Training

Non-Running Exercises That’ll Make You Run Faster

A lot of amateur runners think that if they just run further or more often that they will improve their mile time. Unfortunately, they eventually hit a plateau, and no matter how hard they train, they can’t break through it and continue improving. The problem with this state of affairs is that it can sap motivation and lead to despair.

The good news is that you can improve your mile time. You just need to stop running and try something else. Here are some non-running exercises that’ll help you run faster.

Up Your Game With Rowing

To get better, our bodies need to be challenged in new and unusual ways. The problem for most runners is that they don’t challenge their cardiovascular system and instead run at the same pace during all their training sessions.

One way to mix up cardiovascular training is to try something different. According to https://bodygearguide.com/best-rowing-machine-reviews/ rowing machines are a great way to prepare for a triathlon. Why? Because they help to tax the cardiovascular system in different ways to regular jogging. While your body is trained to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your legs, it’s less used to providing the same level of service to your back muscles and arms. Forcing your body to adapt to rowing will help when you next go out for a run. Don’t be surprised if you find your mile time coming down.

Single-Leg Squat

When you think about it, running is actually a series of single-legged jumps, one after the other. These jumps put tremendous strain on your knee joints and leg muscles. But despite this, many runners never bother to train their legs. In so doing, they put themselves at risk of injury and cause themselves to have slower mile times.

Single-legged squats are a great way to train for running says http://www.runnersworld.com. Not only do they improve the strength of the knee joint and leg muscles, but they also help the body balance itself biomechanically. Runners who aren’t biomechanically balanced or strong enough often run in a sub-optimal way to compensate. Strengthening the legs can help  prevent suboptimal gaits and make your mile times faster.

Foam Roller Pectoral Stretch

The upper body is one of the most overlooked regions of the body for runners. But it turns out that the trunk region, as well as the upper chest, are critical when stabilizing a runner in motion.

The upper body is important for another reason too: breathing. A stiff upper body that lacks strength can lead to reduced muscle function, low lung capacity and slouching. All these issues can then result in further running issues down the road.

Doing a pectoral stretch on the foam roller can help to reverse these problems and expand the chest area. Opening up the chest helps to stretch out the chest muscle, reducing the amount of rounding in the upper back.

Stretching out the thoracic is helpful too. To do this, lie with your back on the floor and put the foam roller under your lower back. You’ll notice a stretch in your core muscles.

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.

The New Reebok Harmony Road Running Shoe

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Reebok. All opinions are 100% mine. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

When it comes to running shoes, I’m beyond picky. The right running shoe can help prevent you from various aches and pains. Like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, black toenails, etc. It can also weigh you down, change your footstrike, and lessen the impact of whatever surface you may be running on. Whether you’re a walker or a runner, you only have one pair of feet, and you need to take care of them. Which means paying attention to the shoes you put on them, here’s why I’m loving the Reebok Harmony Road Running Shoe.
Growing up, the importance of properly fitting shoes was always stressed to me. When I became heavily involved in running, it amplified even more, but I understand why. They’re the first thing to lessen the impact while running, but if they’re not right can cause an injury. I mean everywhere you go, your feet take you there, and since it’s the only feet you get; you need to take care of them. Thankfully Reebok has taken this all into consideration when designing their latest running shoe.

Reebok has always kind of been an underdog in running shoes. Many overlook them, but I’ve yet to try a pair that I didn’t love. My first pair of shoes that were only for running – back eight years ago – were Reebok, and it’s the brand I find myself go back to here and there. So when Reebok was looking for runners to try out their new Harmony Road Running Shoe, I was excited to see what they had come up with.

I’ve been testing out the shoes for about a week now, and I’m thrilled with them. I’m picky about my shoes, and even more so when they’re “road” shoes. They’re typically like cement blocks, and prevent your ankle from moving naturally. Something I learned the hard way when I stressed fractured my ankle a couple of years ago. Since I’m breaking them in, I’m wearing them most of the day, and can honestly say they’re one of the most comfortable running shoes I’ve had in a long time.

They’re super lightweight, have plenty of cushion with a shock-absorbing midsole, and have a sturdy outsole. Since they help stabilize and balance your foot, they’re perfect for the trail. Plus because of how light they are they’re great for fast intervals on the track.

The Harmony Road Running Shoe is super comfortable is because of how it’s made. The shoe is made from a synthetic mesh making it breathable, and the SmoothFuse upper is lightweight and won’t cause irritation. The midsole has a Kooshlan TPU foam that helps absorb shock and creates a more natural movement. Plus as you can tell in the picture above, they have a low-cut design allowing your ankles to move naturally, instead of restricting them.

Runner’s World is a registered trademark of Rodale, Inc. All rights reserved.

If you’re an avid Runner’s World reader like me, then you may have seen them named as one of Runner’s World 2017 Best Debut. It’s not hard to see why. The most important part of a running shoe is how it helps you run. The sole of the shoe is super flexible helping it to flex with your foot instead of against it. Making the transition from heel to toe nice and smooth, and more importantly; very natural.

If you’re looking for a natural ride running shoe that will hold up on the trail or the road and can be worn on the track. The Reebok Harmony Running Shoe might just be for you. To learn more and buy click here

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.

Is Social Media Beneficial Or Harmful When Working Towards A Fitness Goal?

Social media is so interwoven into the fabric of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine a time without it. Many have taken to these networks to share snippets of their daily routines, and to show off successes and progress. The fitness community on social media is wide-reaching, with a hefty number of diet and wellness pages/profiles to follow.

You may also notice friends posting gym pictures or photographs of their healthy meals for others to see and like. On top of that, many fitness apps even come with an option to sync or share progress on social media.

All this can make you pretty excited to start using these platforms in similar ways, or might urge you to follow some advice-filled accounts for tips and tricks. But is social media really beneficial for you when you’re working towards a fitness goal? Let’s look at the pros and the cons.

The Pros

It’s Good Motivation
Being surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of people aiming for the same thing as you can make you feel incredible motivated. You’ll find people with your body type, people who face the same struggles as you, and people who will keep you going when you feel like giving up. Sometimes, posting your goals and progress on social networking sites may even help you stick to them.

You Have Access to a Sea of Information
There is endless data available through social media. You can find products, diet plans, exercise routines, and excellent advice that can really help you achieve more during your fitness journey. Best of all, it’s completely free. You can follow a personal trainer on Instagram and watch videos of his workouts without needing to pay for his services. And in all honesty, that’s pretty neat!

You Become Part of a Community
Being part of a health-driven community means that you’ll never be short of people to turn to, discuss ideas with, and get personalized advice from. You may even gain a few workout buddies! Yes, there are bad seeds in every group, but you’ll ultimately find like-minded acquaintances who can encourage you to grow while you, in turn, encourage them. There’s no better feeling!

The Cons

Anyone and Everyone Can Share “Advice”
The number of “bloggers” and “fitness gurus” who are actually just out to make a quick buck or gain some fame can make finding good people to follow a tricky task. Many may offer terrible advice and get you off to the wrong start. Keep in mind that even the best of fitness personalities may sell out once in a while and promote a fad diet or an expensive product that makes ridiculous claims and promises. Avoid the fraudsters and check for qualifications. Legit bloggers and gurus will be more than welcome to share their qualifications and achievements with you.

It’s Not All Real
A social media picture, perfectly framed and shot so as to show someone’s best angles and finished off with a caption followed by tens upon tens of hashtags, isn’t a good representation of real life. It’s a photograph taken out of context. It presents these fitness gurus as something more than human with a perfect lifestyle and all the free time in the world to burn off that many calories per day. Only the most flattering snapshots are shared, and it can make you feel like you’re just not good enough or making progress as fast as you should.

You Could do it For The Wrong Reasons
Seeing other people progressing faster than you, or going on a more difficult regimen than you’re on, can really get you thinking. You could start feeling jealous, or suspect that the grass is greener on the other side, and try to imitate or catch up with your peers. In reality, you should be attempting a healthy lifestyle for no one else but yourself.

Conclusion

So, is social media any good at all when you’re trying to get fit? The honest answer is that it depends on how you use it. Social media is a tool, and if you harness it right, you’ll be able to use it effectively and to your advantage.

Love Your Body: How To Stay Motivated To Get In Shape

In the everlasting quest to get fit and achieve the bodies we’ve always dreamt of; it can be hard to motivate yourself to get out of bed or off the couch and go to the gym. Here are some tips on how to stay motivated to get in shape…

Get A Fitness Buddy

First of all, talk to your friends to see if there’s anyone who shares similar fitness aims to the ones that you have; and if so, it’s time to buddy up and start getting fit together! Whether it’s going for Saturday afternoon hikes together, attending yoga classes and then going to a juice bar afterward, or simply going on dog walks around the block together. Having a fitness buddy will make getting in shape a lot more fun for you; plus you’ll be able to spur each other on to do more and more.

Get Outside

Spring is finally here which means that you can take full advantage of the great outdoors to get healthy. There are plenty of things that you can do outside to get fit; ranging from getting off the train a stop early on your way home from work and walking for an extra ten minutes, to going to your local open air swimming pool and taking a dip in the cool water. Biking is also getting increasingly popular; if you’re lost on what equipment you should buy, look at this year’s best mountain bikes reviewed online to find the one that’s the best fit for you and your lifestyle. Make sure that you’re aware of what’s going on around you if you’re biking on the road; wear a helmet and don’t listen to music.

Raise Money For Charity

If you’re planning to run a marathon, but you’re worried you might give up halfway round; sign up to do it for charity and get your friends and family to sponsor you; and remember it doesn’t have to be a marathon, a 5K can work just as well! Make sure that you train properly, so your stamina is good, and that you have excellent quality running shoes along with clothes made of moisture wicking fabric; make it easier on yourself by having the right tools! Pick a cause that’s close to your heart to keep you motivated as you go around the course.

Find What You Love

Finally, if you hate whatever fitness exercises you’re doing, then it’s hard to motivate yourself. Not everyone learns to love the gym; doing weights or machines in the same room as a lot of other sweaty people simply isn’t for everyone. Likewise, not everyone will love running as it can feel depressingly solitary if you’re more of a sociable person. Make sure that you’ve found an exercise that suits you; whether that’s a twice-weekly Zumba class where you can dance to your heart’s content, or a yoga class where you can find spiritual as well as physical fulfillment, or even a regular hike that you can take with your dog. The best way to feel motivated is to love what you do.

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.

Mind Over Matter

When it comes to getting fit, so many people seem just to be able to up sticks and completely transform their lifestyles without even trying. This gives many of us the impression that good health and fitness simply comes naturally to some of us; meaning that the rest of us are destined to be unfit or overweight forever more.

What a lot of us fail to recognize is that sure, it may seem as though these fitness fanatics can whip themselves into shape at any given moment. But in reality, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.

That girl with the perfectly sculpted shoulders and rock hard abs? Her body could be the result of years of work in an uphill struggle. The point boils down to the fact that if you really want to get fit, you need to work for it. And if you want to work for it, you need to change your mindset. Trying to embark on an aggressive fitness plan with an unhealthy mindset is a complete no-go; it’s a little bit like trying to run a marathon with a sprained ankle. Get your mental health in order, and watch the amazing effect it can have on your physical health too. Here’s the importance of mind over matter.

Change Those ‘I Can’ts’ Into ‘I Can’s’

The number one thing that stops people achieving their fitness goals is believing that they are going to fail. Of course, we do have to be realistic – in some cases, you might indeed fail. But that’s okay. We all fail at things from time to time, but it isn’t an excuse to give up. Instead, make a point of learning from your failure and let it guide you in what to do next. When you stop being so harsh on yourself for not getting things right first time, you will open yourself up to growth and progress.

Erase Any Long-Standing Mental Health Issues

Putting pressure on yourself to excel physically, while ignoring any mental issues you may be struggling with, is only going to catch up with you in the end. If you have been struggling with something such as anxiety, depression, OCD or any other type of mental health problem, visit a clinical psychologist who will be able to help you recover. You would be surprised at how much more motivated you feel to go out and exercise (and not to eat junk food) when you are taking significant steps to improve your mental health.

Cut yourself some slack

One recurring theme in people suffering from mental health issues or body image disorders is that they constantly beat themselves up for veering away from their goals. If this sounds like you, the important thing to remember is that we are all only human. Even the fittest people in the world have the odd ‘cheat day‘ every now and again, after all. Eating a few slices of pizza is not going to undo all your hard work in one sitting; so don’t spend time dwelling on the things that don’t really matter.

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.

Put Your ‘Gym Fear’ To Bed: Exercise While Feeling Great!

If you’ve not worked out in a while or are trying a new activity, it can leave you feeling a little self-conscious. Many people speak about ‘gym fear’ or ‘gym anxiety, ’ and it’s no wonder really. Going into an unfamiliar place where everyone looks great, who make working out appear effortless and know exactly what they’re doing can leave you feeling a little insecure. But don’t fret, pushing out of your comfort zone and taking these steps shows you’re trying. And who knows, in a few months you could be one of those making it look easy! If you need a bit of motivation or help with your confidence when it comes to working out, here are a few things to try.

Read the Post

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.

Illness and Injury Doesn’t Stick to a Schedule, but That Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Plan for Them

Illness and injury can be waiting around the corner at any given time; so it is impossible to foresee them and factor them into your future. However, you can plan for their arrival in some different ways and to many different extents. Whether this is making physical plans beforehand, or just knowing what to in the case of an emergency; it is important to prepare. Not doing so, could end up being very costly in many ways; whether that be to do with finances or to do with physical and mental wellbeing.

First of all, however morbid it may seem, you should always seek to put as much money aside for the eventuality of being diagnosed with a serious illness. Creating and building an emergency fund is essential when it comes financial planning; even when an illness is not now or not ever involved. Even if you’re never diagnosed with such an illness; it doesn’t mean the money you have put aside is wasted as it is still always there ‘for a rainy day’ or as something you can pass on to your family as part of a will.

However, preparing for illness and the toll it takes on your finances; doesn’t just mean safeguarding against it physically before it happens. You should also have an idea of how you plan on dealing with it while you are in the midst of fighting the illness. Doing so will mean you can rest assured that you can focus your energies on recovering; rather than worrying about your outgoings.

There are many ways to make ends meet while still getting the best treatment. One of which is that to eradicate the costs of traveling back and forth to appointments; you should seek to get as much of your travel expenses reimbursed by bringing your medical exemption certificate to the hospital. Illnesses such as cancer work on an uncontrollable and unpredictable schedule; which is why it is important to have some money put aside in case of the eventuality of diagnosis, and to know exactly what you can do if ever diagnosed to make sure you have no other stresses to worry about; such as those that include your finances. For more information on how you can deal with financial implications of an illness such as cancer, make sure to click here.

Another illness that works on an uncontrollable schedule is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); if you feel that the lack of vibrant colours, the lack of warmth and the lack of sun in the winter months makes you feel down, tired and unable to function properly, especially on the more ‘wintery’ days, then you could be suffering from this very real disorder. The impact it has on those who suffer from it can leave them feeling physically unable to get out of bed in the morning, let alone get on with their day-to-day activities. The worst part about it is that it is, of course, entirely dependent on the weather outside. This means that there is little to no control over it as it is completely under the control of nature if you don’t take action.

You can plan to prevent them by trying to move frequently, exercising at your desk (if you sit at one to complete work throughout the day), seeking mood-boosting omega-3 fats and attempting light therapy, where a particular kind of lamp called a light box is provided in order to stimulate and mimic exposure to sunlight. The best and most important way to plan your fight against SAD is to admit that it is a real problem openly and to seek as much support with it as possible; doing so will mean that on the next cold winter’s day you won’t feel completely bedridden and that you won’t have to wait until the sun is out again to make the most of your day.

Injuries happen much quicker than illnesses, and therefore faster attempts to seek to care for them should be sought. However, injuries can occur at any time and change the course of your day in a split second. Plus once affected it can be hard to think of anything else but the pain you are feeling or the hysteria of it having happened; let alone where you have to go to seek help. Because of this, you should always have a healthcare provider; or an idea of where to find one so that if you ever fall victim to an injury; you know where to head to.

This could be a local hospital or even a walk-in service that offers urgent care; information, where to find a clinic like this, can be found at OurUrgentCare.com. This service is advisable for those who wish to avoid the high costs and long waits found in hospital emergency waiting rooms. However, it is important not to be too hasty when it comes to seeking assistance with an injury; as the shock at the moment of impact may make you feel a lot worse than you do. You should try to access your pain, if possible; and if it’s not possible, due to pain, then you most certainly should seek help.

What’re Your Thoughts?

So, the moral of the story is that there isn’t a set layout for the story of life; like those found in books, plays or movies. It’s not simply following the story and overcoming a tremendous task or opponent in the middle of the plot; then preceding to live happily ever after in the end. A disaster can strike at any time in life, no matter what stage you are at; which is why it is important to prepare and have plans in motion for when they do. What this also means, is that even though you overcome one illness or injury; it doesn’t mean that another isn’t just waiting for you around the corner. You should never stop preparing for them; even when they don’t let you know of their schedule, or take any notice of yours.

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: 8 Fitness Hacks That Will Make Your Life Better In 2017

The internet is full of life hacks and tips and tricks which can help you improve your life. Some of them work, some of them don’t, and some of them are just plain stupid. However, there are some things out there which are extremely insightful and which you can use to your benefit very regularly and with success. Below are some of the best fitness hacks that the internet has to offer: hacks which will help you in your pursuit for a physically healthy body and which will make your life much, much better in 2017.

#1 Eat Well Before and After Exercise!

The importance of adequate nutrition is often underestimated and unknown. Eating the right foods at right times can exponentially increase the benefits that you gain from every workout. You should eat high carb foods before you exercise so that you have plenty of energy to burn. Top up with foods high in simple sugars during your workout (bananas are always a good option), and remember to refuel when you have finished. Since your body’s energy stores are depleted at the end of a workout, you need to make sure that you eat a lot of carbs as soon as you can. You also need to include plenty of salts to replace those lost while you were sweating and a source of protein to aid in muscular recovery.

#2 Use Wasted Time Wisely:

Use times when you are doing nothing to exercise a little. Next time you are standing on a train platform or at a bus stop waiting for your transport, do some heel raises or squats. Take the opportunity to do some sit ups or pushups during the ad breaks of your favorite TV show. You can even take drastic measures and do things like strapping weights to your legs for the walk to work or uni.

#3 Install Exercise Equipment in Your Home:

This is one of the simplest and most effective fitness hacks on the web. There are many, many different pieces of exercise equipment designed for home use, and which you can easily incorporate into your everyday life. One of the most useful and simplest of these is the ceiling mounted pull up bar. Installing this in your hallway or kitchen will allow you to give your arm muscles a quick workout every time you walk past it. This is one of the best ways to make your life better through exercise in 2017!

#4 Drink Plenty of Water Before and During Your Workout:

I bet you didn’t know that drinking more water helps you burn more fat? Well, it does! You should be drinking water throughout every single day, making sure you stay well hydrated at all times. Doing this will make sure that you get the maximum benefit out of your workout sessions. Make sure that you also drink plenty during exercise to replace any fluids you lost, especially if you are sweating a lot.

#5 Follow Bodybuilders and Fitness Celebrities on Social Media.

Doing this will ensure that you are always faced with motivation and motivating material, even when you are sitting on your phone. This will help you get out and exercise more, will give you ideas about the activities you could do, and will help make your life so much better in 2017!

#6 Join a Fitness Club or a Sports Team:

Joining a club or team has a lot of obvious benefits which will help make your life better. These include:

  • The social side of groups makes it easier to stay motivated and focused on goals.
  • Playing a team sport or participating in a group fitness class can be fun, educational, and can give you the chance to make great new friends!
  • You will find yourself surrounded by a support network which will help you stay motivated and focused, even when you feel a bit down.
  • If you are really serious about making your life better through exercise in 2017; then joining a sporting club or fitness group could be the solution you are looking for!

#7 Sleep a Lot!

Although this may not seem like a great fitness hack, it is! Your body needs time to recover and rebuild after all those difficult exercise sessions. You have to give it enough downtime and make sure you don’t overdo it. Otherwise you may find yourself breaking down or getting hurt.

#8 Music, Music, Music!

Create a playlist of all your favorite tunes and listen to it while you exercise. This will help you stay motivated to workout, will increase the enjoyability of every workout session, and will ensure that you get the most out of it every time you exercise. You can also try some new music – you might even discover your next favorite artist this way!

Make Exercise Part of Your Lifestyle

The problem many people can have with exercise and fitness is they see it as separate from their daily lives. Do you go for an hour jog before work then get on with your day, or hit the gym evenings and weekends to get your exercise quota in? It doesn’t have to be this way; it’s easy to incorporate exercise into your everyday activities and move your body without even thinking about it. Here are a few tips to help you easily make exercise part of your lifestyle.

Bike to Work

You have to get to work, and you have to exercise. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Even if you live a long way from your work; you could get a foldable bicycle and cycle to the train or bus station. Fold it down, then when you get off cycle the rest of the way to work. It’s good for the environment, far cheaper than monthly gym memberships, and in some cases might be a lot less hassle too. Rather than getting stuck in traffic you could get some fresh air and arrive for the day feeling energized.

Play Sports With Friends

Instead of socializing in the pub, round up your friends and do some activities together! It could be something formal and set up like a team sport at a local sports center. It could be something more casual like a game of rounders at the park. You could even be paintballing or rock climbing. You’ll have fun, get quality time in with the people who are important to you, and get some all-important exercise in too. Throw in some healthy competition, and everyone is sure to push themselves that bit harder, which is no bad thing! Either round up your existing pals or meet some new ones; sports clubs, Facebook groups and online forums are where you’re likely to find those with a similar interest to you.

Get The Family Involved

If you have kids, running around with them is a great way to get yourself (and them!) tired out. You could arrange a family bike ride, and even pack a picnic if you’re going to be out for the day. You could go on hikes with your kids and dog, or throw a ball or frisbee in a wide open space. Plus you could even play tag or run around in a nonsense made up game they have made up. Your children are sure to enjoy the quality time with you, and it’s good for their health as well as yours. Make it fun, and they’ll enjoy being active and it will set them up for healthy habits for later in life.

If you get up and moving and have fun; you’ll do a ton of exercise without even really feeling like you are. This is the best way to stay in shape, there’s no worry of missing gym sessions or “falling off the wagon.” You’re simply going about your day but keeping active at the same time.

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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