prevention

10 Reasons Yoga is a Better Workout Than the Gym

Physical exercise is good for health since it helps the body to remain fit. Regular exercise also helps the mind to stay in sound condition because it controls all the organs of the body.  As such, yoga is believed to be a better workout than gym due to different reasons.

Yoga is not a very new discipline in the area of fitness but is gaining significant recognition in different places. Yoga includes meditation, breath control as well as practicing different body postures and it has a strong link to Hindu spiritualism.

Many people interested in improving their spirit, physical health, state of mind as well as lower hypertension are turning to yoga.  It is also interesting to note that research shows that yoga also helps to reduce risks of heart disease, depression, anxiety, diabetes, and other cancer-related disorders.  

There are also other benefits of yoga, and this article highlights ten significant reasons why the form of workout is better than the gym.

Yoga Reduces Stress

Yoga is effective in reducing stress levels among different individuals.  It includes meditation which is helpful in clearing the stress effects of the day. On the other hand, the gym is characterized by heavy lifts and loud music that can contribute to your stress level.

Yoga also benefits the mind by infusing the spirit with positive energy. With a good mood and state of mind, there are high chances of living a healthy lifestyle. Gym primarily focuses on the physical fitness of the body but excludes vital elements like wellness of the mind and spirit.  

You Can Gain Self-Confidence From Yoga

The other important aspect about yoga is that it focuses on the “self.” It is designed to teach you about issues such as accepting your weaknesses and strategies to turn them into strengths. When you visit a yoga studio, you realize that there are no mirrors such that you focus on yourself most of the time.  

When you are practicing yoga, you tend to appreciate yourself. In a gym, some mirrors can divert your attention to look at what other people are doing. Gym classes can create that impression of failure if you do not manage to complete all tasks. However, yoga encourages you to do better.

Yoga Improves The Whole Body

Yoga practice is good for the digestive, circulatory as well as the nervous system. Through twisting and stretching, yoga helps the operations in the body to function normally. It helps the body to detox while at the same time improving the cardiovascular system.

At the same time, muscles in different parts of the body can also gain strength through yoga practice. A gym workout mainly aims at strengthening the muscles as well as boosting cardio. Yoga seems to be good for the whole body.

Yoga Makes Your Body Lean

By stretching different muscles of your body through yoga practice, you are making them stronger. A lean body is good since it gives you the flexibility you need to perform various tasks.

Gym workout, on the other hand, makes you muscles bulk due to heavyweights. Bulk tissues can affect the structure of your body. Some people feel comfortable with slim bodies since they give them a lot of advantages. A thin body, for example, has good stamina and it can react quickly compared to a bulk body structure.  

You Can Practice Yoga Anywhere

Yoga is different from gym workout in that you can do it anywhere. The portable thing you may require is a yoga mate and small space at home. You can practice yoga either indoors or outside as long as you have enough space to perform different styles of exercise.

A gym requires a big space as well as a lot of equipment.   If you want to design a gym workout studio at home, you must ensure that you have enough space more significant than a room. The issue of space might pose a challenge to those who live in apartments with limited space. However, yoga is possible anywhere.

Yoga is Efficient

You do not require weights as well as other equipment mainly used in gym classes. Yoga primarily relies on your body to perform different postures.  The whole body benefits through yoga, unlike gym classes where you work each muscle individually.

Gym classes take a lot of time to strengthen the muscles, unlike yoga that works the entire body simultaneously. There is also a need for specific equipment to work each part of the body, and this can be costly at the end of the day.  

Yoga Improves Breathing

Yoga is right for your health because it improves your breathing. When you perform different postures, the muscles around the nasal passage also flex. The other issue is that yoga focuses on breath since you take deep breaths along the exercise.

In stressful situations, deep breaths are essential since they help to calm the body. Gym workout can strain to breathe as a result of the weight exerted on the body. Gym class can build tension which affects breathing while yoga releases explicitly stress.

Everyone Can Practice Yoga

The other issue that makes yoga outstanding compared to gym workout is that anyone can practice it. The point of age does not affect one from practicing yoga. Yoga is beneficial to people with ailments and also helps the elderly adults to improve their health.

However, gym classes are not friendly to the senior people since their muscles cannot sustain the heavyweights. Yoga is also perfect for women since they can also perform a variety of postures without straining their muscles. The main benefit of yoga is that it does not twist the body with heavy workouts.

Yoga Soothes The Muscles

Gym workout is intense, and it causes pain to the tissues due to heavy lifts. On the other hand, yoga soothes the muscles by improving their flexibility. As you slowly perform different postures, the energy channels open thereby easing pains and aches.

If you practice yoga, you are improving your health instead of causing pain like gym workouts. Yoga helps the muscles to positively respond to pressure while at the same time soothing pain.    

Concentration Improves as a Result of Yoga

The other benefit of yoga is that it helps to improve your level of attention. The practice focuses on the state of the mind, spirit, and body. When you have a stress free memory, you can think properly, and this helps you to gain concentration.

While yoga is good for health, one thing that it cannot do is to burn large quantities of calories. Physical exercises like gym workouts are useful since they improve the process of burning the calories to improve overall health. Loads of calories in the body can affect the quality of sleep if the digestive system does not correctly function.

It is essential to perform traditional exercises on top of yoga to achieve quality health status. All the same, you need to sleep on the best mattress for long and peacefully rest. Visit our website for different types of best online mattresses can suit your comfort needs after performing some routine exercises that are good for your health.

Reference Links:

http://www.doyouyoga.com/15-reasons-yoga-is-better-than-the-gym/

http://time.com/4185626/yoga-exercise-workout/

https://sleepdelivered.com/best-mattress




Trish, which is her pen name, is a New Orleans native who works in the insurance industry. She is married and enjoys reviewing and testing out new mattresses in a quest for the best night’s sleep. She is honest and upfront without being pushy or sales driven. Read more.

How to Ease Achilles tendon Soreness for Running

If your Achilles tendon has pain after running or workout, physiotherapists recommend you stretch your calf muscles and the Achilles. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body – but it’s also susceptible to serious injuries during a sport that will keep you on the feet and employs some pushing-off motion.

I’ll discuss how to reduce Achilles tendon soreness, for better running, before it escalates to a tendon tear – which otherwise has slow and painful recovery.


Avoid Achilles Tendon Rupture

Running might inflame your Achilles due to calf muscles’ tightness and excessive rubbing of the structure surrounding it. Further, the Achilles tends to weaken over time after every run – which could lead to tendon tear or rupture.

Therefore, stretching your calf muscles regularly (before and after runs) will help ease the pressure landing on your Achilles. For athletes, particularly runners, I recommend the Soleus stretch and Gastroc stretch for a minimum of 4 minutes every day.

Another great hack for beating pain from Achilles tendonitis is to cut the running stride to the most appropriate. Also, use the outer heel when striking the ground – this is particularly true for forefoot/ and midfoot striker

Upper Calf Muscle (Gastroc) Stretching

In this exercise, you’ll need to stand and faces the wall that is appropriately an arms-length away. Next, slide the feet on your affected leg backward.

Ensure to keep your heel on the floor (turn it outward a bit) and knee must remain straight – until you have stretched your upper calf. So, maintain this position for about 15 seconds.

Lower Calf Muscle (Soleus) Stretching

For this stretch, place your foot and body just like in the Gastroc stretching above but now bend both knees until you feel the lower calf stretching. Equally, remain in this position for 10 seconds.

Achilles Tendon Stretch

For the Achilles tendon: Stand on a stair (or raised surface) with the balls of your feet, and place your heels off from the edge of the surface.

Raise your toes, maintain that position for 10 seconds, and then lower your heels to the farthest point possible.

Fit Your Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis

Shoe inserts (orthotics) such as heel pads can help cut the elevation and resultant pressure on the calf and Achilles tendon. Shoe inserts are particularly helpful for with Achilles issues triggered by over-pronation and angular tendon pulling.

Further, you’ll need to get fitted for Achilles Tendonitis shoes. Check out more info on top rated Achilles Tendonitis running shoes. You must make it a routine to have the shoe fitting or changing exercise so that you don’t put undue pressure on your Achilles tendonitis.

Gradual Running – 10% rule

If by any chance you’ll be increasing your intensity and distance or running – you must follow the 10% rule. The rule states that at any one time, you can only increase your running distance or intensity by 10% of your current values. This will ensure that you do not load your Achilles tendon suddenly, which would cause stress.

However, you must not keep off running (equivalent to Achilles tendon loading) for a long time as this could be detrimental. In addition, before beginning your runs make sure you warm the tendon using some warm water. On the flip side, when you close your running, ensure you cool the tendon using some ice.

Further, if you’re strength training, take it slow for a start. Listen to your Achilles tendon to let you know if you’re straining it – you could feel soreness or morning stiffness. Slow loading will enable your tendon gradually develop tolerance and thus avoiding sorenessor tearing.

Conclusion

Continue with these stretches daily for 2 weeks until the pain subsides. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor or physiotherapists to analyze the foot motion and gait since it could be the issue.

Remember to tell the medical practitioner about any specific run or stretch that increases the pain. I hope you’ll add these stretching routine to your running schedule now. Also, let me know if they help relieve the Achilles soreness.

Breaking The Pain Barrier: How To Overcome Pain For Good

This post is sponsored by Lewonde

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.

Due to most of sitting during a large portion of our day, it can lead to muscles being tight and pulling us into a position that leads to poor posture. To help release these muscles and let your spine relax and decompress, you can use a lumbar stretcher like the Lewonde Back Stretcher (pictured above). By stretching your spine, you allow it to decompress, which allows it pull in nutrients, oxygen, and fluid back into the discs. Therefore, alleviating your back pain, and hopefully letting you overcome pain for good. Plus you can use it to stretch your spine, or put it in your office chair to help you maintain proper posture while sitting. I use mine everyday and have noticed a real difference in the tightness of my back.

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.

Mental Health: Using Your Experiences To Help Others

Every year almost 1 in 5 (around 42.5 million) American adults suffer from some sort of mental health issue; including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. This is a scarily large figure but doesn’t include a large number of cases. Especially of mental health issues within teenagers and younger children. This large figure means that, although there are a lot of people suffering from mental health issues; there are also a lot of people that are suffering or have suffered; who want to use their experiences with mental health to help others.

If you have suffered from a mental health issue; you will be able to better understand the person whom you are trying to help. You can also share your own experiences, so they don’t feel alone. Many people do this; I’ve listed a few different ways in which you too can take your experience to help others. Of course, none of these options are a replacement of professional help; they are simply others forms of support and forms that often help a person to realize that something may be wrong and that they may need professional help. There is importance with mental health using your experience to help others.

Mentoring

If you are still of school or college age, then mentoring might be a good option for you. It allows you to engage with people the same age or a little bit younger than you and provide support and guidance. Most people, when they first realize that something may be wrong do one of two things; they either search for their symptoms online or talk to a friend.

As we all know, Googling symptoms is never a good idea, as it always says somewhere down the line that you’re dying of some rare disease that you don’t even find in your country. Talking to a friend, however, that is helpful. Friends are there to provide you emotional support, so are often the first people you tell about a mental health issue, even before family. However, some people may feel as though they don’t have a friend they can truly trust, and confide in, which is why peer-to-peer mentoring is such a good idea – It provides you with a confidant, who you can trust to listen to you and try to help you if they can.

Blogging

Blogging can assist you in helping others on a much wider scale than one to one mentoring. Depending on your experiences, you can write about a range of topics from self-help and techniques on coping with stress, to any medication you may be taking. Many people with mental health issues feel completely alone, but simply sharing your experiences can change that, and help them have a much more positive view of themselves. Blogging allows you the option to remain anonymous, and with plenty of useful tools and websites online, setting up a blog nowadays is relatively easy, so there’s absolutely no reason why this couldn’t be an option for you.

Vlogging

In the past few years watching your favorite channels on YouTube seems to be more popular than watching your favorite channels on an actual television. If you wanted to aim your support and guidance at younger adults and teenagers, vlogging is a brilliant idea. There are many wonderful YouTube channels based solely on mental health; which have videos based on the suggested topics of blog posts from above. Many of the bigger YouTubers, such as Zoella and JackGap, also use their channels as a platform to talk about their own experiences with their mental health. This allows young people with mental health issues to feel more ‘normal’; by knowing that their favorite YouTube star also suffers from the same things as they do. There are many helpful guides online that explain to you how to set up a YouTube channel, which can make the whole process a lot easier – All you need now is a camera.

Become A Therapist

A therapist is a mental health professional, who assists their patients in reducing their symptoms of mental illness, by improving their emotional and cognitive skills, and teaching them how to cope with various challenges from everyday life. Granted, this isn’t the easiest way to share your experiences concerning mental health. It certainly takes a lot of dedication, but if it’s what you want to do, then it is definitely possible. By taking an online psychology degree, you can study and get the qualifications you need to commence in higher education, while still having the time to hold down a full-time job.

Join A Therapy Group

If you don’t want to become a therapist yourself, joining a therapy group is another great way to share your experiences with mental health. Not only will it help you, as you can share you problems, hear others advice, and hear other people’s own experiences, but you can also help out other in the group in the same way. This is a lot like mentoring, except it’s not on a one to one basis; which in the long run might be better for some people. It provides you with a group of people who understand you, rather than just one; which could provide you with a sense of belonging.

All of these are great ways of using your own experiences with mental health to help others. Many of them could also help you improve your own mental health at the same time; as they provide an audience to which you can let out any feelings and emotions. However, you must always remember that, although you may want to help people, and although you may have in-depth experience of your own mental health problems unless you do train to become a therapist, you are not a professional. You can certainly provide advice and support. However, you need to know when to let a person know they need to speak to a professional.

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 Things To Avoid To Keep Your Lungs As Healthy As Possible

We all know that eating right and exercising is the best way to stay healthy. However, there are so many things in life that can damage your lungs. Your lungs are one of the main parts of your body that keep you alive; so looking after them is imperative. Here are are some examples of things to avoid to keep your lungs healthy.

Smoking

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Smoking cigarettes is probably the most dangerous thing that you could put into your body. Not only can it harm your lungs and cause you to contract lung cancer; it can cause many other cancers too. Did you know, that every cigarette that you smoke can take 10 minutes off your life? If you suffer from an illness like asthma or COPD; the effects of smoking can take it’s toll faster than someone who doesn’t suffer from any lung diseases.

It’s not just tobacco that can be harmful if you smoke it either. Smoking any form of drugs can harm your lungs just as much as regular tobacco. Not only that, it can cause dozens of other health problems, including things like psychosis.

If you’re trying to quit smoking, visit your local pharmacist for help on quitting. It will save your wallet and your life.

Bonfire Smoke

There’s nothing quite like huddling around a bonfire and watching the flames engulf the firewood until it burns to glowing embers. However, breathing in bonfire smoke can do serious damage to your health. Even though it may smell nice, the smoke contains dangerous particles that can penetrate the walls of your lungs; causing breathing problems, headaches, runny noses and wheezing. If you are attending a bonfire, try not to stand too close. That way you’re at less risk of reaping the damage that can be caused by bonfire smoke.

Asbestos

Asbestos is something that’s been around for centuries and is typically used in buildings for insulation. After the discovery of asbestosis, it was discontinued in the build of new houses. However, many homes all over the world still contain asbestos; which can pose a threat to anyone who has a lot of exposure to it. If the asbestos is untouched, it shouldn’t harm you but if it’s broken or removed the small fibre particles can enter your lungs and cause damage over time.

If you’re in the industry of home improvements, make sure that you wear a face mask when working with asbestos to make sure that the particles aren’t accidentally breathed in. However, if your company hasn’t been providing face masks, you could call a mesothelioma attorney for compensation; because being exposed to asbestos could have potentially put you at the risk of cancer. Make sure you get yourself checked out if you’re experiencing tightness of the chest, shortness of breath and deformities of your hands.

Cleaning Chemicals

Even though we want to keep our homes clean and hygienic, using bleach without proper protection can lead to lung diseases like COPD, asthma, and can even cause people with current lung conditions to have even worse symptoms. Anything that contains bleach, chlorine, and ammonia is potentially dangerous. The warnings on the side of the product normally advise you to cover your mouth when using it to prevent the fumes from these chemicals harming your lungs. Like with working with asbestos, make sure that you wear a face mask when using these chemicals to prevent any damage to your lungs, even if you are only bleaching the toilet.

Related Article: Detoxify Your Home and Join the Green Cleaning Trend

Carbon Monoxide

We’ve probably all heard that carbon monoxide is dangerous for the body, but why is that? Carbon monoxide is found in cigarettes (one of the many reasons you shouldn’t smoke) and it’s a gas that prevents your lungs from taking in enough air; therefore suffocating the lungs and making it difficult to breathe. Unfortunately, we are even at risk of carbon monoxide in our own homes, so it is definitely worth investing in a carbon monoxide meter which will tell you if any is detected in your home. Having appliances that use fuel in your home serviced regularly should decrease the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Avoiding these 5 things should keep your lungs healthy so that you can concentrate on keeping healthy through a good diet and exercise. If there is anything else that seems like it would be hard on your lungs like dust or particles in the air, make sure to cover your mouth to prevent damage to your lungs.

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.

Understanding The Relationship Between Mind and Body For Better Health

If there is one goal which we would all generally agree to being important, it is to remain as fit and healthy as possible for as long as possible. However, put this way, it doesn’t really tell us much. The truth is that there is much more to it than it at first appears, and getting to grips with that is the first essential step towards understanding it more fully. As it turns out, anyone who wants to improve their health in any big and lasting way will benefit massively from understanding a little about the psychology behind it all. Fortunately, such psychology is easy to understand and will help you with any health goals you hope to achieve. Let’s take a deeper look into the world of psychology to understand the relationship between mind and body a little better.

A Two-Way Relationship

It is often helpful to think of the relationship between health and mind as a yin and yang situation. In one sense, being healthy helps to promote a more positive psychological outlook, and improves mental well-being. But at the same time, fostering a healthy mindset is always going to improve the effectiveness of any decisions you make regarding your physical health. It might be beneficial to visualize the mind and body relationship as a swinging door: no matter which way you push it, it comes back the other way with equal force.

Alternately, you might want to go the way of certain spiritual traditions, and consider the mind and body to really just be two parts of the same machine. Seen from this perspective, it makes little difference what you do for one or the other. Improving your mind strengthens your body, and boosting your physical health likewise brings about more positive and beneficial states of mind. We all already know that getting the mind and body in harmony can have hugely positive effects. This is made all the easier by considering that they are really just one thing anyway. Understand the basic nature of this relationship as well as you can; it will help you no matter what you attempt to do to improve your health.

Building A Strong Foundation

Seen from that viewpoint, it is clearly beneficial to try and build a strong foundation from both the physical and mental sides of the equation. If you look at http://trainingtips.com/strong-foundation/ you will get a good idea of what we are going for here. The better the foundation, the starting point, the more effective any subsequent actions to improve one’s health will be, so this is worth looking into at your earliest convenience. In truth, there is practically no end to what you can do to bring about this harmonious foundation – but there are particular first steps which are worth attempting.

For a start, it is a good idea to try and clear both mind and body of any particularly toxic substances. In the physical realm, this means avoiding any genuine toxins which your body probably doesn’t appreciate having inside it. In many cases, this is extremely difficult to do, especially if those toxins are highly addictive substances which you have been dependent on for some time. If this applies to you, consider visiting somewhere like www.orlandorecovery.com to try and rid yourself of the addiction. It might take a long time, but it will be worth it.

On the mental side, getting rid of toxins means working to remove the basis of unhelpful and damaging thought patterns. This, again, is for many people the work of a lifetime. You might even say that useless mental chitter-chatter is something of an epidemic human disease. Nonetheless, you can make small changes each and every day to gradually do away with these types of thoughts. Take up a meditation routine, even just half an hour a day, and you will be well on your way with this side of the bargain.

Keeping The Balance

Your main mission now is to continue to try and keep the balance between body and mind as you work on improving your health. There are countless fitness and health goals which you might be set on achieving. Regardless of what yours are, you should try to ensure that you always work towards them with both body and mind in the center of the issue at all times. This will ensure that you do not focus too heavily on one to the detriment of the other – a common but often unseen flaw which upends many attempts to improve one’s health. Put simply, you need to work on both improving your physical and mental well-being at the same kind of pace.

The Physical Side

When it comes to looking at improving your physical health, there are a number of easy and common changes which you might want to make. If you feel that you have become sluggish, then the first port of call will be to simply get moving in whatever way you can. This might mean going for a jog every other day, or it might even be something much smaller, to begin with. Whatever it takes, make sure you go at a speed which will not cause too much stress to either side of the equation. Take it as slow as is necessary in order to enjoy it, but as fast as you need to in order to see those changes you want to see.

The Mental Side

Of course, in tandem with this, you will want to think about tending to your mental side. This means continuing with that daily meditation practice, for a start. But it’s also a case of keeping stress at bay, killing it the moment it arises within you. This practice alone will do plenty in terms of keeping you centered and healthy, and you might be surprised at what a difference it really does make overall.

Health only comes to you when you focus in a balanced way on both your body and mind. Focus on those aspects of wellbeing which tend to both, such as good nutrition and plenty of rest, and you will be well on your way to greater 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.

You Shouldn’t “Walk Off” An Injury

While often used as a comedic device, the idea of being able to “walk off” an injury is nevertheless a persistent one. Trip and fall while out running? Walk it off! Stretch too far during a yoga class? Walk it off! However, here are some reasons you shouldn’t walk off an injury.

The whole idea is based on a fundamental lack of understanding about the human body. While there are some injuries which are temporary – momentary spasms of pain that will recede on their own – there is a huge threat caused by trying to “walk off” an injury that can’t be walked off. Of course, you have no way of knowing if the injury you have sustained can be walked off before you try it – but what happens if you give it a go, and what harm are you doing if you’ve calculated incorrectly?

Think About R.I.C.E.

You’re more than likely aware of what “R.I.C.E” means in an injury capacity, but if not, let’s be clear – it’s not this:

What it actually stands for is the way that you should handle an injury:

R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compression
E – Elevation

While you might think you will always know which injury needs the R.I.C.E. treatment and which doesn’t, you’re probably incorrect. R.I.C.E. is not just for those sudden, sharp injuries like turning your ankle – it should also be used for gradual stress injuries, that you might not even notice are building up.

As a rule, if you feel persistent pain – no matter how mild – in any area of your body, it needs to be R.I.C.E-d.

Strength Through Rest

You might think that because you work out regularly, use supplements like AlgaeCal, and have done your research, then you know best. You know that resting an injury can sometimes be worse for it than anything; back injuries, particularly, have a tendency to get worse rather than better if you cease all exercise.

However, learning about the AlgaeCal plant calcium side effects and researching the latest exercise techniques does not mean that you have the power to see into the future. How do you know the pain you’re experiencing in the moment is the kind that won’t benefit from rest?

Put simply: you don’t. It’s great that you have educated yourself on the supplements you should be taking if you exercise regularly and know your way around dealing with workout aches and pains, but you can’t predict the future. It’s far better to stop the moment you feel pain and make a clear-headed assessment of what’s happening to you.

Pain Isn’t Embarrassing

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the “walk it off” line is often used in comedic terms – i.e. someone walks into a door and is told to “walk it off”. This suggests that pain is an embarrassment, the fault of the person who is feeling the pain.

This isn’t the case. It might be embarrassing to trip over while running, but the pain itself should never be a cause for shame. Bodies go wrong. We make mistakes, miscalculate, and hurt ourselves – it’s completely natural. What is embarrassing is trying to carry on when your body is telling you to stop, thereby inevitably making life worse for yourself. Don’t fall into this trap; if something hurts, stop, evaluate, and then make a decision on how to proceed – no matter what anyone else thinks.

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.

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.

Avoiding Nasty Workout Injuries

Exercising is a great way to boost your overall fitness, but it isn’t always positive. There is a dark side of working out, and it is known as suffering an injury. Simply put, exercising places the body under a lot of physical strain, and the stresses can cause things to snap. When they do, it’s painful and very damaging to your health. Thankfully, they are avoidable as long as you follow a few simple rules. Even better, you can find a selection of them underneath.

Stretch Sufficiently

There is a difference between stretching and holding the stretch to give your muscles ample time to warm up. If you’re doing it as an afterthought, there is a good chance of an injury occurring. For starters, there needs to be enough strain to get the blood pumping around the body. The increased blood flow should heighten the muscles’ temperatures, and that will boost flexibility. Hopefully, this will be enough to prevent any unnecessary strain while you exercise. As a rule, there isn’t a one-size fit all policy regarding time, but 20-30 seconds is usually suitable. Also, don’t forget to target as many muscles as possible. The more you leave out, the higher the chance of a tear or sprain.

Cool Down

Almost everyone will warm up before working out, yet they won’t cool down. Now, copying the professionals is enough to put anyone off a cool down for life. The last thing you want is to jump in an ice bath after a ten-mile slog. However, their recovery process is a lot more advanced, and you don’t need to follow suit. In truth, a five to ten-minute walk which includes a couple of stretches should suffice. All you’re looking to do is replace the oxygen debt and lactic acid in your body. If they are present the next time you exercise, they could lead to a lot of pain.

Take PT Classes

‘PT’ stands for physical therapy and it might be the difference between substantial damage and staying injury free. You should know that PT isn’t only for people who need to recover from an injury. In fact, lots of people use it to avoid one in the first place as a weekly session acts as a safety net. The best physical therapist establishments all take on pre and post care patients, so there is no need to wait until it’s too late. The people that get ahead of it tend to avoid the nasty injuries which can sideline you for weeks and months.

Don’t Overload

In your quest to get fit, there is the temptation to take on too much work. Because having a rest day doesn’t feel productive, you might want to exercise every day. Although it’s commendable, it isn’t smart. Injuries happen because of wear and tear over time. By working out more, you’re increasing the tension that you put on the body.

The best option is to train hard over the course of a week, but take a rest day in between sessions. After all, the body needs to take a break too.

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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