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Getting back into a regular exercise routine is hard work. After all, you have to rebuild your endurance, strength and motivation to hit the gym. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to make excuses in the face of these challenges. Remember, getting started is the most difficult part – once you’re exercising, you won’t want to stop. Eliminate these common excuses so you can get on your way to a better you:
It’s important to know the difference between being sore and being hurt. Discomfort or stabbing pains in your joints or muscles are big no-nos in the exercise world. This is especially true if you feel the ache immediately after a certain movement, such as falling or twisting your ankle. In this case, seek professional medical treatment and don’t exercise until you’re better.
However, if you experience delayed onset muscle soreness, you have no excuse to stop exercising. It’s more than safe to work out, and it’s better for your body to jump back into physical activity. The dull muscle pain usually happens when you work parts of your body that aren’t used to that stimulation. Hitting the gym may actually alleviate that discomfort and help the recovery process, according to Women’s Health.
Additionally, use a personal massager to get your muscles back in working order. You may already know from experience that a massage feels great, but scientific evidence supports this observation, too. A study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine found that 10 minutes of massage on the affected muscles can reduce signs of inflammation, alleviating soreness.
While being sick might be an acceptable excuse to take a day off of work, it shouldn’t stop you from working out. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can safely do mild to moderate exercises if all your symptoms are above your neck, such as a headache or runny nose. The New York Times even highlighted research that suggested physical activity can make you feel better overall, though you likely won’t experience any differences in your symptoms. If you decide to work out, be courteous to other exercisers. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and sanitize any equipment you use at the gym.
That being said, let your body be your guide. If you really feel too sick to work out, stay at home and rest. When you experience a fever, chest pain or a stomach ache, specifically, avoid physical activity to prevent further illness.
Being too busy is perhaps the most common excuse to not exercise. To defeat this poor reasoning, you need to employ a little strategy and rethink your priorities. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised adults need only 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. Realistically, that means you can jog for less than a half hour, three times per week, and still meet this recommendation.
Think about what you do for 25 minutes each day that could be replaced with exercise. For instance, a 2014 report by Nielsen found that Americans spend between four and six hours each day watching TV. Additionally, U.S. adults spend an average of 3.6 hours per day socializing online, according to Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange. Consider cutting back on these habits to make more time for your health.
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Is your daily routine negatively impacted by that relentless ache in your lower back? Can you feel it throbbing for attention as you read this? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life.
Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride: