Monthly Archives: August 2016

Ways to Avoid Most Common Running Injuries

It applies to any field that an injury, no matter how common and small, if left untreated, will bring bad news in the future. That said, running comes with its set of common injuries, all of which have a counter, mostly muscle training.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Running Injuries

Avoid Excessive Training
Yes, the sky is the limit. But you don’t need to get there right now. Attaining perfection by pushing yourself is good, but only till any training stops being beneficial. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. Take it step by step, hold logic above all else. Push only for a little time after you reach your limits. Overdoing it may cause muscle strain or tear.

Maintain Warm Up Exercises
No matter how fired up you are, you must do the entire warm up routine before you start on any long distance running or sprinting. The warm up may vary depending on the kind of running you’re about to do. It is advisable to maintain a regular warm up schedule, even on the days you’re not working out. This ensures a loose body even if you return to it after some time.

Buy the Right Shoes
Buying the right kind of shoes that provide a sturdy footing while allowing the maximum level of comfort is important. Make sure that you buy running shoes that fit well enough to not give you added problems for your lower body. Do not attempt anything hard until you’ve broken into your shoes.

Getting the Right Stride
Lunging is bad when you’re running. What happens is you end up jabbing your heel into the ground when your foot lands. This means to produce more resistance to running and also increasing your chances to injure your shin.

Maintain a Good Upper Body Form
Keep your hands at waist level, keep your elbows fixed and move your arms at your shoulders. Keep your back comfortably straight; don’t push your chest out too much or slouch too hard.

Treating Common Running Injuries

No matter what we do, injuries in any physical activity are inevitable. There are some common injuries and their treatments that everyone should know about.

Achilles Tendinitis
This injury causes pain along the Achilles Tendon, also causing calf pain and stiffness. The aim here is to strengthen calf muscles. This can be treated by doing calf drops – stand on a flat surface (barefoot), on the balls of your feet. Lower one foot down by shifting your weight onto it. Raise the foot and repeat for the other foot. Perform this cycle for 10 times.

Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the tissue on the lower side of the foot, felt more on the heel. You need to take a few days off from running and rest your feet. This reduces the inflammation. After that, you can strengthen your foot by doing this exercise – stand barefoot, on one foot, and curve the foot upwards, keeping only the heel, the big toe and the pinky toe in contact with the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat for the other leg, repeating the cycle three times.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome
The most likely cause of Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is the overuse of the Iliotibial band, which runs from the hip to the shin, adding support to the leg muscle groups. ITBS means an inflammation of the band, which can also be caused due to incorrect training methods that stress out one leg more than the other. Symptoms include a shooting pain that starts from the heel every time you walk or run. If it’s a mild case of ITBS, rest up, use ice properly to soothe the band and take some mild anti-inflammatory medicine. In case the pain is severe, consult a doctor.

Shin Splints
This causes pain on the insides of your shinbone and is caused due to injury to the tendons. The injury can be prevented by strengthening the muscles around the shinbone by doing the following – walk barefoot in one place on your heels, with the toes stretched as high as possible. Other than that, take complete rest till the inflammation subsides.

There are many more injuries that can happen while or due to excessive running. Training properly is the main way to reduce the chances of injury, without doing anything in excess.

Ways to Reduce Stress Through Psychology

Many people these days go for psychological counseling. They opt for these counselors due to personal and professional problems they are facing. These problems focus around their whole life span with a target on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental and organizational concerns.

But first it is important to know what is psychology?

In simple terms, Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. Psychologists generally deal with concepts such as attention, emotion, intelligence, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships and also issues which the people are facing in their real life.

Manage your life through counseling-

These days everyone is running after success and in this scenario of life where at each and every point of time tension and anxiety persists. Everyone is struggling to manage the everyday pressures of life. There are times in our lives that we all go through psychological or emotional difficulties that can have an impact upon our general well-being, our personal relationships and on our working relationships. It becomes quite difficult to cope up with stress these days because of the mental and emotional pressure of the work load. Sometimes when managing our busy lives stress can affect our mind, body and in some cases soul too. These people should stay and they tend to find places which are safe and calm. You can always go for counseling if you are facing all these difficulties in your life. Psychologists create an environment which is controlled in terms of emotions and behaviors helping the lost to trigger the emotions and respond to it in a peaceful manner. If you are aware of your triggers and can manage your reactions to stress one can easily reduce the symptoms of stress. This will help you in leading a more calm and balanced life.

Connect your mind and body-

Developing your ability to be aware of what is going on in your body can be a great tool for regulating emotions and maximizing your experience of life. If you can “feel” anger coming on, it gives you a chance to manage it. If you learn to manage your emotions you can easily enjoy your life.

Stick to your Morals-

Do one act of kindness each day. This act of kindness will help you to feel good from inside out, not the outside in. It is important for a person to feel positive and nice each and every day. Learn to forget and forgive. This will make your life free from worries and fears.

How to Prepare for a Marathon

Every one should attempt to run a marathon once in their lifetime. As opposed to other sports events, here, just participating and completing the run is a big achievement. The preparation for a marathon has to be done consistently for several months preceding the actual event. If you are a beginner with a reasonable level of physical fitness (walk, jog or play a sport 3 times a week), the ideal time you should train for is 6 to 8 months. If you aren’t an active person, and can’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, then you should give yourself a year. In addition to exercise, nutrition is another pillar while getting yourself ready for a marathon. Here’s how you can start off.

Training: To start with, you need to decide if you want to run only the 5 km run, the half marathon which is 21 km, or the full marathon which is 42 km. The 5K is not a bad place to start, as it gives you a feel of what running in a marathon is like. Once you have made the decision, you will have to fashion your training schedule accordingly. No matter what kind of program you decide to follow or which distance you decide to run, one factor will remain constant, and that will involve plenty of running. The objective of marathon training is to condition your body and mind to run the long road.

A basic training schedule will start with running three times a week, which in time, will be increased to 5. On one of these 5 days (ideally Sunday) you will run a distance considerably longer than you do on other days. One is advised to start at between 3 to 4 miles a day, and run about 7 on the long run day. As the weeks go by, these distances will gradually be increased. It is important to build gradually, or you may risk injury, which can be a major setback.

Tools: A good pair of running shoes is a ‘must have’ for every runner. However, getting a pair is not as simple as going to a sports store and picking the one you like best. You are advised to go to a specialty running store, where the staff will help you select a pair of running shoes to cater to your biomechanical needs. Be aware that these shoes can burn a hole in your pocket. In addition, also pick up other apparel such as socks, singlets, shorts, etc., in synthetic blends, that wick away sweat and provide more comfort while running.

Nutrition: If you are wondering what to eat in these months, know that there is much debate about the best nutritional plan. However, the basics remain the same; you need carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle building and repair. Minimize the presence of fried and high fat foods in your diet, as well as those with empty calories. Apart from your regular daily intake, you will now need 100 calories per mile you run. 65% of these should come from carbohydrates (ideally complex carbohydrates), 10% should come from protein, and 25% should come from unsaturated fats. Staying hydrated is also of utmost importance.

Mentally readying for a marathon is an important part of the overall training process. You have to train your body to listen to your mind, and have to break through many barriers you encounter. Running a marathon requires grit, determination, and perseverance. It is these qualities that are your real trophies, along with a great sense of accomplishment.

Easy Tips to Reduce Stress Naturally

When it comes to ways on how to reduce stress, there are many medical facilities that will help you get over your stress issues but, unfortunately, you have to pay quite some amount. The other way to go about this is to take the natural route which doesn’t include any synthetic medication. Interestingly, it is by using the natural environment that you will be able to beat stress and rediscover yourself. Here are some ingenious ways that you can use right where you are and rejuvenate your body and mind:

1. Meditation

Meditation has been shown by psychologists to make a person more resilient towards stress. By practicing a few minutes of meditation every other day, you effectively make your brain go at ease and thereby relieving it much of the stress that it could be suffering from. There are several ways that you can meditate and still reach that much-loved state. While meditating, you should incorporate some mantra such as which will help in the reinventing your inner power. You should try to do this in a quiet place where there are no distractions.

2. Take a break from your fast schedule

One of the simplest stress reduction techniques is to take a break from your fast life and just have five minutes to yourself. Many times you will eat the food without even noticing that it is tasty or walk without even realizing the beautiful breeze on your face or the sunshine streaming from above. By taking a step back from what you are doing and relishing the natural beauty of everything about you, you will be able to not only savor the moment but also make your mind be at peace. This is a simple way on how to reduce stress because it allows you to spend time in the present moment and focus on your sense which makes you relieve some of the stress in your body and brain.

3. Take a chocolate covered strawberry

Many people tend to jump for the sugary stuff when they are stressed. It is for this reason that stress is blamed for making many people overweight and obese. When stressed, you can still have your way with sweet stuff, but in a healthy way. By eating strawberries, which are covered in chocolate, you will have discovered on how to reduce stress in an affordable way. Dark chocolate contains a lot of Vitamin C which is accredited with the fighting off radical cells in the body. The chocolate contains compounds such as cortisol, which help in the reduction of stress hormones. It is one of the increasingly popular stress reduction techniques today.

4. Laugh every time you can

Many times people have a hard time remembering when it was that they laughed out loud. In many cases, when you can’t remember the last time you laughed out loud, you are stressed. Having a good belly laugh makes the body produce important hormones such as cortisol, which are ideal at lowering your stress levels. Learn how to reduce stress by laughing out every time you hear a joke. Laughing is attributed with raising endorphins levels in the body. A simple way to achieve this ‘laughing trait’ is by meeting new friends, tuning to your favorite sitcoms, reading and watching comedies.

5. Go for a scalp massage

Whether you are a man or woman, you should allocate some time to have your head massaged. If you have ever had your head massaged, you the exact soothing exhilarating feeling that such comes with. You can massage your hair using some good shampoo in your bath and enjoy the relaxing feeling of running your fingers through your scalp. The added advantage of massaging your head besides relieving stress and making you feel at peace is that your hair becomes healthier and beautiful. Of course, a full body massage comes with immense benefits that will leave you smiling with gratitude.

6. Take Chamomile tea

If you are wondering on how to reduce stress and you have chamomile tea in your house, wonder no more. Chamomile tea is used to relieve stress you deal with a host of other problems such as pain relief. Chamomile tea has been studied and proved to contain important compounds such as valium which work at making the brain receptors ideal for stress relieving.

Conclusion

The environment is full of good conditions that make your body relaxed. When you are stressed, you require a lot of negative ions in order to help keep your body ion level neutral. Some of the places to check out include near waterfalls, mountains or at the beach. Little wonder then that you get relaxed when you go out on a vacation.