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It’s never too late to start exercising. No matter your age, the benefits that come from being active are endless, and include a healthy body weight, improved self-confidence, reduction of stress and more. If you’re new to exercise, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you stay healthy and reach your fitness goals:
It’s easy to tell yourself you’re going to workout more, but if you don’t actually have a plan in place, it’s not likely that you’ll stick to that goal. Whether you jot your workouts down on a calendar or set a reminder in your phone, scheduling it into your week can help you stay on track.
Whether you’re going for a run, swimming or lifting weights, maintaining the correct form is crucial. Doing an exercise wrong can increase your chance for injury. Proper form also ensures that you’re getting the most out of your workout. When you’re running, for instance, always keep your torso upright, and be sure to slide your arms forward and back, rather than across your chest.
If you hate running, why put yourself through that? It’s important to find a form of exercise that you enjoy, because this increases the chances that you’ll stick to it. Looking for an alternative form of cardio? Consider swimming, which is easy on your joints and muscles, but still gives you an effective cardio workout. You can also try dance, even if your dance moves aren’t exactly Beyonce-worthy.
You may want to eventually run a marathon, but that’s a goal that’s fit for the long term. Instead, set more easily attainable goals by working to increase your speed or distance each week that you run. It’s better to start slowly and give your body time to adjust to the intensity of your workouts.
Whether you do Pilates or love to run, make sure you’re listening to your body. It’s natural to be sore, but if you’re experiencing pain, it might be time to stop and evaluate what’s wrong. Be sure to stretch before each workout, and follow up particularly intense exercise regimens with personal massage. A quick self-massage can prevent your muscles from feeling ultra sore the next day.
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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: