sports

Why You Should Take Up Golf

Despite what you might think, golf is not just a workout for retired men, and it is by no means a gentle exercise. In reality, golf incorporates cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and even balance and coordination. It’s also a low-risk injury sport, which is probably why it’s safer for older players to take it up. Read on to find out why you should take up golf and why it should be your next fitness craze.

Long Walks

There is a lot of evidence that walking is good exercise, and golf involves a lot of walking. Most golf courses span across multiple acres of hilly terrain. With 18 holes, the average golf course is between 5 and 8 miles, so you are guaranteed a good workout if you keep a brisk pace between holes. Not to mention how many calories you’ll burn. With all the walking, carrying and swinging involved, golfers can burn up to 1000 calories in a single game.
Once you take up golfing, some side effects from the regular movement include an improved mood, a reduced risk of chronic disease, your legs will look fantastic, and your jeans might feel a little more loose. Remember, this only applies if you don’t take the cart.

Swings Build Strength

Even without weighted clubs, repeated swinging can build up arm strength. Your lower body gets strength training in the form of the aforementioned walking; trekking up those hills is sure to work the quadriceps and hamstrings. Additionally, carrying your own clubs counts as a weight bearing exercise and when used in conjunction with walking you will cause your heart to beat faster and increase calorie burn. If this sounds like to much strength training to take on at once, then just focus on the walking and your golf swing. However, you should also learn more about push carts before you buy one in the hopes of easing your strength training.

Balance

It may not be as obvious as a yoga workout, but golf does involve a great deal of balance. When you first learn how to play golf, your instructor will go over your stance so that you don’t fall over while you swing a club high above your head. Training to achieve the proper balance engages your core abdominal muscles, as well as the muscles of the lower back and even the buttocks. These muscles work together to help prevent back pain, falls and a number of other dangerous occurrences.

Improved Mental Health

Studies show that social interaction with others increases our self-esteem and happiness, and golf is one of the most social sports activities you can do. It can widen your social circle, lift depression, and improve your overall mental health.

Sleep

The more physical activity you do, the easier you find it to sleep at night. Golf incorporates a lot of muscles, takes a lot of concentration, and the players absorb a lot of Vitamin D when they spend time outside. As a result, golfers are more able to sleep soundly without being interrupted by insomnia.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Percussive Massage?

If you’re a fitness enthusiast of any kind, then you’re probably no stranger to the aches and pains that we occasionally experience. It’s a pain – literally – and most of the time it’s because a muscle or tendon is too tight. This is especially common in anyone who does any running – whether alone or as a part of their sport. Sometimes we don’t stretch enough, and completely neglect our foam roller, and then question why we ache. Which is why I wanted to talk about percussive massage, but first what is percussive massage?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Naipo. All opinions are 100% mine.

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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.

Quirky Fitness Ideas For Couch Potatoes

Really hate the gym? If so, don’t worry! You don’t need to torture yourself and drag yourself to your nearest gym each day. In fact, there are plenty of fun and quirky ideas that can help you get fit. So, if you don’t feel particularly motivated you can try one of these super cool fitness ideas for couch potatoes!

Join A Hula Hoop Class

So you may not be a fan of spinning, Pilates, or any other traditional gym class, and I’m sure you’re not on your own! In actual fact, lots of gyms know that there are loads of people who don’t like regular fitness classes, which is why they are now starting to introduce ones that have a fun twist! For instance, hula hoop classes are becoming more and more popular around the world. It’s a great way to get fit with one of your favorite childhood pastimes!

Organize A Color Run

Since 2010, color runs seem to have taken over the country! These unique runs are a great way to boost your fitness and to have some fun with your friends. One of the main features of color runs is that they focus on entrants having run rather than the competitive nature of the race. During the race, non-toxic dry paint is thrown across the runners so that they run through a colorful cloud! This is certainly one race that you will never forget! If you want to organize your own race, you can buy the special color powder from various sites online.

Try Pole Dancing

Did you know that pole dancing actually provides an excellent workout? It’s a great exercise that focuses on your core and helps to keep all your muscles strong and supple. The benefits of this workout were only fully discovered a few years ago, and since then it has exploded onto the fitness scene. There are now lots of classes dotted around the country that range from beginner routines to ones for experts. There are also some classes that include energetic dance sections into the routines for those who want a fantastic aerobic workout.

Get A Mini Trampoline

If your main problem with traditional exercise and fitness classes is that they are too boring, then I have a great alternative for you. Why not treat yourself to a mini trampoline? These are small enough for you to use them in your home, and they offer a great aerobic and core workout. Lots of gyms also hold classes that are all done on these special kinds of trampolines. You’ll be amazed at just how much effort goes into busting some moves on these small trampolines! It won’t take you long to experience all the fitness benefits.

What’re Your Thoughts

As you can see, you don’t have to suffer in the gym if you don’t want to. There are lots of different fitness options for you to try, some of which are super quirky and fun!

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.

You Don’t Have To Be A Gym Bunny To Get Fit: Finding The Right Exercise For You

Does the thought of going to the gym fill you with trepidation? Do you worry about exercising around others? Are you keen to try something different? If so, you’ve come to the right place. There’s an assumption that you have to hit the gym hard to get fit. But this isn’t true. Running on a treadmill and lifting weights is not the only way to get in shape. There are myriad activities out there you can try. The gym isn’t for everyone, so don’t worry if you’re not a massive fan. It’s all about finding something you enjoy. If you love exercising, you’re much more likely to work out frequently. Here are some tips to finding the right exercise if you’re not a gym bunny.

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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.

Common Nasty Sports Injuries And How To Prevent Them

Nasty sports injuries can take a long time to recover from, which can damage your passion for that particular sport, whether it be running or football or martial arts. You may even miss out on opportunities such as competitions and training events because you were stuck at home in a cast. Therefore it’s important to learn how to prevent these injuries so that hopefully they never have to be dealt with. Of course, we all sprain our ankle from time to time, or hurt ourselves through pushing too hard, but what about the common injuries that are all too common?

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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.

Every Runner Needs To Read This: Easy Steps To Ensure You Avoid A Sports Injury

Running is one of my favorite sports. After all, it’s an excellent form of exercise for maintaining a healthy weight. However, it does come with the risk of potential injuries. In fact, half of runners will get injuries such as runner’s knee when they are out on the road! But often the injuries could have been prevented. Therefore, here are some easy steps to avoid a sports injury.

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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.

Everything You Need To Know About Getting Back On Track After A Sports Injury

Sports injuries have to be one of the most infuriating things that athletes and gym buddies have to face. It’s impossible to prevent them altogether, but there are some things that you can do to ensure you are less at risk. But what happens if you do get struck down by a bad sports injury? First of all, you will have to spend a few weeks resting at home to give your body time to heal. After that, though, you should be alright to get back to your workout schedule slowly. Here is everything you need to know about getting back on track after a sports injury.

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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.

Guest Post: 5 Skin Care Tips For Athletes

Sweat, blisters, and cuts and scrapes–the common issues that athletes find themselves facing on a regular basis, which can ultimately lead to acne and even skin infection. So the question is, “Are there any skin care solutions for these athletic individuals to help treat the adverse effects of these regular occurrences?” Fortunately, there is, and here are five practical skin care tips for athletes that they can utilize on a daily basis to maintain their perfect skin and prevent undesired results.

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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.

Here’s Why Running Should Be A Core Part Of Training For Any Sport You Love

We all know the importance of staying physically active. Sports are a good way to become more motivated and interested in physical fitness. And they offer a great way to increase your social circle too! Are you serious about your sport? Chances are you have a gym routine that focuses on the muscle groups that you need to develop for that particular sport. Tennis players may spend time on their arm rotations. Basketball players may work on their knee and ankle areas. But did you know that running can offer a lot of hidden extras when it comes to developing your fitness for sport? Which is why running should be a core part of training, no matter what sport you partake in.

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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.

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