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Posts tagged ‘health’

The Importance of Stretching After Exercise | GUEST POST – healthline

Today I’m introducing Guest Blogger* Valerie Johnston from Healthline.com. – With ambitions of one day running a marathon, this health & fitness writer in East Texas ensures she’s up to date with all the latest wellness news! Today’s post is on the importance of stretching – when to do it, when not to do it, and all the best (and secret) methods to recovery. Read on and be inspired!

Stretching is an extremely important part of any workout routine. However, what most people do not know is that it is actually more beneficial to stretch after exercising rather than before. Stretching beforehand can actually cause more damage than it prevents.

Stretch After Your Run

When Not to Stretch

Stretching before working out has been proven to lead to more injuries than if people did not stretch at all. This is because the purpose of stretching is to relax the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the body. When these parts of the body gets too relaxed, it can be very dangerous to perform high intensity activities.

This is because these muscles and tendons need to be tight and constricted in order to keep the rest of the body performing at a high level. If the bones and muscles are not being held tightly in place, they can easily be broken, fractured, or otherwise injured during exercise.

Stretching is part of Warming Down

Why After Is Better

Stretching after working out, however, is extremely beneficial and can help prevent injury. This is due to the fact that the muscles and everything else get very tight during intense physical exercise. After the tightening occurs, it needs to be released so that the muscles can recover and rebuild after being torn up from the work out.

Stretching can help relax the muscles as to not allow build up of lactic acid, the substance that causes cramping and pain in the muscles. By letting all of these acids escape and run out of the muscles, it helps people be much less sore the next day after a big work out and it allows their muscles to properly heal.

Stretching Increases Flexibility

How To Stretch

However, stretching does no good if it is not done correctly. In order to get the muscles to work at their full potential and recover at the fastest rate possible, people should follow the following guidelines. First, stretches should not be held for longer than six seconds at a time. Contrary to popular opinion, which says that stretching needs to be for extended lengths of time, a stretch should last exactly six seconds and then be released for six seconds and repeated a total of three times.

In addition, stretches should not be painful. Many people think that an effective stretch bends the body to the point where it actually begins to hurt. No pain, no gain is their philosophy. This is actually very dangerous, as over stretching can lead to chronic injuries and pain. A stretch should only go as far as the person can handle without pain. Otherwise, the stretch does more harm than help.

Stretches should also be done after each and every work out. If individuals decide to exercise and skip the stretching afterwards, it can cause a lot of pain, soreness, and likeliness for injury in the future. Sometimes it is tempting to skip the stretches after working out because one is very worn out and just wants to get home, but it is absolutely necessary for proper body function.

Always Be Aware of What is Comfortable for You

Chocolate Milk and Stretching

Something a lot of people also do not know about stretching is that, when combined with a glass of chocolate milk, it makes for the best muscle recovery possible. Chocolate milk, though often viewed as unhealthy or fattening, actually possesses all of the necessary elements to rebuild and recover muscles quickly and perfectly.  (an aside from me – this is perfect, I love chocolate steri stumpies after hard excercise, particularly a run. I find it works well as a recovery drink!)

When the muscles are worn down during exercise, they need plenty of protein, calcium, and other things to help them grow back and grow back stronger. If these muscles are not taken care of properly, they will not grow or recover. Stretching is just one way to ensure that the body is healthy and running at top performance levels.

Make Stretching a Healthy  Part of Your LIfe

Have you got any great fitness tips or things that have worked? Share as a comment below or tweet me @theggguide – have a super weekend!

* I love guest posts! If you would like to share your knowledge or expertise on any design, decor, fashion or style trends, please email me on theggguide[at]gmail.com. All posts and included links undergo a review before publishing.

Destress Your Stress | GUEST POST

Today I’m introducing guest blogger* Sara Coppola, a creative content writer who works in the clothing industry, such as Miinto in the UK.  Her post today focuses on how to eradicate stress in your life, with a focus on sleep, good health and exercise. As it’s the beginning of the year and we’re all trying to eradicate a few Festive Season bulges as well as learn how to be happy and healthy, it’s the perfect way to get you smiling. Enjoy!

Avoiding stress is a self-teaching attitude that can greatly improve our lifestyle. Life can be much better by just caring more about one own self and dedicate time to our bodies and mental needs.

With increasingly busier lives: work, house, kids, husbands, family, friends (and the list could go on and on) most of us find ourselves overwhelmed and stressed, a lethal combination that seems to negatively affect our mental and physical health! How to manage and overcome all this? I think in life, are the small things that make the difference and help us feeling better. Regardless of all the responsibilities we are put or we put ourselves in charge of, it is very important to love ourselves and make sure to give time and to take care of our own person.

Here are my personal suggestions to tackle daily stress; they are small footsteps that usually help me through the most intense and stressful weeks. Taking care of one own self helps feeling better and more rested resulting in a better mood and more energy.

Relax, Everything is Interconnected

Relax | source Robert Sawkins

Manage your Time

Unfortunately there are only a certain number of hours in a day, and most of the time it is not possible to accomplish everything. Balancing work and private life is probably one of the hardest things to do, but remember to take some time for yourself, to rest and enjoy life. If you can´t manage to rest during the week, make sure to leave space for some relax during the weekend, do not stuff up your agenda with social events; rediscover the pleasure of spending in bed an entire Sunday or just chilling around the house. Make room for something that is just for yourself!

Be Free in Yourself

Be Free in Yourself | source here

1.       You NEED to Sleep

A regular sleeping pattern is what regenerates hour energy level. Contrary to believes, if you don´t sleep for a week, your body will not “make up” for it if the next night you sleep more; in a way, the body does not “storage” sleep. You need to get a good 7-8 hour sleep every night!

Sleeping helps concentration and therefore outputs; it has a big impact on our mood and gives us energy to be happier and accomplish more things.

2.       Sleeping Environment

To achieve a better sleeping pattern, it is also of outmost importance to ditch all non-bedroom related things. Sleeping with your phone next to you or watching movies in bed keeps your body in “alert” mood, preventing from good sleep and real rest. Make sure your bedroom is solely the place where you sleep and not an extension of your living room or office. Lights and noise unconsciously awake your brain.

Peaceful Sleep

Peaceful Sleep | source here

3.       Exercises

Even small exercise can do you a great good. To stay healthy you don’t need to work out 7 days a week and become a ‘gym-aholic’. If you are more of a lethargic type (then I´ll feel in good company), easy things like: taking the stairs instead of the elevator, biking to work, getting off one metro stop before yours and just walking the remaining distance, can help you keep fit and feeling more energetic!

4.       Healthy Eating

Apparently exercising regularly contributes to your body health only for a 30 per cent. The remaining 70 per cent of effort lies in what you eat! So it would not make much sense to be a hard core gym-aholic if then you stuff yourself with chocolate and fried juicy food! A good diet is what matter most of all; I do not mean starvation or bird-size dishes, but simply remember to eat a bit of everything, natural non-process food and in “normal” dish-size. Most of all, if you are full, STOP eating! And if you are stressed, do not indulge, go take a walk, it would help you more than you can imagine!

Trail Run Your Heart Out

Trail Run Your Heart Out | source Mountain Girl Fitness

5.       Sun & Vitamins

Exposition to sun is very important for the human body. With the winter season at the doors and less daylight available, it is important to assume the right intake of Vitamin D that we would usually get from the sun. Vitamin D can be found in pills, but also in some types of food such as eggs, milk, grapes ‘skin, many type of fish (sword fish, tuna, smoked salmon), cereals, orange juice and many other

6.       Smile

Feeling tired and stressed has a huge impact on hour daily life and mood. The worse thing is that it triggers a negative chain of negativity and unhealthy feeling. Luckily, just smiling during our day and trying to have positive thoughts can greatly impact all this. Constructive optimistic thoughts can go a long way by themselves; in the end, one´s self-influence is the most powerful weapon we have on our own well-being.

Smile girl

Smile girl | source here

About the Author

Sara Coppola is a creative content writer within the fashion clothing industry and is now launching herself into freelance writing. When not writing Sara loves to travel, take pictures and keep up with the latest fashion trends.

* I love guest posts! If you would like to share your knowledge or expertise on any design, decor, fashion or style trends, please email me on theggguide[at]gmail.com. All posts and included links undergo a review before publishing.

Happy New Year! It’s 2013…

Hello everyone! I’ve just got back from holiday – and what a vacation it was – and am now only discovering this thing called ‘a computer!’ how brilliant to have 2 and a half weeks off from all technology, really refreshing 🙂

But in the meantime, wishing you all a very happy new year; may 2013 be the year your dreams are realised, your passions grow and your life sees amazing change for the better! My husband and I are starting with what we’ve termed a ‘relaunch’ – a full health & fitness overhaul to get us in shape and happy for 2013. With that, and a whole bunch of other big ‘life changes’ on the cards, I’m certainly looking forward to the year! Wishing you a successful, happy and prosperous 2013!

Happy New Year!