swimming

The Top 3 Sports To Help You Get Back Into Shape

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

Consider the following sports, and read how they can benefit your health.



Swimming



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

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


Running

 



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

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

Tennis

 



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

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

 

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.

What Are The Best Sports To Tone Up?

Toning is a word that has made a significant apparition in the vocabulary of the fitness world. What does it mean to be toned, you ask? At worst, it means buying the next magazine that promises to tell you all about getting toned up for the summer and starting an unhealthy diet in the hope that you can get to the bikini figure before the end of the summer. At best, it means losing some fat and gaining muscle mass without getting bulky. And, believe it or not, but you can’t do it in two weeks – in other words, you can forget about the promises of trendy women’s magazines and their miracle diets. Fitness trainers and specialists agree that toning your muscles involves a healthy mix of cardio, strength, and good eating habits, without never starving yourself or risking an injury for dangerous training. Here are some the favorite ways of getting toned, depending on the sport you choose.

 

Getting ripped

 

Adopt The Shredding Regime

At the core of losing fat, there’s the need to change your diet to restrict your calories intake without falling into the trap of an unhealthy diet. In fact, you might be wondering right now: Do you have to learn what to eat if you need to learn how to get ripped? The answer is yes, definitely, you need to understand what fuels your body and whether your body needs a low-carb and high-fat diet or a moderate carb and low-fat diet. What you eat, ultimately is what your body becomes. Additionally, getting ripped is about maximizing your body energy to sustain a workout regime. What this means is that you are likely to need to take a hormonal supplement to help your muscle grow bigger in a shorter time. Achieving a toned body is the result of a workout that focuses on strength to develop your muscles. But you can control the level of toning by introducing cardio and low-resistance exercises.  

The Quick Workout That Burns Calories

Most people can find it difficult to get the time to go to the gym and exercise. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t find a workout that works for your busy schedule. All you need is 30 minutes to get some cracking results, assuming that you stick to a quick workout for a long period. Going for a jog for 30 minutes can get you to burn several hundred calories. The main problem with jogging is that it only visibly tones your lower body. If you want to notice improvements in your arms and abs, you will need to vary your workout schedule and combine running with kettlebell exercises, or even dancing. Here again, 30 minutes is a good time to achieve positive results. If you have more time, it’s better to switch to a more involving activity that will help you to tone your full body.

 

The Long-Term Investment In The Week

When you can invest over one hour of your time several times a week, you can embrace a sport that will help you to develop your strength and your endurance at the same time. Swimming is always a favorite, especially as it is so soft on the joints. It’s difficult to injure yourself when you swim, and you can improve your body shape visibly over a long time. Toning your muscles implies that you need to work against a resistance, which the water provides when you swim. The resistance of the water is stronger than air, so you are likely to see better results faster with swimming than with a kettlebell. But more importantly, swimming is a combination of arm strokes – that engage your shoulder, biceps, triceps, chest, and upper back –, leg kicks and core balance. It’s a full-body workout, and it doesn’t even feel like it! What’s not to like?

Swimming

Got Lots Of Time To Kill?

If you find that you have a lot of time to dedicate to a sport activity,  you may want to get involved in an outdoor workout that trains your entire body. Golf is one of those sport gems that provide full-body training and plenty of wonderful health benefits, and yet, you don’t feel like you are training hard. In reality, an 18-hole round exceeds the 10,000 steps a day recommendation. If you take into account the fact that you need to carry your clubs for the round, you can be burning over 700 calories. Additionally, golf can help to reduce the impact of stress, which is often related to weight gain. It’s a win-win all the way: You’re outdoors and you are toning your muscles and relaxing your mind.

 

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.

Breaking The Pain Barrier: How To Overcome Pain For Good

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

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. 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.

 

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

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

 

 

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

Guest Post: Why Every Runner Needs Proper Cross-Training

So you want to become faster this year? What should you? Most people simply start running more. However, unless you’re an elite athlete, you don’t really need to run more than three (or maybe four) times a week.

So in addition to running, you should do some proper cross-training as well. Cross training will surely keep you motivated to get all of your workouts complete. There are numerous advantages of cross training, including (but not limited to) avoiding burnout and injuries.

What’s more, if you start focusing on a completely different group of muscles (that you may not work enough when you’re running) will ensure that you will become a better and stronger athlete from top to bottom.

But is every cross training technique helpful? As it is with anything in life, cross-training has its downsides. So before you start hitting the gym, you need to ask one question – does this exercise involve moving your pelvis?

The Proper Movement of the Pelvis

This is simply the most important part of healthy running. The frontal and transverse planes of your pelvis need to move properly (it moves sort of like a seesaw, from side to side).

If you spend too much time on exercises that hold it still, you’ll eventually start moving more slowly and become more prone to injuries. Also, keep this in mind – your brain memorizes movements. So if you manage to strengthen your muscles and learn all the right movements, then you’ll be both strong and mobile enough to run better.

Naturally, if you want to cross-train properly, you need to make some serious lifestyle changes, including changing your diet, timing your meals and getting used to careful meal prep.

But let’s get back to the topic at hand – first you need to learn about the right exercises – because if you learn and practice the wrong ones, even if you manage to strengthen the right muscles your training will still be useless. So let’s look at a short list of some cross-training activities, and see how they’ll help you become a better runner.

Why Every Runner Needs Yoga

  • The Big Benefits

Yoga can improve your strength and mobility, especially of your hip joints and core, especially in warrior poses and sun salutations. And if you pay special attention to all the different kinds of movement your pelvis makes, and allow it to move more, yoga will be even more effective.

  • The Possible Downsides

While there are no huge downsides of yoga, you don’t actually need to spend more than two to three hours a week practicing yoga. Only a small amount of it will do the job – so don’t overdo it.

Why Every Runner Needs Swimming

  • The Big Benefits

Freestyle swimming is great for runners for one main reason – it helps them line themselves up from foot to head. But you’ll maybe have to consult a trainer; because you’ll need to do everything properly (proper freestyle involves rolling side to side and lengthening one side first and then the other).

  • The Possible Downsides

However, the effectiveness of swimming mostly depends on what stroking technique you use. For instance, some strokes that doesn’t involve a lot of turning like the butterfly and especially breaststroke are actually not beneficial at all.

Why Every Runner Needs Strength Training

  • The Big Benefits

Most strength enhancing exercises involve spiral movement, balance and of course, turning – all of which are essential to running. And when it comes to pelvis movements, one great exercise for this is pulling a cable and creating resistance while you turn – this will move your pelvis a lit and strengthen your core.

  • The Possible Downsides

On the other hand, you need to pay special attention to small details, because training on machines that don’t move your pelvis at all can be bad for your running abilities. So before you start using certain machines, you’ll need to evaluate the equipment and learn what it does for your body.

Final Thoughts

Those are just a couple of reasons why every runner needs strength training. So what do you think about our list? Do you maybe have a different cross-training routine? If you do, you should definitely leave a comment in the section bellow and share it with the rest of us.

Fed Up Of Boring Exercise? Fun Ways To Kick Start Your Fitness Regime

Let’s be honest here. Heading to the gym each day to use the same machines can be quite boring. You might jump on the treadmill, use the bike. Perhaps lift a few weights, and then you’d be done. You may work up a bit of sweat, but you may not have gotten as much out of your exercise time as you could have. When something is boring, you are less likely to remain motivated to keep it up. But we all know how good regular exercise is for the body and mind. So I thought I would share with you some fun ways to kick start your fitness regime.

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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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