue. The best sources of vitamin B12 are liver, fish, meat, and eggs, which unfortunately means that strict vegetarians and vegans are at a higher risk for deficiency. Fortunately, there are supplements like methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin which can be taken to fill the nutritional gaps. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

Calcium

Runners put a lot of stress on their bodies, and as a result they are at risk of stress fractures and other running injuries. Therefore, you need to make sure your bones are strong and healthy before you start running. Most people start taking calcium supplements, some of which are made from limestone or marble. However, AlgaeCal Plant Calcium Clinical Evidence suggests that plant based calcium supplements are more effective at filling in the calcium deficiency gaps, and they don’t have side effects like cramps, bloating, nausea and blocked arteries, but still help strengthen bones. Always consult your doctor about which supplements would be best for you.  That said, you’re still better off getting calcium from your food. One cup of milk packs about 30 percent of your daily value, although fortified almond, or cashew milk offer a more impressive 45 percent. You can also get calcium from tofu, spinach, and chia seeds.

Iron

Some studies suggest that up to 50 percent of female runners are deficient in iron. This is extremely dangerous because the iron in your blood is essential for getting oxygen to your muscles; this deficiency can lead to poor performance while running, headaches, dizziness, and less enthusiasm for running. If you experience a decline in performance and feel exhausted more than usual, get a blood test to check your iron levels. While you could take a supplement, you need to increase the amount of red meat and iron-rich vegetables in your diet. If you’re still deficient after your diet change, your doctor will put you on the appropriate supplement; you should never try to put yourself on an iron supplement. You should also try taking Vitamin C to help your body absorb the iron.

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.

Breaking The Pain Barrier: How To Overcome Pain For Good

Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the US. Did you know that at any given time, around 30 million Americans are suffering from back pain? If you have a bad back, and you feel like you’ve tried every trick in the book to banish pain, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some suggestions to help you hopefully overcome pain for good.

Determining the cause

There are myriad factors that contribute to back pain, and the first thing to do if you suffer from chronic pain or pain that is getting worse is seek medical advice. When you see a doctor, they will examine you and ask you some questions about your symptoms. It may be that pain is associated with underlying causes, in which case, treating the cause could help to alleviate pain.

In other cases, lifestyle changes may be recommended. There may also be causes related to your job. If this is the case, a doctor may be able to recommend safer techniques to try and offer some tips to help you feel more comfortable at work. If you have severe back pain, your doctor may recommend further tests, such as an MRI scan. This will enable them to see if there is damage to the spine or the surrounding muscles or bone tissue.

Correcting your posture

Poor posture is a contributing factor in most cases of lower back pain. Your posture relates to the position of your spine when you’re sitting or standing. If your spine isn’t in an ideal position, this can increase pressure and strain on your muscles, causing discomfort. In this day and age, we tend to spend more time than ever sitting down, due to the prevalence of office jobs.

If you do spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk, it’s essential to make sure you understand how you should be sitting to prevent back pain. Your spine should be straight, your shoulders should be relaxed, and you shouldn’t have to crane the neck to see the screen properly. If you’re reaching for the keyboard or the screen isn’t level with your eye line, adjust the height of your chair or desk. If you don’t already have a specially designed ergonomic office chair, ask your employer to provide one. It’s very important that your spine is supported properly while you’re in a sitting position.

Maintaining good posture is not just important when you’re sitting down. You should also pay attention to your posture when you’re standing, especially if your job involves standing for long periods of time or lifting. If you do have to lift items as part of your job, use machinery for heavy loads and make sure you bend your knees and keep your back straight. When you’re standing, try to avoid stooping or slumping and keep your shoulders back.

Finding the right mattress

The importance of getting a good night’s sleep cannot be underestimated. If you suffer from back pain or you’re prone to bouts of discomfort, it’s particularly beneficial to find the right mattress. If your mattress isn’t perfect, this can cause back pain or make existing symptoms worse. Therefore, if you’re looking for a new mattress to help with back pain, try some different styles and brands and avoid going for the cheapest option. You often get what you pay for in terms of quality and durability when you’re shopping for mattresses. If back pain is an issue, look out for products that have been ergonomically designed. These mattresses promote relaxation and reduce muscle tension, and they provide support for the spine while you sleep.

Choosing the right forms of exercise

Most of us are aware of the benefits of doing regular exercise for our health and wellbeing. Living with pain can make exercising difficult, but you don’t have to give up on working out if you suffer from back pain. You may not be able to do certain activities, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t be active.

Aim for low-impact exercises and avoid anything that involves jarring movements. Lifting weights and jumping aren’t ideal for people with back pain, for example. Swimming is often recommended, as the water supports your body weight. If you want to stay active without risking injury, speak to your doctor or a qualified personal trainer before changing your exercise regime or embarking on a new training program.

Conditioning your back

They say that prevention is better than cure, and conditioning can help to reduce the risk of recurrent pain. Conditioning involves strengthening the muscles to make your body resistant to injury. You can do this with a physical therapist or by doing specific, targeted exercises at home. These exercises are not focused solely on the back. They also help to increases strength and suppleness in the hips and the core.

Examples of exercises include McKenzie stretches and dynamic lumbar stabilization. The aim is to stretch the back, build muscle, and improve flexibility. You may also find that exercises like those found in yoga and Pilates routines effective. If you’re new to these activities, it’s best to go to a beginner’s class. Once you’re familiar with the stretches, and you’ve honed your technique, you can then practice at home.

Posture

Back pain can make life a misery, especially if you have periods when pain intensifies or you have prolonged bouts. If you suffer from back pain, it’s always a good idea to seek medical advice. In some cases, there may be an underlying cause, and treating this should be a priority. Many cases of back pain are linked to poor posture. If you slouch when you’re standing or you tend to sit slumped in your chair at work, this can affect the alignment of your spine and increase tension in your muscles.

It’s important to take steps to correct your posture if you’re worried that this may be a contributing factor. Sit up straight and relax your neck and shoulders. If you find that you’re in pain when you get up in the morning or you can’t get comfortable at night, consider replacing your mattress. If your mattress is old or it’s too soft or spongy, this could be making your pain more severe. Exercise offers a wealth of benefits, but take care when selecting activities. If you’re already in pain, some sports could make the situation worse. Ask your doctor or a trainer for advice.

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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