Health

Give Your Weight Loss A Boost

The early days of weight loss are arguably the most difficult. Not only are you getting used to exercising again after a certain period of time, but you’re probably adjusting your diet so that unhealthy food doesn’t hinder your progress. However, it’s easy to lose your motivation if, after a few weeks of healthy habits, there has been no change on the scales. Losing weight is a long process, but it can boost your enthusiasm if you see visible changes on the scales, or in your dress size. So here are a few ways to give your weight loss a boost, no matter where you are on your journey.

Fat-burning foods

No matter what adjustments you make to your diet, the one thing you must never do is cut out food altogether; just as a car won’t get very far on an empty tank of gas, your body won’t function well without the energy it makes from food. Instead, you can boost your weight loss by eating food that gives your body the vitamins it needs, without adding to your weight woes. Avocados, almonds, and sweet potato are all fat-burning foods that curb your appetite for several hours and keep you full of energy for longer. They’re also full of good fats that help you burn calories at the gym later.

Supplements

If you’re eating a more nutritional diet, then supplements might not do much for you. However, shakes and supplements are good if you’re temporarily trying to replace meals to kick start weight loss. When the body has no calories to burn, it enters a metabolic process called ketosis; which means that your body starts burning fat to make energy. For the first week or so of your weight loss process, you can look into meal replacements or buy Isagenix to lose weight. Meal replacement shakes will give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, while still allowing your body to enter ketosis. Meal replacements are also good as a post-workout meal in the evenings; as your body doesn’t have to waste energy on digesting solid food.

HIIT

There’s so much debate whether cardio or weight training exercises are the best way to burn fat and build muscle. The truth is, the best kind of workout incorporates both. When you join a High Intensity Interval Training class you combine 30 seconds of weights and 30 seconds of cardio in three-minute increments for a 30-minute workout. It’s intense, but it can fit into even the busiest schedules, targets all your muscles, and has been shown to zap more belly fat than steady-paced moderate workouts. In addition to reducing body fat and improving muscle tone, HIIT helps to boost your metabolism. So you keep burning fat after your workout is complete.

Drink more water

Drinking water helps to boost your metabolism, cleanse your body of waste, and acts as an appetite suppressant. Also, drinking water helps your body stop retaining water, leading you to drop those extra pounds of water weight.

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.

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.

Exercise Mistakes that Can Wreck Your Health

A lot of people don’t seem to recognize it, but the fact is that exercise can actually be pretty dangerous. If you take the time to think about it, of course, it will probably become clear what the potential problems are. After all, exercise sees you taking on a lot more physical exertion. You’re putting new demands on your body.

 

So you need to be very careful when it comes to exercise. If you’re not doing it properly, then you put a few aspects of your health in danger. We’re going to take a look at some of the most common mistakes that can have the precise opposite of the positive results on your body that you’re after!

 

Doing the wrong exercises

 

Some of the most popular exercises out there are actually not all that great for you. Some are these considered to be very basic exercises, go-to workout elements for beginners. Many are even taught to children at schools. Sadly, some of them do more damage than good.

 

Perhaps the most popular exercise that is known to do bodily damage is the humble crunch, otherwise known as a sit-up. You may think that this is a staple of any good bodybuilding exercise, but it’s actually best avoided; it does damage to your spine and your stomach muscles, which are the precise areas they’re supposed to be strengthening! Yes, crunches can help build up your abs – but your spine will be damaged in the long run. Planking is much better! Research the steps in your exercise routine; find alternatives if you need to.

 

Ignoring muscle strain

 

You’ve probably heard the saying “no pain, no gain” at some point in your life. It’s not just a classic quote in the world of body-building and general exercise; the saying dates back to spiritual writings as the second century. This saying is often taken to a bad end. There’s this idea among many fitness enthusiasts that by getting to a point where exercise is causing pain, and then working out through that pain, you’ll be gaining muscle and stamina in ways that simply aren’t possible otherwise. But this simply isn’t true.

 

Any pain you experience should be tended to as soon as possible, and your exercise regime may need to be altered as a result. For example, ankle, shin, or thigh pain may require the use of compression socks for a while. It’s true that some pain is inevitable, but this comes in the form of general aching from muscle fatigue and development. Profound pain isn’t going to help you get fitter!

 

 

Combining exercise with a small diet

 

There’s this common misconception that people who exercise must eat a lot eat less than people who don’t. After all, isn’t exercise mostly about weight loss? How else can they keep skinny if they’re not eating less than you?

 

Actually, people who exercise frequently probably eat more than they did before they exercised (unless they actually did have to lose weight!). You have to pay special attention to what you eat; you need to get a lot of nutrients, and most of the energy you need to exercise consistently will come from your food!

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 Know If A Workout Is Right For You

When it comes to exercise, it’s not always easy to love. Sometimes, you can try out something that you think you should be doing and dislike it so much that you stop exercising altogether. So, it’s important that you’re able to find a workout that is right for you. But, how do you know when something is going to be right for you? More often than not, you can be too scared to find out. But, there is a way that you can work out what might suit you, and ensure that you feel comfortable when doing it.

 

Know Your Goals

 

First of all, you will find that it helps to consider your own personal health and fitness targets before you choose a workout. Depending on whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, or generally improve your health levels, you may find that you can figure out the right kind of workout for you based on what you’re looking to improve. You may want to consider different options like cardio, resistance training, classes or sports to see which matches up to your goals the most.

 

Know What You Enjoy

 

Next, you should also be sure to work out what it is that you enjoy doing the most. Because that’s the thing about working out. When you don’t enjoy it, you just won’t do it. So, you need to make sure you know what you like about working out and what you don’t. Do you like group exercises or taking a class? Do you prefer to be outside rather than in the gym? Or maybe you like playing sports instead? Regardless of what you choose, you need to know which feels right to you.

 

 

Try A Different Range

 

Next, you then need to think about the different kind of workouts that there are to try. It may be a great idea to do your research using something like topworkoutprograms.com to find out what might work. Unless you know that you really don’t want to do one kind of thing, give cardio, resistance workouts, classes and sports a try to see if any feel right for you. Trying a lot of varied workouts is the key here.

 

Push Your Comfort Zone

 

It may also be worth thinking about trying new things. There are lots of unique, different, and interesting workout ideas like these on charlotteagenda.com that may not be like anything you’ve ever tried or heard of before. You can often find that pushing your comfort zone is a great way to find out what works best for you.

 

Stick With What Feels Right

 

Then, when you’ve done a bit of research and tried out a few things, you should start to be able to figure out what feels right for you. Whether it’s a workout class or a sport, working with a trainer or running on the roads, by trying out the things that you think you may like the most, you will easily be able to figure out what kinds of workouts are right for you.

 

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.

Vitamins And You: Give Your Body What It Needs

Getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals into our diets, in reality, is quite a difficult task. If you think about it, the logical thing to do is to eat the correct food that can provide you with everything your body needs. Sometimes, however, we simply don’t have enough time to plan out every meal perfectly to ensure we are getting what we need.

 

So what exactly does our body need to run at it’s best?

  • Vitamin A – this helps our eyes, teeth, and skin to stay at their best.
    Found in: Carrots and anything with the carotene pigment.
  • Vitamin B Group – these help our immune system and energy levels.
    Found in: Seeds and foods like potatoes.
  • Vitamin C – great for iron absorption and keeping your blood vessels healthy.
    Found in: Oranges and other vegetables with Vitamin C.
  • Vitamin D – keeps our bones strong and healthy.
    Found in: Fish and eggs.
  • Vitamin E – ensures good blood circulation.
    Found in: Nuts and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin K – useful for ensuring your blood doesn’t thin.
    Found in: The majority of green leaf vegetables.
  • Calcium – for healthy teeth and bones.
    Found in: Milk and dairy products.
  • Zinc – helps your immunity and promotes fertility.
    Found in: Cashews, beans, and seafood.
  • Iron – for healthy blood.
    Found in: Liver, pumpkin seeds and lentils.

 

Implementing these foods into your diet may be somewhat of a difficult task for those of us that have allergies or an intolerance to a particular kind of food. Introduce as many of these into your meals, and you will notice a difference in how you feel.

 

If you are, however, struggling to get enough vitamins and minerals into your body because of crazy work schedules or allergies, then you could take supplements. Visit aSquared Nutrition site to see what’s available for you to try. Missing out on vital nutrients could lead to horrible illnesses like scurvy and blindness. Pregnant women especially need to make sure that they consume enough vitamins because it can prevent birth defects in their soon to be born child.

 

 

Some great ways of getting your required daily intake of these vitamins and minerals are to:

  1. Pre-pack some snacks and your lunch for work. Take some carrot sticks in a tub along with a medley of nuts. These will also be much healthier to nibble on than any cakes and biscuits your office may offer.
  2. Replacing regular chips with sweet potato fries will be much more health beneficial.
  3. Adding salad and vegetables to as many meals as possible will increase your intake, and it may also promote weight loss because these foods are generally very low in calories.
  4. Swapping a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar for a piece of fruit will do your waistline a favor, and also your blood.
  5. Boiled eggs are a fantastic food to snack on, because they’re filling and healthy too.

 

Look after your body, and it will look after you. Try and get as many vitamins into your diet as possible and you will feel amazing in no time!

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 Top 3 Sports To Help You Get Back Into Shape

There are many ways to keep fit, and sport is one the most enjoyable ways to do so. If you know you need to shed a few pounds, then maybe it’s time you consider taking part in a sport you might enjoy. Not only will you start to feel better about yourself, but you will also meet like-minded people who will keep you motivated. Consider the following sports to help you get back into shape.

Tennis

This popular sport is perfect for giving all your muscle groups a workout. From running around the court to swinging your racquet, you will improve the muscle tone in your legs and arms. There are other benefits too. For starters, your reaction times will improve, and your aerobic skills will be called into play as you bounce around the court. The sport is also good for your cardiovascular system, increasing your heart rate and lowering your risk of heart disease.

There is bound to be a tennis club near you, though you could always hire a court to play with your friends and family. You will need the right gear, including one of these colorful tennis headbands, decent tennis shoes and loose clothing to help you get around the court. Tennis is a great choice for anybody keen on getting into a sport. While it’s not only as simple as batting a ball over a net, this is a game still relatively simple to learn.

Running

There are many benefits to running, including burning away calories and strengthening your leg joints and muscles. Running is also a proven way to alleviate depression due to the release of the feel-good chemicals known as endorphins and can reduce the effects of stress.

Running is one sport that you can do in your own time and the place of your choosing. You might run around your local street or park, rather than a traditional running track. Don’t expect to be able to run a marathon within a few days, however. It is important to pace yourself, otherwise, you are at risk of one of these common running injuries. Take care as you go, buy the running shoes that are comfortable to wear, and drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.

Swimming

Unlike other sports, swimming will put less pressure on your joints, while still helping you to build muscle strength and lose calories. It is also good for your heart rate, and will get will the blood pumping through your body. The added benefit to getting in the swimming pool is having a place to relax after going a few lengths of the pool.

It’s possible that swimming is the most effective sport you can take part in. Unlike a trip to the gym where different pieces of equipment work on isolated parts of your body; swimming enables you to use most of your body’s muscles. The butterfly stroke is said to be the most effective way to lose weight, but find something you are comfortable with.

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.

Tired of Being Tired? Read This

You may have heard that a good fitness regime helps you strengthen your energy levels. But a lot of people who have started a fitness regime end up feeling a bit baffled by this logic. After all, don’t you need good energy levels in the first place in order to exercise efficiently? This is true, to an extent. But it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of being unfit if you feel your energy levels depleting way too quickly. This problem is mostly the result of mistakes in your approach. So, if you’re tired of being tired; here’s how to keep your energy level boosted!

Stop rushing!

Your energy levels are going to increase gradually. If you go from zero to a hundred with a fitness regime, then you’re going to tire yourself out like crazy. The key is to take things slowly to ensure you don’t eat up all your energy. Make reasonable short-term goals and work towards those – this will make your progression make less daunting.

Be careful with what you eat

Your diet is going to have a massive effect on your energy levels. Even if you’re not putting focus on exercise right now (mistake!), the right diet will help prevent both physical and mental fatigue. Make sure you’re getting enough energy-boosting nutrients such as protein and B vitamins. Ensure your meals have a few additives as possible; this includes any performance boosters, which is why people buy Isagenix. And be strategic with your portions! Too small a meal or snack will rob you of energy; too big a portion will divert all your energy towards digestion!

Get some more sleep

No matter how many energy-boosting methods you use, there will simply never be a better method than getting enough sleep every night. This is especially important if you’re working on a fitness regime. Don’t fall into the trap of associating sleep with laziness; this is a mindset that plagues many new go-getters in the world of fitness. Make sure you’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night; your body needs that recovery time. Try to ensure you’re going to bed at more or less the same time every night, and definitely ensure you’re waking up at a consistent time – even on your days off.

Take breaks

Whether you’re having an intense workout or simply working away at a desk job, you need to take breaks for both your body and mind. Overworking your muscles leads to fatigue and inefficiency. The problem, like what we talked about in the last section, is that people associate breaks with laziness. They see it as an indulgence, rather than for what it is – a necessity. Don’t skip breaks at home, at the gym, or at work!

Drink loads of water

Even mild dehydration is going to zap your energy levels. Unfortunately, most Americans are mildly dehydrated for most of the day. It’s estimated that we should be drinking around 1.5-2 liters of water a day. Those of us who are exercising need to drink a little more on the days of our workouts. Along with sleep, a healthy and regular intake of water is one of the most essential elements to maintaining energy levels.

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

What’s The Link Between Stress & Mental Health?

Our minds are made to handle a lot of stress – we’re built to be able to withstand stressful situations. However, when we come under a lot of stress on a constant basis, that’s when problems can arise. The fact is that study after study has shown that high levels of stress on a constant basis, such as from a job that comes with a lot of pressure, or an upsetting situation at home, can make mental health problems more likely. There is a link between stress and mental health, but it’s not exactly clear cut – there are a lot of ins and outs to it. Want to learn more about the link between excessive stress and mental health problems like OCD, anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia? Then read on, as all is about to be revealed.

Does stress automatically lead to mental health problems?

Despite the fact that stress can, in some instances, cause mental health problems, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t automatically cause them. In some instances, stress can be a contributing factor to why a person develops an anxiety disorder, for instance, but that doesn’t mean high levels of stress will always lead to mental health problems. The fact is that being under pressure is a normal part of life – it can drive us to work harder, be more productive, and reach our goals. Problems arise when you begin to feel overwhelmed by stress.

Is stress the only factor linked to mental health issues?

Stress isn’t the only cause linked to mental health problems. Most conditions, such as schizophrenia, are also linked to genetics, brain structure, neurotransmitters, and triggers, one of which is stress, but there are also others like drugs and alcohol, for instance. A lot of mental health problems also have different levels, so for instance, there are different types of schizophrenia, ranging from mild to severe. If someone becomes withdrawn, doesn’t want to socialize, and struggles with the day to day aspects of lift, but isn’t having delusions, then it may be mild schizophrenia, instead of a more severe level of this condition. Sometimes, more mild version of a condition are linked to stress, whereas more severe ones are caused by other factors, although this isn’t always the case.

Can stress make existing mental health problems worse?

Studies have shown that stress can excavate existing mental health problems, making them worse. For instance, say you suffer from depression, studies have shown that when your stress levels are high thanks to a hectic job, family problems, money worries, or something else, it can make your depression worse. The same applies to other mental health problems, from OCD and anxiety to bipolar disorder. So if you suffer from an existing mental health problem, it’s important to keep your stress levels to a minimum by having an outlet for stress such as jogging, practicing yoga, or doing a calming activity like reading, adult coloring, or completing brain puzzles.

There is a link between stress and mental health, but it’s not a clear-cut one and is tends to differ from person to person.

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.

Get Ready To Improve Your Running Performance With A Bike

When it comes to running, whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner, there are some plenty of tips that you didn’t even think you needed. We have touched on the most obvious of them in a previous article on runningsolegirl.com. For a start, a healthy runner, needs to pick the right attire, which means that you need to choose shoes that can absorb the shock and protect your knees and ankles from getting injured. When you run, you need to accept that you are investing in your health. Consequently, you have to be ready to pay the full price for a pair of shoes that will help you to prevent injuries. But naturally, embracing the running side of life doesn’t stop there. Your body goes through a lot, especially if you decide to run long distances. You need to adapt your diet to your workout requirements so that you can fuel your body with all the nutrients it needs to perform. However, you can also improve your running performance with a bike. Want to see how? Read below.

Pick the Right Bike for Your Needs

Just like running requires the right equipment, cycling does too. However, the kind of bike you need will depend on your cycling abilities and preferences. Are you a road cyclist or are you an off-road enthusiast? If you fancy the idea of cycling along natural tracks in the countryside, you might need to studies some of the mountain bike reviews from mountainbikesreviewed.com to find out everything you need from brake power to suspension. As a rule of the thumb, runners need a light to a medium-light bike that is suitable for road and slightly out of the beaten track trails so that you can follow your usual running route. Stay away from heavy bikes, and pick instead bikes that offer a responsive, stable and smooth riding experience.

Bikes Offer a Friendly Training Option

Contrary to running, cycling offers a joint-friendly alternative, that is very helpful if you’re recovering from an injury or if you suffer from painful joints. In truth, cycling regularly can help your joints to become stronger and can gradually help you to prevent the development of long-term weaknesses such as arthritis. More importantly, it keeps your muscles active even through a recovery period, which makes it the ideal activity to maintain your strength without causing your body any further damage.

Bikes Can Develop Your Endurance

Last, but not least, cycling offers an ideal combination of strength and endurance; which can help you to improve your performance. Cycling long distances with periods of sprints is a preferred training method for runners who want to maximize their endurance. Since it gradually develops your muscles to sustain a bigger effort. Additionally, there’s no denying that cycling helps your lung capacity to grow; which is exactly what you need when you are running long distances. You will find yourself feeling less out of breath and able to tackle more sizeable running challenges. As surprising as it might sound; one of the best training approaches for a marathon is to go cycling, a lot!

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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