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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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Weightloss Simplified

Losing weight can be a high priority for a lot of people amongst us. With such a focus on the media about obesity being a growing problem, it can be a hard subject to ignore. Losing weight is something that should be done in the spirit of improving your health and well-being, and being able to give you a confidence boost as well. However, so many people complicate the weight loss process so I thought now was the time to explain some of the simple ways you can lose weight successfully. Here’s weightloss simplified.

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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.

So You Think You Are Healthy? Here’s Where You Might Be Going Wrong

Many of us have a focus on healthy eating. We like to look and feel our best. But for some of us we are doing the whole healthy eating thing wrong. This is because there are many things we have believed over the years that aren’t factual anymore. Or perhaps you just think something is healthy when in fact it may not be that great for you. Which is why I thought I would try and combat some of those myths and share with you where you could be going wrong in your healthy habits.

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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.

Easy Signs Your Running Form is Off

A common mistake made by newbies and the elite veterans is running with improper form. Even if you’re currently running with bad form you may not experience any problems yet, but eventually they’ll start popping up one after the other. Here are some quick and easy signs your running form is off.

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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.

10 Mistakes Runners Make

Whether you’re a newbie or an elite runner, sometimes running can be hard. You have your running shoes laced up, a killer Spotify playlist ready to go, and determined to conquer a tough workout with many benefits. Your form, mental state, and certain running techniques can set you up for success, but others can take you down a wrong path. Here are ten mistakes runners make.

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

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