tricks

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.

Your Image Always Precedes You…

It’s an amazing thing when a hobby becomes a job, as it’s something you’ve spent a long time working for, and now you get paid to do it. You can feel like you’ve hit the jackpot, but there comes the point where doing something that you love actually does feel more like a job rather than a passion. With something like running a blogging business, or any business for matter, there’s not just the fun of indulging in your passions, it’s about meeting deadlines, working long hours on things you may not necessarily care about, and the stress of making sure that employees are paid on time as well as other essential parts of the trade. Is there a way to strike a balance and keep a professional image while also making it enjoyable?

Keep On Learning

If you find that the fun of the job has been replaced by endless number crunching and boring admin in work, then it’s time to start expanding on what it is you do. It’s always important when it comes to expanding a business to research into new and exciting areas to keep yourself ahead of the pack. And as a business like this should be an extension of your passions it gives you the perfect opportunity to do research into something that you care about and see if you can implement it as a new department of your company.

Make The Most Of Resources To Bulk Up Your Image

Regardless of the size of your business, your image is always what precedes you, and there are little tricks of the trade to help push that right image out to potential clients or sponsors. If you’re running a business out of your own home, you could make the most of a virtual PO box which benefits you by not having to put your residential home address on correspondence as it doesn’t look as good as an office or a suite number in a desirable business location. You could also use virtual assistants to answer the telephone, again adding another layer of professionalism to your small company.

Delegate Duties

While this business is your baby, there will come a time when there is so much work to do that you won’t be able to physically complete it all yourself, which is when you will have difficulty in communicating with other staff members how to do certain tasks. It is better now to get over this while the business is still in its relatively early days. It can be hard to attribute tasks to certain people at the start because this is something you’ve grown all by yourself, and you won’t want to let it go. But if you can get over this quickly then you are teaching yourself the importance of relinquishing control over certain aspects, and it’s also giving you some breathing space which is integral to the work/life balance.

Maintaining a sense of professionalism is difficult when you are working out of your home, and it’s just you, but there will be a time when the business will expand so much that you need to have these important factors in place, so it’s best to learn them now.

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: Reasons Why Yoga is Good for Your Health

Dealing with everyday stress seems to be more difficult today. Just as you’re about to finish a task at work, your boss assigns to you another project; meanwhile, your pet is sick, and your phone battery is dead. It looks like everything is going down in flames. Instead of allowing stress and anxiety to get the best of you, you can start developing your own strategies for handling stress and staying healthy. One of the best ways to do that is by hitting the mat and giving yoga a try.

Have a perfect posture

By spending a lot of time hunched over our computers we are ruining our posture since it is difficult to keep the spine in a perfectly upright position all the time. This means that our sedentary lifestyle puts a lot of strain on neck and back muscles, and modern technology, as well as hours spent in front of a computer, don’t make things any easier. Not only does a poor posture look bad, but it also causes back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. Yoga improves your flexibility, it strengthens your neck and back muscles and helps you stand straight. You will soon notice that your posture is improved and that your back pain problems are gone.

Get Stronger

Strong muscles look amazing, but when you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or in front of a TV, it becomes very difficult to keep that sculptured body. Strong muscles mean that you’ll stay healthy for a long time, you will improve your balance, and you will look amazing. As easy as yoga may seem at first, it’s very difficult, and before you know it, you will notice your body changing, becoming leaner and more muscular.

Improve Flexibility

Not only will you be getting stronger, but you will also become more flexible. Improved flexibility is something that happens over time. During your first classes, you might have trouble bending over, touching your toes, and doing a backbend. Still, if you are persistent and dedicated, you will soon notice your body becoming more flexible with every new class. As your flexibility improves, all your pains and aches will significantly diminish. You will also become more graceful, as you will have better posture and you will be moving with ease.

Fight Insomnia

People who suffer from insomnia have also noticed that the quality of their sleep is significantly improved after only eight weeks of daily yoga. What is more, a study found that even people who survived cancer started feeling less fatigued and could sleep better after doing yoga twice a week. Sleep issues are tightly connected to anxiety, and it is not uncommon that you find it difficult to fall asleep just because you cannot stop thinking about everyday problems and troubles. Breathing and mental exercises help your mind to relax too, and allow it to slow down, so you will soon discover that you’re sleeping better. Start using yoga accessories to help you focus better: find bundles of white sage on Sivana Spirit – the smell is lovely and it will help you relax.

Yoga is not only good for relaxation and finding a peace of mind, but it also represents an incredibly effective mind-body practice. By focusing on your breathing and keeping your body in the right position, you will find it easy to meditate and relax. The best thing is that pretty much anyone can do yoga – there are different kinds of yoga for you to choose from, and once you find the one that’s perfect for you, you will notice that you’re getting healthier with each day.

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

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.

A Blogger’s Guide To Taking More Professional Travel Shots

A big part of running a successful blog is learning how to take high-quality photos for your posts. While you could source your images online, it’s much better to take them yourself, so that you can ensure that your site really is unique. After all, the more unique your site and content, the more likely it is to stand out, and the more it stands out, the higher your chances of success. With that in mind, when it comes to capturing the most incredible travel photos to go with your blog posts, here’s what you need to know:

Capture the most interesting and intriguing locations

Yes, it’s tempting to take snaps of all the most well-known sights, but ask yourself is that what your readers want to see? The fact is that a photo of a sight or feature that they have seen time and time again isn’t going to excite and interest your readers because they’ve seen it a million times before. So what you want to do is find interesting and unique locations to shoot – you can find plenty of ideas online on sites like www.digitalcamcentral.com/best-waterfalls-nashville-tennessee/.

Search the location that you’re visiting, and you should be able to find the most unique and beautiful locations to capture photos of. Of course, if you’re visiting Paris it’s fine to take photos of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe, as long as you also get some more unique snaps. If you’re visiting New York, it’s perfectly fine to shoot the statue of liberty, but you also want to get some more unique shots.

Think about the angle

One way to ensure that any photo you take is unique is to think carefully about the angle that you shoot from. Don’t just take a boring, straight on photo, be a little more creative with the images that you are capturing. Try snapping photos at different distances, take some from further away and some close-up. Take photos from above, below, and the sides. Tip the camera to an angle and see what images you can create – you would be amazed at how different this can make your images look.

Shoot in the best light

Compared to your eyes, your camera is most probably terrible at creating clear images in various lights. When in bright sunlight you will be able to distinguish most features, whereas a camera will create shadows where the sun isn’t as bright. That’s why it’s so important to shoot your photos in the very best light. Otherwise, the quality and clarity won’t be there. You may find that there’s one time of day that it’s best to shoot at, such as midday when the sun is at its highest. Often, it’s just a case of trial and error, working out when the best time of day to shoot at is.

Focus on just one point

To give your images an edge, consider focusing on one area within them. You can change the settings on most cameras to only focus on close objects or far away objects, altering the look of the image. If you’re keen to create some unique shots to share on your blog in a travel post, playing around with the focus of your camera is a good idea. You would be amazed at the beautiful photos you can capture just by editing the focus setting of your camera.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Hopefully, the above tips and ideas will help you with taking more professional travel shots for your next travel blog 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 with a Sports Management minor.

Photo Perfection: Get The Best Shot

When you’re not a trained or a professional taking the perfect photo can be nothing but a chore. It can be frustrating to have see a constant reel of bad photos coming up, one and the other and each worse than the last. But there are ways around this, ways that you can ensure the photos are better and make you and the people you’ve taken a photo of happy. You may already use some of these tips, but they can give you ideas and stoke your creative spirit, giving you a new motivation to re-enter your passion and stick at it, getting the photos you’ve always wanted. Here’s how to get the best shot.

Don’t Rush The Holiday Snaps

If you rush the holiday snaps you could go home feeling disappointed. Quick fire photos are sometimes okay, but usually you’ll pick something up that ruins the shot. Take your time. Stop for a moment to take the picture you want and retake it if it isn’t what you wanted. Sure, you may be on the clock, but it doesn’t take too long to take a photo.

If you’re s specific camera user, for example, a FujiUser, then check out tips that relate back to that brand. It’s much easier applying specific tips. You should also think about the lens when you are on holiday. Primarily because you don’t want the biggest one to lug around but you do want a decent shot, so take something half decent. Take your time, wait for the right angle and don’t want. You want memories to cherish, not awful photos that you have to look back on.

Don’t Be Afraid To Edit

Sometimes there will be something inevitable in the way of your shot or that one little blemish that ruins everything. In this digital age why not use everything that is at your disposal. Upload your photo to the computer and use some kind of editing technology, such as photoshop, to make it what you want. Certain purists argue against this, ignore them. You want the best photo then make it the best photo. It’s done by everyone all over the world. You can pull out the annoying bird who flew across your range just as you pressed the take button, or beef up the brightness a little bit. Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget that is a legitimate option.

Light Is Your Friend

The more light you have the better the shot will be. If there is a cloudy day, come back when it is sunny. Light makes all the difference in photography. You want to take the brightest photos you can. The same applies indoors. If you look at the professionals they always seem to use light rigging to get the photo they want. Just turn the lights on before taking the snap. Ensure it is the one you want it to be. The recipient will be happier with this too. Light is every photographer’s ally, expose your shots to it as much as physically possible.

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.

Staying Positive When You Have a Visible Condition

For many people, being comfortable with their bodies is something that comes naturally. For others, however, it is one of those things that requires a little more work. We all have those days where we feel invincible and as though we can handle anything life throws at us, but equally, many of us also have days where we just want to hibernate and never have to leave the house. If you have some kind of visible condition, such as a skin condition or a facial disfigurement, the latter statement may in be especially applicable. Here’s some tips for staying positive when you have a visible condition.

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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.

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