prevention

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.

Run Away From These Common Running Injuries

Even though running is a great way to improve your fitness and stay fit, it also runs the risk of certain injuries. Most of the time, it is beginner runners who end up injuring themselves as they are inexperienced and don’t take things like warming up as seriously as they should do. This problem isn’t just one for beginners, though – some experts believe that around 79% of runners end up taking some time off from their training schedules.

So, if you don’t want to end up with an injured leg for a month or so, it’s important that you are careful with your running. To make sure you look after yourself when you are out pounding the streets, here is everything you need to know in order to prevent any running injuries.

Always Warm Up And Cool Down

No matter what kind of sport you do, it is always necessary to warm up and cool down. Whether you are going to shoot some hoops in a basketball match or are going to the gym to do a fitness class, you always need to get your muscles ready for action. And this is also the case with running. Ideally, your warm-up session should involve some light cardio and stretches, but it shouldn’t be too strenuous. After all, you don’t want to use up all of your energy before you have even started your main exercise! After you have been for your run, you then need to cool down. This is necessary as it can help your heart rate and breathing come back to their regular rates. Not only that, though, but it will also prevent any blood from pooling in your muscles. If you fail to warm up and cool down, then you are increasing the chance of straining yourself and pulling a muscle. Not cooling down enough will also help save you from any cramp and painful muscles after your run.

Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard

When many beginners take up running, they often find it difficult to figure out what their ideal pace is. As a result, they can often run way too fast, which can be too much for their muscles to take. It is very important to start off slowly so that you know your muscles can cope with the impact and pressure. Once you get used to a pace and start to find it too slow, you can slowly increase your speed. It is also crucial to increase your weekly mileage very slowly as well. Before you do increase your mileage and speed, you need to correctly prepare the body for all the extra stress. This means you need to work on your cardio to ensure that you are up for all the extra aerobic activity. But you also need to concentrate on your muscles as well. Otherwise, you could end up pulling a muscle or developing shin splints. One general rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by 10%. Then, once you are comfortable with this increase, you can continue to increase it by a further 10%. If you struggle to work out how much 10% is, you might find it useful to download a running app. There are many that have training plans for beginners and aim to get them running 10 kilometers within a set period of time.

Get The Right Gear

Did you know that your running shoes could be the cause of your running injuries? There are certain ones that are considered the best running shoes for women, and it is worth looking through these to find a pair. But you also need to make sure that the pair you choose are suitable for the way you run. When we run, we each have a slightly different gait which causes us to each land on our feet differently. It’s important that your pair of running shoes cushions and support the part of your foot that takes the most stress from hitting the floor. For example, if you tend to land on your heel, you should get some shoes that have plenty of support in the heel and ankle of the shoe. Whereas you will need a shoe that is well supported in the front half if you tend to land toe-first. Running in the wrong type of shoe will increase your chance of suffering from shin splints. These develop after repeated stress on the shins, and cause shooting pain up the legs. They often result in runners taking a month off running to let their shins heal.

Improve Your Flexibility

You might think that just concentrating on running will help your performance when you are out on the track. Makes sense, right? But, in actual fact, you should also do some exercising that will help to improve and maintain your flexibility. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure you stretch every day. However, you will need to do some physical activity before you do your stretching as stretching cold muscles could cause them to strain. Simply jogging on the spot for 20 seconds will be enough to warm the muscles up for a stretch. Lots of runners also find that taking regular Yoga and Pilates classes are also very useful for improving flexibility. Keeping flexible won’t just reduce your risk of injuries, but it will also help to improve your overall performance as well.

Work On Your Strength

As well as flexibility, you should also work on your body’s strength. That’s because an improved strength will help your muscles to work for longer and harder without going into a state of fatigue. And that means they will be better protected against common injuries such as strains and tears. One of the main mistakes some runners make when they are working on their strength is to just improve the strength in their legs. Even if these are the main muscles you use while running, you should still aim to improve your core and arm muscle strength as well. If you don’t already do any strength training, you might like to try weightlifting and plyometrics.

Get Your Gait Analyzed

I’ve already touched on the fact that we all have different gaits when we run. This affects how we land on our feet while running, and, unfortunately, a poor gait can sometimes lead to injuries. Thankfully, there is something you can do about this! As well as making sure that you have the correct footwear, as already mentioned, you should also see about getting a formal gait analysis. During this analysis, a running expert will watch you run on a treadmill and see how your body moves. From this, they will be able to advise you on the best type of shoes you should wear. They will also be able to provide you with some orthotic inserts for your shoes if they think that they can help you during your runs. They might also be able to provide you with some advice that can help you improve your posture while you run. Changing your posture can significantly change the balance of weight in your body while you run, which can help you land better on your feet.

Stay Well Hydrated During Training

Another reason why runners end up damaging their body is that they don’t drink enough water before and during their runs. This is especially important on hot days as the body can easily succumb to heat exhaustion when it is put under physical stress. For the best results, you need to start hydrating your body at least two hours before you go out to run. Experts then agree that you should aim to take in about 8 ounces of water during the run. Your body will also need plenty of fluids once you have finished exercising so that it can rehydrate. For this most reason, most professionals aim to drink a pint of water within an hour of completing their workout. This is something that amateur runners should aim to do as well.

Remember To Rest

Resting is just as important as the exercising itself! In fact, if you don’t factor in enough rest days into the week, you could end up pushing your body beyond its limits and might end up suffering from injuries. For beginner runners, you should have at least three rest days each week. Once your body starts to develop and gets used to your training sessions, you can then start to take just two rest days a week. These rest days are crucial as it gives your body time to recover from all of the strenuous exercise that it has been though. This is also the time when your muscles get stronger, so if you don’t rest up enough, you might find that there is very little improvement in your overall running performance.

Running injuries are extremely frustrating and, in some extreme cases, they can end up to be quite serious indeed. But if you remember all of this great advice while you are out running, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about!

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.

Runners High: Body Maintenance Tips To Keep You Running Healthier, For Longer

Running is a favorite pastime of many of us who like to keep fit and in shape. It’s arguably one of the oldest human exercises. Early humans used to catch their animal prey through ‘persistence hunting,’ which is basically running with such endurance towards a sprinting animal to the point where they had no stamina left to flee. Pretty morbid right? It’s still seriously impressive when you think about it.

It’s no wonder so many humans run so well, from both sprint and endurance perspectives. We’re bipedal creatures, and that means that we’re used to running and moving forward during our daily lives. It’s arguable that runners replicate the natural exercise pathways available to us since we began to walk upright. Anyone who runs is taking part in a tradition thousands of years old.

However, over time, our body can accumulate wear and tear, and this might make even the most productive and celebrated running career get cut off early. There are ways around this, however. With a few tips grounded in running foresight, we can be sure that we’ll be sufficiently healthy to keep our exercise passion going as long as we can.

Adequate Footwear

You need to wear supportive, well-fitting shoes that will protect you from all surfaces of a road. Some people prefer to wear form-fitting toe running shoes because they more naturally approximate the running cadence and foot angles that a barefoot run would provide. Whatever you enjoy the most, there’s no escaping the need for good footwear.

The Correct Running Program

This is the time to get sensible. You might have been deeply inspired by the ‘persistence hunting’ approach discussed above, and this might have led you to leave your house, buy some running shoes, and return to the second point in this article. It’s unlikely, but you never know. However, this gung-ho attitude can hurt you in the long run when it comes to identifying what workout plan you want to embark on. If you’re a beginner, throwing yourself into a long track run can actually hurt you more than help you. Running is a fairly demanding exercise on your bones and joints, and especially if your body isn’t conditioned to stress. Choose a great beginners program like Couch 2 5k if you want to begin the most effectively. You’ll actually see better results this way than through any other running method, thanks to the emphasis on recovery and recuperation this workout possesses.

Taking Care of Physical Issues

You can’t run effectively if you have health issues affecting your cadence or balance. If you have issues with your feet or ankles, it’s worth using a service like ashton podiatry to help professional correct these flaws, and then taking their advice at how long you can expect to wait before running becomes a beneficial endeavor once more.

Breathing and Posturing Tips

It can be tempting to slouch when you’re exhausted nearing the end of your run, but this harms your ability to breath effectively and can harm your body’s tension which is needed to maintain a good running cadence. Keep your shoulders up, your arms swinging freely, and your pace good. Lift up your chest and chin to look right ahead of you, and breath into your stomach. This will help you keep your body in peak performance mode than can help even the most painful running ‘walls’ become nothing but temporary phenomena. The runner’s high awaits on the other side.

Be sure that with these tips, your running career will be a fruitful and beautiful one. There’s no better way to explore your local area and celebrate the joy of life.

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.

Latest from Instagram

Copyright © 2018 · Theme by 17th Avenue