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How to Improve Your Cadence

When it comes to cadence, we’ve all heard that the magic number is 180 – why is this though? At the 1984 Olympics, famed coach and running researcher Jack Daniels counted the strides of distance runners as they raced, and discovered that nearly all of them took at least 180 steps per minute. Many experts have cited Daniel’s work in suggesting to minimize overstriding, lessen impact forces on the legs, and maintain forward momentum, runners should always aim to hit that number. However, your cadence is hinged on your pace. Even Olympians take fewer steps per minute when they run at a slower speed. As a matter of fact, your easy and 5K paces may differ by up to 20 steps per minute. With that being said though if your cadence at 5K pace is below 180, it needs a boost. Here’s how to improve your cadence at every pace.

Take Notes:

First, establish your baseline cadence for all of your training speeds. On a treadmill, begin at warm-up pace and increase the speed by one minute per mile until you’re at 5K pace. As you reach each training pace (easy, marathon, temp, etc.) give yourself a minute or so to adjust to the speed, then begin counting your steps for 30 seconds. Multiply by two, record the number, then accelerate to your next pace. You should see that as your speed increases, your cadence increases. You can also do this on the track using intervals of 800 to 1200 meters.

Set a Target:

Add five percent to each of your recorded numbers. This is your goal cadence for each pace. According to biomechanics researchers, five percent is an attainable target that is still big enough to significantly reduce impact. So for example, if your easy run cadence was 160, aim for 168; if your tempo was 166, strive to hit 174.

Practice it:

One of the easiest ways to quicken your step is to run with a metronome (there’s an app for that!). You can also use things like JogTunes to find music with beats that match your desired turnover. Otherwise, monitor your progress with a 30-second cadence check every couple of miles. To accelerate the transition, schedule a workout like downhill sprints (Check “Get in Stride” below). If you’re struggling with the new target, lower it by two to three percent. Practice that revised cadence for three weeks, and then bump it back up again.

Get in Stride:

Here are some weekly workouts to train your legs for a faster turnover:

The Workout: Downhill Sprints

Details: After an easy run, do five accelerating sprints (strides) down a gentle grade of 150 to 200 meters, reaching top speed at the bottom. Walk back up for recovery.

The Workout: Fast Feet

Details: Using short, quick strides, take as many steps as you can in 10 meters. Keep your ground contact as short as possible. Jog for 10 meters. Repeat five times.

The Workout: Race-Pacer Tester

Details: Run fartleks of 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minute, and 1 minute at 5K pace. Jog one minute between reps. Do two sets. Count your steps or use a metronome during each rep of the second set.

 

Get Your FREE Guide to Improve Your Cadence

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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 with a Sports Management minor.

Tactics to Help you For Your Next Exam

They say that if want something underneath you must stoop. The saying applies in all life situations include academics. Passing exams is not easy if you do not do your part as a student. Most students feel pressured at the last minute when the exam timetable appears on different boards of the school. Those who are not prepared for exams look for ways to pass them without struggling. While others sneak in phones to surf during exams, some spend the evening before an exam trying to cram everything under the influence of drugs.

Studies show that last-minute rush can never make you achieve better than studying earlier. Even if it is normal to be anxious over a paper, proper preparation reduces such anxiety so that your mind remains focused. Some common signs of distress include inattentiveness, feeling blank, headache, increased heart rate and nausea. The following strategies will help you know how to handle such symptoms during a test so that you can maintain high performance.

Come up With Useful Study Habits

Avoid being the deadline student who gets confused about what course to prioritize at the last minute. With so many courses in one semester, you need a plan on how you should revise for each session as the semester begins. Instead of idling around the school compound enjoying life, find constructive friends and create a study group. Form a schedule for you and your study buddies to meet for group discussions regularly. This will help you understand something that a teacher may have rushed on in class.

Sharing ideas will also help you put concepts in real life scenarios so that you can have relevant examples in a test. You can also form a habit of taking notes in class. Even when the teacher uses slides and leaves class notes on the class email, there are some things that he might say that you won’t find in the notes. Jot down what you feel is important so that you can refer back later.

Avoid Cramming

Reduce stress by preparing early enough for your exams. Your brain cannot accommodate everything all at once. Cramming brings uncertainty and tension since you are likely to forget even the concepts that you were sure about. Spending a whole night cramming affects your nerves thus increase stress in the morning. Even if you are a bright student, take some time to read outside class so that your exam does not make you sweat.

Come up with ways of improving your memory so that you won’t feel the need to cram. Create mnemonics to help you remember concepts that you forget quickly. Regular reviewing of your notes prevents you from forgetting so that you don’t have to cram.

Stay Focused

Being in school comes with distractions from your friends. You may find it hard to concentrate on your studies while there is so much to do. Remember that the primary goal in school is to pass exams. Therefore, know how to prioritize your studies above everything else. Be the lady who sits in front in class so that you can concentrate during lectures. Do not feel intimidated to ask your lecturer questions if you don’t understand something. Your friends may find this weird but learn from you at the end of the semester when you beat them in exams.

Do Not Hesitate to Get Help

If you are the kind of student who believes in drugs to pass exams, you are ruining your life. Save yourself from addiction by visiting https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/local-rehab-resources/colorado/castle-rock/. This center will help you find better ways of dealing with anxiety as you detox from drugs. When you get back to school, avoid peer pressure from friends who try to sell you pills for you to stay focused while studying. Talk to a counselor if you are too anxious to sit for a paper and let them help you prepare better for exams.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Man is to err and no matter the pressure to succeed, sometimes we fail. Take failure positively and correct your errors so that you can do better on your next test. Instead of feeling sad, find answers where you went wrong on a test and take criticism positively. Let every situation be a learning experience for you.

Remain Relaxed

Taking a hard test is not the end of life. Ensure that you have everything ready a before your exam. Get to the room early so that you can get a spot that makes you comfortable. Avoid being late to an exam room since rushing makes you more nervous. Learn to relax by breathing before you start your paper. Switch your thoughts to something different so that you can calm down. Once your mind is refreshed, you can now turn your paper and start. It is time to focus without getting anxious as you avoid anything that might distract your thoughts. Avoid fellow students who show more panic and concentrate on keeping calm.

Join a Team

Every student should be a member of at least one team. You can teach yourself baseball, handball or basketball. Such sports make you keep busy after classes so that you can improve the functioning of your brain. Ensure that you spend an evening playing your favorite game before your exam. This will give you a clear mind so that you can wake up feeling rejuvenated for your test.

Eat Something

Taking an exam while hungry is not healthy for your mind. Ensure that you eat before entering an exam room. Take fruits such as a banana to reduce stress and tension. This does not mean that you take stuff such as fries or sodas. Such foods are known to increase anxiety levels, thus, avoid them.

Final Thoughts

Every student is bound to feel some level of anxiety. What differentiates these levels is how prepared one is. Quit looking for unhealthy shortcuts to pass exams and find ways to reduce test anxiety so that you can comfortably sit for a paper without sweating excessively. Implementing the strategies outlined above will not only help you as a student but also prepare you for life challenges in future.

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.

Guest Post: The Best Time, Surface, and Distance to Run (According to Science)

What is the best time to run? What about even the surface or distance?

These are three biggest questions you probably have as a runner. Is it the predawn or afternoon? Grass or sand? 5k or 10k? Setting all personal preferences aside, is there scientific evidence to choose one option above another?

Let’s see what science has to say about it.

1) Best time to run:

It is hard to pinpoint a time that ticks all the right boxes. The optimal time will differ based on your goals or what you are trying to achieve. If you are concerned about performance, running in the evening will be a better option. If you are looking for a healthy lifestyle, running in the morning is what I recommend.

Benefits of running in the evening:

It is not easy to get up early in the morning and go out for a run. If you are not a morning person, you will find it hard to get out of bed, let alone running the miles. It’s relatively easy to keep up a running routine in the evening.

Second, you are more likely to achieve performance-based targets like better speed or distance in the evenings.

Our circadian biological clock has an effect on our energy levels. It decides when we are more alert or sleepy. Most of us have the highest energy levels around 6 PM in the evening. So, running at this time will yield much better results.

Similarly, our body temperature increases as the day goes by. High-temperature results in more blood flow towards lower extremities. Not only that, but our body produces more testosterone in the evening. The lungs are also functioning better at this time.

Keeping all these factors in mind, it is safe to assume that most of us will perform better in physical activities like running, cycling, or swimming in the evening. This is confirmed by several studies. For example, this study observed that swimmers improved their timing as the day progresses. They were significantly faster at 10 PM compared to 6:30 in the morning. Another study found markedly better performance in the evening.

Benefits of running in the morning:

Ever wondered why running is an integral part of military life? Because waking up early and going out to run is the most effective method to cultivate self-discipline. A very recent research suggests that morning people live longer than night owls.

It is not easy but that’s the main point. You must get out of your comfort zone.

A morning run means that you are done with the most important (and probably the hardest) part of your daily routine (i.e. physical exercise) even before others leave the bed. You will start your day with a great sense of achievement.

Waking up early will drag you to sleep early. It means that the relatively unproductive nighttime will be replaced with the more productive time in the morning.

Running in the natural environment is good for your mental health as well. Going out for the run when the sun is rising will help your body produce cortisol. It’s the hormone that keeps you alert. With all this extra time and energy, you will achieve a lot more during the day.

If you are living in some hot and humid region, early morning is usually the coolest time to run. There’s not much traffic and the air is relatively fresh. I couldn’t find a sizable body of research but this one suggests that the air quality is the best between 5 am to 10 am.

You are more likely to choose healthy diet after long bursts of running. So, a morning routine can be an ideal start to a healthy lifestyle.

That doesn’t mean you will have to compromise on performance. Your body will gradually adjust to your exercise routine and you will be able to perform better. Remember, most marathon or half marathon races take place in the morning. Your body will be better prepared.

2) Best Surface to run

Running is a convenient form of exercise because you can do it at any place and at any time. You can run on concrete, find a jogging track, or do it on the beach. Heck, you can run on mountains if you want.

The only concern is the impact or injury risk with different surfaces. Let’s see if you should really be concerned.

Hard surfaces vs. Soft surfaces:

You might think that there’s a greater chance of injury on the harder surface because of the impact.

Right? Actually not.

Our muscles and ligaments are more capable of adjusting than you may have thought. What actually happens is that we alter the stride and force according to the surface. When we are running on a hard surface, we will be gentle with our stride. And when we are running on softer surfaces, we will hit the ground harder.

That resonates with the findings in our meta-analysis of 150+ studies about arch support. It was observed that runners hit the ground harder when wearing shoes with extra cushion. Not only that, but we tend to land on rear-foot while wearing cushioned shoes, which is not the most efficient way of landing.

It means that choosing a soft surface will usually not result in reduced injuries. This is what scientists found when they observed 291 runners. More than half reported overuse injuries or anterior knee pain. However, different types of surfaces didn’t make a considerable difference to injury rates.

It’s not that the surface doesn’t make any difference. A softer surface like the grass is gentle to your feet and less likely to cause feet or ankle injuries. Stiff surfaces can result in a greater load on Achilles tendon. However, the overall injury rate will stay the same. You might avoid injuries in specific regions like ankle or foot but the load will shift to another part.

In fact, running on relatively hard surfaces like road or asphalt have certain advantages.

First, it is smooth and there’s no chance of injuries caused by an irregular surface like an ankle sprain. Second, you will better prepare for long distance races that usually take place on roads. You will also be able to maintain and improve your form over time.

3) Best Distance to run:

They say, too much of a good thing can be bad and running is no different. Question is, how much running can be considered too much?

The answer will differ from one person to another. It also depends on your age and fitness level. Many competitive runners can run more than 50 miles a week. You don’t need to run that much if you are just looking for the health benefits.

Moderation is the best policy:

There are studies that suggest running just 5 miles a week will give considerable health benefits and significantly reduce the risk of death. The same study found that mortality rate starts to increase as the runners go beyond 20 miles a week.

However, this is not conclusive and there are studies refuting this claim. For example, this one found that health benefits do not exhibit a point of diminishing return at less than 50 miles a week.

Truth is that you shouldn’t be too concerned about the miles. If you are just starting, don’t look at anything more than 1 or 2 miles. Don’t push your body too hard and stop before you feel totally exhausted.

Think of increasing the distance after some weeks. It should be a gradual process. Go for longer distance just once or twice a week and see if your body is coping well. If you feel good after the occasional long runs, you can make it a daily routine.

Remember, it’s better to run 5 miles on a consistent basis than trying to run 10 miles and breaking down. There are exceptions of course. You might have to run much longer distances in the peak weeks when preparing for a marathon. It all depends on your objective, fitness, and stamina. The sweet spot is something between 3 – 6 miles for an average person.

Now you know what science tells us about the best time, surface, or distance to run. Even if you can’t get to run at a time or surface of your choice, don’t use it as an excuse to not run.

Importance of a Dynamic Warm-up

Bye-bye-bye static stretching, and hello dynamic stretching! If you’ve read a few of my posts then you probably know how I feel about static stretching. Considering it can reduce performance and increase injury risk while presenting few benefits to runners, I’m not a fan – I’ll cover this more in-depth in an injury prevention series coming soon!

So, if you’re not supposed to stretch before a run, then what do you do? Well… it’s simple: a series of dynamic warm-up exercises that prepares your body to run.

Which if you think about it, static stretching doesn’t even accomplish what a good series of warm-up exercises should, like:

  • Increased heart rate and respiration (prepping your body for work)
  • Improved range of motion and lubricates joints
  • Increased capillary activation (fancy way of saying it’s delivering oxygen to your muscles)
  • More elasticity in your tendons and ligaments (reducing chance of tears)
  • Enhanced performance

That last point is what I really want to stress; I mean a simple series of warm-up exercises can help you run faster? Sign me up!

For some research behind this, in 2015 the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research published a study showing that male runners who were well-trained, run faster after a dynamic warm-up

Maybe more importantly, after years of evidence from runners (myself included) who have simply felt better after a dynamic warm-up, I’m a big believer in these types of dynamic warm-up exercises

Which brings me to share my favorite dynamic warm-up with you:

The Dynamic Sole Warm-up

This routine requires no equipment and can be done almost anywhere.

Since the routines in the Easy Injury Prevention for Runners (Coming Soon!) are all plays on the blog name, so is this warm-up.

Most of these exercises are done standing, so if you’re running a muddy trail, or from your car in the rain, just skip the first couple of exercises (Also, Q&A below!)

Below are instructions on how to complete the warm-up exercises in the routine (PDF w/ photos and instructions coming soon!).

#1. Hurdle Mobility:

In a table position – hands under shoulder, knees under hips – lift your leg so that your thigh is parallel to the ground and shin is at a 90-degree angle from your thigh. Make a circular motion with your knee like you’re moving your thigh over a hurdle.

The next movement is exactly the same, except in the opposite direction.

#2. Cross Over:

Lie in a supine position (on your back) with your arms out to your sides and swing your right leg across your torso up to your left hand. The goal is to keep your shoulder and chest as flat against the ground as possible. There will be a good amount of rotation in your torso and hips as you swing your leg toward your hand. Repeat the same movement for the left leg.

#3. Scorpion:

Lie in a prone position (on stomach) with your arms out to your sides and swing your right leg across your back up to your left hand. Keep your shoulders and chest as flat against the ground as possible. Like Cross Over, there will be a good amount of rotation in your torso and hips as you swing your leg over. Repeat the same movement for the left leg.

#4. Squat:

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead. It’s okay if your toes are pointing slightly outward. Sit back with your butt like you’re sitting down in a chair until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Drive your heels down and return to the standing position, ensuring your lower back stays in a neutral position.

#5. Walking Lunge

Step forward with your right leg, flexing the knees and dropping your hips. Descend until your left knee almost touches the ground. Drive your right heel into the ground and push yourself back to a standing position while taking a step forward. Repeat with the opposite leg. Maintain a tall posture, and ensure your knee does not go too far beyond the toes while lunging.

#6. Walking Leg Swings (Zombie Walk)

With your hands straight out in front of you (like a zombie!), swing your right leg up toward your right hand. Keep both knees as straight as possible, and repeat on the opposite side.

#7. High-knee Skips:

Skip forward and drive your right knee up so it’s about parallel to the ground and drive your foot back down to the ground. Alternate each leg. Keep you back ball with an exaggerated arm swing and make sure you don’t slam your feet on the ground.

#8. Side Leg Swings

While standing in front of a wall or pole for suppost, swing your leg parallel to the support so your foot comes up about hip level. Make sure to swing your leg fully extended but not forcefully locked.

Dynamic Warm-up Q&A

To help get you started, I answered some of the most common questions you have asked me regarding dynamic warm-ups, stretching, and when you should do these exercises.

When Should I do This Routine?

This is dynamic warm-up so it’s done before you run, preferably right before running.

If you are traveling somewhere to run (like so many of us do) and won’t be able to get on the ground to do the first couple of exerises, just do the floor exercises at home and the standing exercises when you arrive right before you start running.

How Many Times Per Week Can I do This Routine?

Personally, I consider this an “easy” warm-up routine, so it’s best used before short, easy runs.

For faster workouts, long runs, and other challenging runs (like races), I suggest a more standard warm-up (coming soon!)

Is The Order of Exercises Important?

Absolutely! The sequence goes from general to more specific (floor to standing); simple to complex.

One of The Exercises Causes Pain – What Should I Do?

Skip it. None of these exercises should cause any discomfort, pain (especially sharp or stabbing pain), or hurt in any way.

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

How To Eat Your Way To A Healthier Weight

Food means different things to different people. To some, it’s seen as a means to an end, to others an enjoyment, and to a select few an obsession. Although food is there to give us energy, the impact it can have on our bodies has meant that it’s easy to become obsessed over. Whether the obsession is taken to the extreme with weight gain or weight loss, it can often mean that an unhealthy view can be taken. However, food also does a lot of good in the world. It keeps us going, it keeps us happy, and it does have the power to transform a negative obsession into something more healthy.

Whether you want to be able to boost your weight loss or gain to get yourself to a healthier weight, you can do it with food. But, there are a few processes that you will need to put in place. First of all, you’re going to want to adjust your mindset. And secondly, you need to be able to see and use food in new ways. By gaining knowledge and happily adjusting your thought habits, you should be able to eat your way to your own healthy weight range using four simple techniques.

Clean Up Your Diet

Purge The Processed Stuff

The first thing that you need to be able to do is to clean up your diet. Because if you’re trying to reach a goal weight, the foods you eat will matter. You will find that filling up on processed foods will not help you here. So you may want to pinpoint the processed foods you can easily remove from your diet, such as salad dressings. As well as some of the most obvious choices like frozen foods or ready meals.

Cook From Scratch

Following on from this, you should also aim to cook from scratch as often as you can. When you’re eating processed or convenience food, you don’t really know what is in the food you’re eating. So you could be eating more calories than you need to be. Likewise, when you eat out a lot or order in, you could be consuming unhealthy calories that you can easily cut out.

Go Green

Then, you should work on filling up on greens a lot more. It’s important to have more fruits and vegetables in your diet and with your meals. This way, you’re getting enough nutrients in and helping to keep yourself full. So work on adding more leafy greens to your diet if you’re looking to make healthier changes to what you’re eating.

Read The Labels

You will also find that reading the labels on everything you buy will help you to clean up your diet too. Sometimes, there’s a lot more in the food that you eat that you realize. But when you make a habit of reading the labels, you’ll be able to figure out what products you should drop from your diet, as well as getting to know what is in the food that you eat.

Focus On The Macros

Get The Balance Right

The macronutrient makeup of your meals is important. If you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight, or get there, you’re going to need to monitor your macros and ensure that you have the balance between carbohydrates, fats, and proteins just right. If it’s fat loss that you’re after, you need to ensure that your macros work towards fat burning to help you get on the right track.

Play With Your Portions

However, you may realize that not every piece of advice you get on macros and the right balance will work for you. So, you have to be able to play around with your portions in order to find out what works best for you. Because everyone’s body will respond differently to different macro make ups. You need to be able to work with the right percentage of each in order to get your body to respond well.

Switch Up The Ingredients

But you’re also going to want to think about the actual food choices you’re making for each macro. You need to be able to choose good combinations between carbs, fats, and proteins that will work well together, without sticking to the same meals all of the time. So make sure you alternate between ingredients if you’re hoping to get the best results.

Food For Fuel

See Food Differently

However, the way that you’re going to be able to ensure that you can make the right changes to the way you eat is also in your mind, and not just with your food choices themselves. If you’re wondering how long does it take to lose weight? you’re going to need to work on your mental state as well as your choices. To do this, you should try to see food as fuel, rather than an indulgence, to help yourself get on the right track.

Time Your Meals Well

To do this, you should ensure that you’re working with timing when you eat. If you want to be able to get the most amount of energy out of your food, it’s important to eat the right things at certain times of the day – especially when you’re exercising. And you’re going to want to tailor your macros to this too. You may find that low carb evening meals will help you here, depending on your overall goals.

Listen To Your Body

A huge part of making this work for you is to listen to your body. It’s easy to see food as a pleasure source as well as fuel, and cravings can often control this. But you need to be able to identify emotional hunger vs. real hunger. Real hunger can be satisfied by any food and will come on gradually, so try to weed out emotional cravings and focus on fuel.

And Don’t Forget The Snacks

Then, you’re also going to want to work with some energy boosting snacks. When it’s an energy boost you’re after, things like bananas and nuts are great. You will often find that snacking smart can also ensure that you eat well and make healthier meal choices.

Be Smart With Your Habits

Portion Size

Sometimes, it’s not the food that you’re eating that’s the problem, but the portion size. When you’re looking to lose weight, you should bring these in, and if you need to put on weight, you should focus on larger portions. But it’s all relative. You just need to learn to be smarter with the size of your portions.

Eating Environment

Next, you should think about your eating environment. This is one of the most important areas of how your mind and body connect. Because where you eat can affect how much you eat, and your digestion. So always try to eat at a table and focus on your food, rather than mindlessly eating while doing another task, as that can cause you to overeat.

Eating Mindfully

To work with that last point, and not against it, and to really ensure that you can eat your way to a healthy weight, you should work on eating mindfully. By eating more mindfully, you’re more aware of how you eat, your habits, and how to ensure you have a healthy relationship with food. To do this, you will find that eating in silence helps, so does chewing a certain amount of time, or using your other hand to hold the utensils. The aim is to be more aware of yourself eating so that you can stop when you’re full, enjoy the meal, and take a healthier approach to eating in general.

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.

Take The Pain Out Of Getting Trim and Toned

Anyone who says losing weight and getting in shape is painless is a liar – or are they? The fact is that often the process of shedding those extra pounds and building up our fitness levels is a long road and one that takes a lot of time, hard work and effort. However, just because taking your body from doughy to trim and perfectly toned can be painful; that doesn’t mean it has to be. The fact is, you can get in much better shape without the stress and hard work that comes with a lot of programs; it’s just a case of knowing what steps you need to take, that’s all. Don’t believe that it is possible to take the pain out of getting trim and toned? Then prepare to be proved wrong – read on for all the best hacks for getting in shape without the pain.

Stand and work

The more you are on your feet each day, the more calories you will burn. If you have a job where you tend to sit for most of the day, it is worth considering swapping to a standing desk. Admittedly, this will only equate to burning an extra 20 calories or so an hour compared to sitting, but over time, it all adds up. If you work for six hours a day, five days a week, using a standing desk will mean that you burn an extra 600 calories per week. Plus, standing will help to tone your legs, bum, and stomach, so on top of burning the extra calories, standing while you work will also increase your body’s toning.

Cooking from scratch is so last year

While cooking from scratch is all well and good, in today’s hectic world it’s not always doable, is it? That’s why it’s easier to opt to follow a diet and fitness plan provided by a specialist company that offers ready made, healthy, calorie-controlled meals. This will make eating healthy (and consuming fewer calories) much easier. Obviously, before you sign up for a certain diet plan, it’s worth looking online for an in-depth diet review of the company and their products, to ensure that it will meet your dietary needs. Cooking from scratch can work well when you’re on a diet, but it’s just too time-consuming for most people.

Tone here, there and everywhere

Don’t leave toning up for the gym, instead aim to tone wherever you are, whatever you are doing. When you are cleaning the house (a task that can burn hundreds of calories each time); tense your stomach and buttocks muscles, to help improve how toned your body is. To tone up your legs and buttocks, always take the stairs at speed, and never use an elevator or escalator. Tone your biceps at your desk by doing bicep curls with a water bottle while you are at work – do this for just a week and you will notice a difference. While watching your favorite TV shows workout – whether that’s with toning pilates exercises, weight lifting, or planking, it doesn’t matter, just make sure to take advantage of this time to tone, instead of being a couch potato.

The fact is that getting trim and toning up is never going to be easy. However, you can take some of the pain out of it by making the process easier to do and simpler to fit into your daily routine.

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 Best Places To Take Photos!

Taking photos obviously requires an environment to do so in, but which one do you do it in? This is a question that we often find ourselves wondering before we are going to take a day taking some photos. Do you go to a studio? Do you go to a field? No need to worry because here you’re going to be shown the 3 best places to take photos!

Bodies Of Water

Taking photos of rivers, lakes and streams are fantastic areas to take very large, striking shots. Usually being quite large in size, you can often find the perfect shot for you! They are also free to view and take photos of which makes this a great option if you are on a tight budget! However, what you must keep in mind about doing this is that you often need to be very close to the water to get a good shot, which puts your camera at risk of getting damaged! Any electronic device is susceptible to water damage and cameras are no exception! It’s important to get a waterproof cover for your camera, the likes of which you can buy from B&H Video to give you camera the protection it needs, saving you heartbreak and money if it gets damaged!

Studios

Often the most professional environment, but also the most expensive so make sure you can afford this one! Studios are, as we all know, enclosed spaces designed specifically for photography. The first thing you need to know is whether or not lighting equipment will be supplied, so check this before you make any assumptions! Companies like goyastudios.com have studios available to fit your needs! Studios provide an enclosed environment for you to take the perfect photo, you just have to be able to get what you to take a photo of to the studio and go!

City Buildings

Another popular choice is taking photos of cityscapes on top of a big city building! This allows you, providing the building is tall enough, to see the entire city from your standpoint, giving you the chance to take an awe inspiring photo by capturing miles of terrain in one shot. By placing you high up, it means that nothing is obscuring your shot as it would if you were on the ground floor, so this is definitely worth doing if you want a big photo! Companies like BestBuy sell a wide variety of long range lenses that you will need to do this with. Due to the amount of distance that your camera will be capturing you have to have a long-range lens!

Going to any one of these places is guaranteed to get you to take the perfect shot. All you have to decide is which one you go to! But do remember to come prepared to the area where you are taking the photos! Once you’ve taken your photo and want to edit it, but not sure how read this for some inspiration.

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.

Give Your Weight Loss A Boost

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

Fat-burning foods

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

Supplements

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

HIIT

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

Drink more water

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

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

3 Ways To Alleviate Running Pain

Running is a hard, but enjoyable past time for us. It gets us fitter, it makes us feel good by releasing endorphins into our system, increasing our quality of life overall! However, like any sport, running does come with pains and aches, some more serious than others. There are many different ways to alleviate running pain, and here are the best 3 ways to do it!

Get The Right Pair Of Shoes

Running shoes are incredibly important for the well-being of your legs. They properly distribute the weight of your feet across the sole and support your feet, unlike normal trainers. This is important because naturally, humans run on their feet! But in shoes, we run flat footed, and over extended periods of time, this causes damage to the feet themselves, the ankles and the knees. If you’re not running very often than a normal pair of running shoes will do you fine, but if you’re a more regular runner you need to get specially fitted shoes! Companies like FleetFeetSports offer fitting services and can find the perfect shoe for you, eliminating the risk of getting any foot related issues!

Stretch Out After Each Run

Stretching is also a very important component of running. When you exercise, your muscle contract and relax, however, due to the intensity of exercise your muscles don’t fully relax, instead they keep slightly contracted all throughout your run. If you get back from a run and don’t stretch out, you will continue to feel pain in your legs! Stretching forces your muscles to stop their constant contraction, meaning that you can relax and not have any problems. As an example, many runners will have stumbled across problems with the dreaded iliotibial band, causing a clicking whenever the knee is bent. This can be incredibly debilitating, however, if you purchase a foam roller from companies like Trigger Point there are stretches you can do to slowly nurse the IT band back to full health!

Get Physiotherapy

This is the last line of defense in alleviating injuries, and should only be done if you really need it! Physiotherapy differs from person to person as each problem is unique. However, they do offer medication and exercises after a consultation and examination of the problem you are having. Then a physician will take you through the necessary things you need to do. The treatment can often include massages and other muscular stimulation exercises. If you want to find out more about this topic, because it is very complex and specific, go to PainEndsHere.com. Companies like this are able to offer professional help for those that need it. So, if this applies to you then you should definitely reach out to one of these businesses.

So there you have it! The three best ways to alleviate running pain, any of these are guaranteed to make your pain go away. However, if it is more serious you need to make sure you see a doctor because you can’t remedy everything yourself! If you’re looking for other ways to avoid injuries when preparing for a run, read this.

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

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