Protect Yourself From These Common Sports-Related Injuries

Getting in enough physical exercise is important for our health. Yet, whether that physical activity involves working out at the gym or participating in sports, it’s important not to overdo it. Pushing yourself can lead to common, yet painful injuries. Being aware of ways to avoid these injuries can help you stay safe, while pursuing your fitness or sports goals.

Head injuries

These types of injuries are more common in competitive team sports and include everything from traumatic brain injuries to incidences of TMJ. Trauma to the jaw or skull is generally responsible for swelling or a fracture of the bone of the skull in both these types of injuries. That’s why regulations for contact sports, such as football or hockey, set guidelines for wearing face and head protection. While some types of sports don’t require this type of protection, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk of a head injury. For instance, TBI incidences are still common in sports like basketball and soccer, even though the players don’t wear helmets or mouth guards. In any physically active sport, it’s wise to consider wearing a helmet or similar protection to protect your face and head.

Neck Pain

When the neck becomes misaligned, it can cause pain that won’t seem to go away, but this isn’t necessarily due to an injury. In fact, it can begin in the office, while you’re working at you desk. Your neck becomes misaligned through poor posture, but the pain can really intensify later, when you hit the gym. It can become a bigger problem as you lay on the weight bench, if you don’t ensure your neck and upper back are fully supported against the pad. Doing lifts that force you to raise your hands over your head can really aggravate the condition. To strengthen these muscles, do reverse shrugs with the lateral pull down bar, adjusting the weight to a comfortable level. Just pull the bar down to 3-4 inches in front of you.

Lower Back Strain

This is a common injury at the gym, especially with those who don’t practice a proper form. Like the neck, the back relies on proper posture and, when it doesn’t get that support, it can cause a strain in the lower back. A sharp pain, while doing squats can be an indication that you’ve put a strain on your back. To prevent this type of strain, practice working with your neutral back posture, before you begin lifting or doing squats. By laying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, you can experience your natural posture. Get comfortable with this posture, before advancing your workout.

Stress Fractures

These a tiny, hairline cracks in the bones of the lower legs, shins, and feet. Generally, they are caused by performing a repetitive motion too excessively, or they can be caused by overexertion. Symptoms of stress fractures include sharp, shooting pain in the foot and shins, making it difficult to walk. Jumping, running, walking, and even standing still can cause the pain to grow worse and the area around the shin and ankle may swell. To prevent stress fractures, start slowly and increase the intensity of your workouts gradually. Each week, you can boost your workout safely by 10%, giving your body time to adjust and build muscle.

Sprained Ankle

This is common in every sport, among runners, and also in gym workouts. This often happens when you’re running and not paying attention to your footing. A misstep can cause your foot to twist beneath you, bending the ankle in an awkward position. The best way to prevent sprains is to run or jog on flat, even surfaces. If you’re on the treadmill, don’t forget to wear the clip that will stop the machine if you lose your balance. Outdoors, try to stay on concrete when running, as natural trails may be uneven and littered with branches and rocks.

Staying safe is important during any physical activity. To that end, be sure to wear the proper protective equipment and follow safety guidelines for that activity. While getting a good workout is your goal, overdoing it can lead to accidents and injuries that may leave you sidelined.

 

Nowadays, everyone seems in a hurry to live. But when you stop for a moment and look at the bigger picture, you will see that being in complete agreement with yourself is crucial for true happiness. Fortunately, mind-body balance is best achieved by healthy lifestyle practices, which have other amazing benefits as well. Follow these 5 Major Pillars of a Fully Balanced Body and Mind Through Fitness and discover the importance of living a healthy balanced lifestyle!

The Essentials

Living in a total state of both inner and outer equilibrium is the key towards a successful existence. To help you accomplish this, here are the five major pillar of a fully balanced body and mind through fitness.

1.    Appropriate Diet

It’s no secret that what you eat is reflected both inside and out. For this reason, maintaining an appropriate diet is the most important principle of a balanced lifestyle. And to achieve this, you need to first and foremost rely solely on natural, organic ingredients. Therefore, fresh produce and free-range meats need to become a staple in your kitchen.

In addition, never forget the importance of regular interval meals. Although many people believe that you should eat three meals a day consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the reality is a bit more different. It is indeed important to have three meals, but you can also have four or five smaller ones too. As long as they’re at the same time each day, you’re set.

Furthermore, your meal plan needs to be in tune with your exercise routine. For example, if indoor cycling is your workout of choice, you need to find out more on what to eat before spin class so that you balance your physical activity with your nutrient intake. In the same way, if you’re a weightlifting enthusiast, that should reflect on your plate.

2.    Sufficient Hydration

Drinking plenty of water is essential in the field of fitness, and it is also a direct companion of any healthy diet. Hydration is important because it regulates all your bodily functions. It helps eliminate waste and toxins through urine and perspiration, it lubricates your musculoskeletal system, it promotes tissue elasticity and it maintains a steady core temperature.

Thus, the perfect mind-body balance cannot exist without it. Depending on your gender, age, height, and weight, you should ideally drink 2 to 4 liters of the stuff daily so that your well-being is preserved at all times. Generally, the average woman needs a 2.7-liter daily intake, while men should drink as much as 3.7 liters to support themselves.

3.    Regular Workouts

Although it’s true that diet lies at the base of any balanced lifestyle and is a focal point of reaching any fitness goal, let’s not forget about exercising. Regular workouts are also an essential part of finding the middle ground between your body and your mind. But how can you find something that you enjoy that also promotes your interior equilibrium?

According to Harvard Medical School, a good way to approach this is by having a go at Eastern-influenced physical activities that are both engaging and soothing at the same time. Yoga is perhaps the number one choice, but you can also choose the path less traveled and practice tai chi or qigong. Classic standing balance exercises are also an amazing alternative.

4.    Reasonable Timing

An essential part of your routine has to do with duration. Exercise for too long and you’ll be left feeling completely drained. On the other side of the issue, if you don’t do it enough, you won’t see any progress. Determine what the best timing is for you and your personal needs. A personal trainer can help you with that if you need further assistance.

5.    Feeling Good

There is a common misconception that toning and slimming down-related objectives are achieved through imposing limitations, undertaking the most difficult exercises, restricting what you eat and monitoring everything closely. While there is some truth to that, the most important part of the entire journey is actually ensuring that you feel good.

Not feeling pressured in any way keeps up your motivation, which in turn is beneficial to how much you engage with your workout routine. After all, the key to keeping balance and reaching goals is not what you do, but how well you do it. So, what are you waiting for? Throw your scale into the garbage and focus on what you’re experiencing.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, true balance needs to start with you. But paying attention to these practices is something that will surely further you down the path towards progress. And when you also manage to stay fit in the process, it’s a win on all sides. All you need is a little ambition and a lot of self-confidence.

 

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Healthy meals seem like a great idea until you realize how little time you have. One of the most common misconceptions regarding healthy eating is how much time it takes and how much money it costs to eat a healthy meal, but it’s simply not the case. You can eat a quick, healthy meal in a matter of minutes if you take the time to learn a few helpful tricks and tips. It’s easier than you think, you don’t need a lot of additional time, and you might even be surprised you never thought of these ideas yourself.

Pre-Plan Your Menus

If you want to spend some time making healthy meals at home, it’s a lot faster when your menu is pre-planned and you have everything on hand. When you know in advance what you’re cooking all week, you get to go to the store and pick up what you need. When you have what you need on hand, you’re more likely to go through with cooking.

For example, if you want to make a healthy salad with grilled chicken one night but you don’t have the vegetables to make the salad, you have to stop by the store on your way home that day. It takes more time, your meal feels like a bigger effort, and you’re less likely to want to stop, get out of the car, and actually take that time. If you have everything at home already, you go right home and cook your dinner.

Consider Meal Delivery

The best about meal delivery is you can opt for a healthy food delivery service. Most all of the meal delivery programs available right now have healthy options for people to choose from, and you can get everything you need delivered to you at home one day a week so it’s all there. The menu is already chosen for you, the food is right there, and you made no effort. You didn’t make a list. You don’t do any shopping, and you just cook the meal according to the instructions. It’s easy, and it’s a wonderful alternative to fast food on a busy week.

The other bonus about delivery services is most companies don’t lock you in. You’re not required to order every week if you’re on vacation, you don’t love the available menu options, and so on. You get to pick and choose the weeks you want food delivered, and that makes your life a lot simpler.

Think of Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorites

There are some meals that might not be so healthy, but they are quick and easy. For example, you can make spaghetti in no time, but it might not be as healthy as you’d like. Try subbing your pasta for whole wheat or veggie pasta or even spaghetti squash. Use homemade tomatoes to make your tomato sauce so it’s a bit healthier. Instead of using ground beef, use ground turkey in your spaghetti. Skip the garlic bread and have a healthy salad on the side.

Instead of eating buffalo chicken wraps, make yourself a Caesar salad, grill some chicken, and wrap it up in a whole wheat wrap for a healthier take on your favorite foods. If you love cheeseburgers, make them with ground turkey, a little grilled pineapple and green pepper on top, and wrap them in large romaine leaves. It’s healthier, it’s easier, and it’s delicious.

If you can find time to create a few healthy menu items that don’t take much time to cook, you might find yourself more willing to eat healthier. It’s all about the time you spend in the kitchen and the effort it takes. If you can find a way to get past your mental blocks about healthy eating, you might find it’s a lot quicker and more affordable than you imagined.

5 Reasons Why Warm Up Exercises Are Important

 

The importance of warmup exercises should be considered by anybody who works out. Although warmups probably won’t help much with burning calories or building muscle, they’re crucial to the success of a workout! Before you even think about running or using the machines at the gym, you ought to make sure you complete a warm up and do a few stretches – but what makes them so important? 

1 . They help to increase body and muscle temperature 

A good warm-up will raise your body temperature, which is particularly helpful to your muscles. As your muscle temperature increases, oxygen becomes more available to your muscles, allowing them to contract and relax more easily – so you’ll be able to perform more strenuous tasks with ease. Your heart is also given a chance to prepare, meaning it won’t be too strained during your workout. 

2 . You’ll reduce your risk of injury  

The last thing you need when you’ve been faithfully attending the gym and reaching your goals is to become injured. Warming up will improve muscle elasticity and allow for efficient cooling, meaning less chance of accidentally hurting yourself or overheating during your workout and ruining your day! 

3. They can help you to mentally prepare 

Jumping straight into a workout without being adequately prepared can throw you off completely, especially if the preparation is mental rather than physical. It’s easy to give up when working out gets difficult, but you’ll be much less likely to do so if you’ve given yourself time to remember why you’re working out. Use your time warming up to think about what you’re about to do, guaranteeing that both your body and mind will be ready to succeed. 

4. You’ll increase your flexibility, which will help with other exercise 

Stretching is often considered something that should be done in addition to regular warmups. Stretching will increase blood flow to your muscles, and allow your body to increase its flexibility in both the short and long-term – always a plus when it comes to properly performing a workout. Stretch after you’ve already completed your warm up, as stretching when your muscles aren’t properly warm can lead to injury. 

5. You’ll be ready to tackle the heavy-duty machines at the gym 

Using machines to help build muscle is a great way to spend your time at the gym, but they shouldn’t be used before you’ve had a chance to loosen your joints! Warming up will ensure that both your body and mind are in the right state to handle gym equipment, again reducing your risk of injury.  

 

As well as a good warm-up, workout preparation should also involve ensuring that you have suitable equipment for the exercises you’ll be doing. Crossfit, for example, can be enhanced by the use of accessories; particularly helpful for its Workouts of the Day are resistance bands and palm guards. 

Popular warm-up exercises you might like to try include jogging on the spot for several minutes, cycling, or even simply performing your workout at a much slower pace to prepare your body. For your stretches, try static stretching, which involves stretching a muscle slowly and holding it in place for up to thirty seconds. 

The benefits of warming up are evident, and warm ups will help you to achieve your goals at the gym; it’s therefore clear that warm-up exercises should not be overlooked by gymgoers at any level. Once you’ve prepared your body and mind and done some stretching, you’ll be ready to make the most of your workout! 

 

“I’m going to work through it”. This is a common saying, especially when we have injuries, or something isn’t right while we are at the gym. Use these tips to help determine when are we “working through” and when are we making things worse.

1. Determine what is going on.

Like most of us, when life presents me with unknown challenges google is my next stop. However as many of you may have experienced, this isn’t the best place for medical advice. First, we can scare ourselves much more than necessary. If you are dealing with anything that alters your ability to go through your normal everyday activities, including what you do in the gym, get a professional’s opinion. It’s important to determine if it’s time to strengthen, make modifications to working out, or rest the area. Often modifications or rehab exercises can be prescribed to put you in charge of your recovery.

2. “It’s overuse”.

Our bodies are built to last when they are nourished properly. Look at overuse as repetitively stressing a tissue incorrectly. Having correct posture optimizes our blood and nerve supply. This allows tissues to repair correctly from our day to day stresses. Small injuries, decreased range of motion and poor posture all create compensations in our body. The more compensatory patterns the greater chance for serious injury. Formulate a plan with a trainer to achieve your goals and get the proper coaching on technique and form in the gym. Exercises with great benefits shift to dangerous without the right form.

3. When do I push through?

Once we know what is going on and we have corrected form and posture, there will be a period that we “push through”. Our tissues are now repairing and have enough strength to withstand some resistance. When we return to the gym give yourself time to ease back to workouts. One of the most common mistakes is picking up where you left off and making the injury worse than before. When you are performing and exercise you feel a discomfort that is a 1-2 out of 10 and is NOT increasing it is okay to continue. It’s normal to feel some slight discomfort, like when you first started working out.

In Summary we want to

1. Determine what is going on

2. Correct posture and form to avoid injury.

3. Slight discomfort that doesn’t increase is ok when we return to the gym.

Is going to the gym and exercising regularly on your list of New Year’s resolutions? Whether you are a complete beginner or returning to your favorite fitness gym in San Diego after a hiatus, this article is the read for you. Discover (or remind yourself of) some of the mistakes most commonly made by fitness beginners and what to do to not get discouraged.

Pushing too hard, too soon

While you should challenge your physical limitations, you shouldn’t be pushing yourself too far, especially at the beginning. Unfortunately, many first-time gym members lack the patience necessary for a sustainable progress. Having an “all in” attitude and not listening to your body can lead to potential injury. Injury recovery can be long and be a major set back to reaching your fitness goals. So pace yourself, this isn’t a race! Lasting results take time.

Not exercising at your own pace

In the beginning, you may compare yourself with others. That’s not a bad thing, but you shouldn’t measure up your own progress to someone else’s. Some people may be able to see results quicker than others. You should set achievable goals that are reasonable for you and your body.

Not keeping track of your progress

Whether it’s taking photos or body measurements, it’s important to keep track of your progress. After time, your notes will visually help you to see the changes you’ve made and muscle groups that need improving. Plus once you start seeing results, it’s a great way to be your own motivation!

Not thinking about proper nutrition

What you eat is as important as your workout routine. A balanced diet is supposed to complement the workout. Not eating properly can sometimes cancel out all the effort you invest in your local fitness gym in San Diego. For example, bodybuilders; they think about nutrition ALL THE TIME. Proper workout and nutrition combo definitely yields two-fold results.

Not balancing cardio and weight training

It’s a common misconception that guys should focus extensively on weights whereas gals should do the same with cardio. While they yield different results, the combination of both is beneficial for both sexes. Cardio indefinitely burns calories and helps melt away fat, while weight training helps build and sculpt muscle. However, for both men and women, incorporating weight training in addition to cardio will keep the body burning calories for several hours after a workout.

Using improper exercise form

It is vital that you use proper exercise form. You will discover that using proper technique can be more difficult, but the payoff in the long haul will be much more rewarding. In order to start seeing changes in your body, you must activate muscles that have been inactive and you can’t expect this to be easy! Besides, using proper form is the best way to get results and most importantly – aids in avoiding injuries. Always quality over quantity.

Exercise properly at the go-to fitness gym in San Diego!

Fit Athletic Club boasts fitness professionals who will guide you through your workout. We’ve built a lifestyle brand that encourages a healthy and inspired living. Choose one of our world-class fitness facilities closest to you and experience an extraordinary country club-like atmosphere. Enjoy various perks, parties and other social events organized by Fit. Visit us today!

Convincing kids to exercise can be one of the hardest tasks on the modern parent’s agenda. With today’s proliferation of technology regularly tempting children away from the sports-field and onto the couch, those 60 minutes of push-play a day have never been harder to enforce. After reading the up-to-date tips below, though, you’ll be armed with a bevy of ways to get kids exercising. Wondering how to get kids to exercise? Keep reading to find out.

  1. Be inventive!

When it comes to how to promote physical activity in schools, we all know that our best teachers came up with creative activities that totally distracted us from the exercise being done. From tug-a-rope to the playground, tag to swimming, there’s multitudes of fun to be had if you think outside the box a little. There are also lots of school programs that one can explore and try!

  1. Remind them that it’s what the cool kids do

One of the best ways to motivate kids to be active is by reminding them just how common it is to join a group sport, or to take part in a class-based exercise. Whether baseball or hockey, ballet or judo, one of your kid’s friends is bound to be doing it – and often, that simple fact will be motivation enough.

  1. Make your home into a space for activity

Activity doesn’t just have to be done outside, or in purpose-built spaces – it can take place within the walls of your family home, too (especially when winter takes outside exercise out of the equation). There are many ways to keep your kids active indoors, including repurposing a spare room into a gym, purchasing activity-based technology like a Wii, or getting your hands on a family fitness video that you can all have a good old dance to.

  1. Implement a rewards system (within reason)

It’s never a great idea to promise your kid a bag of lollies after they complete a lap around the block, but other rewards of a slightly-healthier nature – like extra pocket money or their choice of a dinner meal – can work a treat in sustaining exercise habits.

  1. Tie activity in with the to-and-from-school commute

On the back of the previous point, you might consider telling your kids that in exchange for their walking or biking to school, you’ll organise a regular movie night for the weekend. That way, you gain some extra time in the morning, as well – it’s a win-win!

  1. Resources, resources, resources

Sometimes kids are object-based exercisers and need something physical to base their activity around. By buying a resource like a trampoline for your backyard, your kids will be moving before you know it.

  1. Get started early

The best thing that you can do to encourage kids to exercise is to normalize it in the family environment. If you don’t exercise on a regular basis, how can you expect your child to want to? Making a habit of family exercise, such as hikes, active summer holidays, and sport-watching will afford your kids a positive attitude towards exercise for life. Here are 7 great ways on how to get kids to exercise!

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Kefir is a unique fermented beverage that contains probiotics and other nutrients that are beneficial for many things, such as improved digestion and immunity, weight control, and building lean muscle mass. While most kefir products are cow, goat, or sheep milk based, there are 3 basic types of kefir: dairy milk kefir, coconut milk kefir, and water kefir. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the dairy milk kefirs and how you can benefit from drinking these after a workout.

What is Kefir?

Kefir is similar in taste to yogurt, only in a drinkable form. It contains many of the same beneficial bacteria as yogurt, but it is thinner in consistency and contains almost no lactose. Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar in milk.

Kefir is made by fermenting the milk kefir grains. These aren’t actually grains at all. They are gelatinous masses that have different types of bacteria and beneficial yeast mixed in with milk proteins that are capable of fermentation at room temperature. The grains are removed from the milk and can be used to make a fresh batch of kefir, similar to how sourdough starter is repurposed. The end product is a very digestible dairy beverage that is loaded with beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics.

Nutrients and Workouts

In addition to the beneficial probiotics, dairy kefir is a good source of protein and essential amino acids. 1 cup of kefir contains approximately 10 grams of protein. The whey protein in dairy products helps your muscles to recover after exercising, according to a 2011 review in The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. The type of protein in kefir, casein, is a slower digesting protein. This may help your muscles to synthesize the protein for longer durations of time, thus promoting muscle growth.

Kefir also contains magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D. Magnesium and calcium together are essential for maintaining a healthy and calm central nervous system. This is beneficial for regulation after intense cardio workouts. Calcium and vitamin D together are necessary for bone health, according to The National Institutes of Health. Strength and resistance training, followed by drinking kefir will benefit your bones.

The B vitamins, including B12, are abundant in kefir. B12 is a natural energy booster. If your workout is intense, zapping your energy, you would do well to have a glass of kefir to restore energy, rather than reaching for a sugary energy drink.

Weight Control

After working out, you might feel famished and want to reach for a high-sugar, high-carb snack to get a quick, but temporary, recharge. This might make you feel good for a short period of time, but it will spike your blood glucose levels unnaturally with pretty empty calories. It won’t satiate you like healthy lean meals with plenty of protein and fresh produce will. You will be hungry again very quickly and may find yourself eating more than you need to.

If time is limited, and sitting down to a meal isn’t possible, consider having a nutritious smoothie made with kefir and fresh fruit. The Harvard School of Public Health noted in 2014 that “full-fat dairy may help control weight because it promotes more of a feeling of satiety and the fatty acids in full-fat dairy may help with weight regulation”.

While the newest diet trends for building strong bodies and controlling weight are leaning more toward eliminating grains, sugar, legumes, and dairy, there is some hard evidence that the protein, probiotics, and other nutrients found in fermented dairy may be the exception to current thinking. Chris Kresser, LAc, a leading authority on Paleo nutrition, refers to kefir as the “not-quite-Paleo-superfood”.

The next time you finish an intense cross-training workout, a boot camp session, circuit training, or whatever you enjoy, try drinking some kefir for muscle repair, satiety, bone health, and an energy boost. Be mindful of how you feel compared to having an energy drink or a high-carb snack.

Finding the drive to work out can be tough for many people especially if you find yourself doing the same mundane routine over and over. To keep yourself interested and motivated, it’s important to find new ways to exercise while having fun at the same time. Luckily, dog owners have an energetic companion to keep them active and committed to working out.

Canine companions, much like humans, need ample exercise to remain healthy. While many dog owners bring their pups on a daily walk, there are numerous other options to stay active. Dogs are active creatures that love to explore and play. Unique workouts provide a sense of adventure and bonding that no standard walk can provide.

Regardless of breed and size, most dogs are fully capable of keeping up with humans. In fact, dogs can keep their owners on track. There’s no better motivator to stay fit and healthy than an energetic dog. Fun alternatives provide you and your pup a new way to burn off calories for while providing exciting new stimulation. Instead of sticking to the same designated walking path, why not give these activities a try?

Kayaking

You don’t have to stick to dry land to get some exercise. Kayaking is a great activity that works out the core and arms. A single kayaking trip can burn hundreds of calories depending on the water current. For dogs, a kayaking trip is an exciting excursion that exposes them to something they’re not used to. Usually dogs will sit on top of the kayak while owners do all the work. However, dogs can also hop in and go for a rigorous swim if they’re comfortable and the water isn’t too rough.

The best type of kayak to use is a hollow model that’s designed to sit on top. Sit-in kayaks won’t provide enough room. Dogs can either sit toward the front of the kayak on a soft pad or near your feet. Either way, they should sit where they will be always in sight. It’s important to start off slow and stay in the safe shallows until the dog gets used to the ride. They should be taught to get into the kayak on their own and given a treat when they do it correctly for positive reinforcement.  Before long, the pup will love being out on the water.

Rollerblading and Biking

If your dog is always full of energy on your daily walks, you may want to switch to biking or rollerblading. Typically, energetic dogs are fully capable and ready to go for a run. Whether you’re cycling or rollerblading, you will personally experience an intense leg and core workout and your dog will burn calories while running alongside with you. . These activities also increase your heart rate to and burn off fat. With a dog by your side, you can push yourself harder than you might if you were alone.

Keeping your dog safe while working out together should always be a top priority. Dogs should always stay on their leash. This ensures they keep up and stay out of trouble. Biking or rollerblading with a dog can actually teach the dog to stay by your side. If you’re wary about the dog taking off after a critter and throwing you off the bike, you can invest in a springer lead. This device attaches to the bike frame and provides a bit of slack. The design absorbs shock so that it doesn’t throw you off your cycling game. When it comes to rollerblading, you’ll want to keep an eye on your pooch and be ready to slow down. It’s good to have a few rollerblading skills and a well-trained dog prior to heading out to ensure that you don’t end up falling and get injured.

Cross-Country Skiing

Like rollerblading, cross-country skiing is a great way to explore and exercise with speed. Snow is a great stimulus for dogs. Some breeds are designed to withstand the rigors of snow, while others will enjoy the cool weather, they may need some extra protection. Snow coats and booties will keep them warm and prevent frostbite.

Cross-country skiing is an excellent full-body workout. Everything from your core to your legs will experience the benefit. Furthermore, the activity is good for the joints. It’s considered a low-impact activity, making it ideal for people of all ages. When a dog is thrown into the mix, the activity becomes a game of exploration and fun. Dogs will enjoy the speed and fresh air while also receiving a great workout. It’s important to prepare the dog with ample protection and monitor its condition throughout the run to ensure that they aren’t experiencing hypothermia.

Scent Tracking in the Woods

Dogs have an exceptional sense of smell. While some breeds are better at tracking scents than others, all dogs have an innate sense of smell that goes beyond the abilities of humans. Scent tracking in a natural location like the woods will exercise your dog’s body and mind. Many competitive activities are available for participation. Scent trails are created beforehand, leading to a hidden object. Dogs must pick up the aged trail and find the hidden object. Alternatively, treats and familiar items can be buried or hidden to create a fun challenge.

In a wooded area, dogs will have to lead their owners through obstacles, hills, and rough terrain. In terms of exercise, the activity is very similar to that of a nature hike. The activity can burn hundreds of calories depending on the terrain. It’s important to keep the dog leashed. Without a bit of restraint, dogs can take off to follow the scent trail, leaving owners behind in the dust. Keeping them leashed will ensure that they pace themselves while still guiding you to the end. It’s also good to bring water for hydration and a treat to reward the pup for finding the final prize.

With a lovable pooch in tow, your workouts will be fun and rewarding. The unique activities are also a joy for your dog. Instead of following the same beaten walking trail, your dog will be exposed to new and exciting things. They can stay active and receive all the exercise they need. Activities like kayaking and biking with a dog will also keep you motivated and accountable. By regularly participating in these unique ways to work out with your dog, you’ll both quickly see the benefits of leading an active and healthy lifestyle.

 

At some point everyone faces setbacks on the road to fitness. While it is easy to beat yourself up about missing a workout or hitting a weight loss plateau, it is important to keep moving forward. To get back on track, use these tips that will help you forget that you ever experienced a setback.

 

Revisit Your Goals

Start by taking a second look at your goals to make sure you didn’t set standards too high and overwhelm yourself. You can eventually hit your goals if you break loftier goals into smaller ones that give you a sense of achievement. If you have recently experienced an injury or new health condition, then it is important to alter your goals to fit your current level of physical health.

 

Practice Visualization

Once you have your goals set, it is time to start thinking about the future. Professional athletes utilize visualization techniques to hone their focus before competitions and you can use this same method to increase your motivation. Whether you are looking to finish a marathon or need to master that complicated gymnastics routine, spend a few minutes each day visualizing what you want to happen.

 

Go Public With Your Intentions

Having goals is important and sharing them with others helps to keep you accountable. Let your coach or best friend know what you are attempting to accomplish. Alternatively, you can create a social media post or start a blog detailing your journey. Whatever method you choose, make sure to keep the people involved updated, and invite them to ask you about your achievements along the way.

 

Think About the Non-Physical Benefits

People often get frustrated when they don’t feel like they are seeing the effects of their workouts on their body. Instead of getting stuck ruminating on a scale that won’t move or your inability to lift that certain amount of weight, try to see that each workout builds your stamina along with improving your mental health. That elevated mood you get after a strenuous workout is just as important as looking amazing in your swimsuit.

 

Change It Up

Boredom is a big reason for fitness setbacks, and losing motivation means that it is time to change up your routine. As you plan for changes, try to come up with ideas that are completely different for your normal routine but that will increase your skills. For example, a football kicker might take dance lessons to fine tune their kicking skills while still enjoying a cardio workout. Alternatively, a swimmer might go for a long run to increase their stamina. Just doing something out of your normal routine will kick start a positive attitude making your regular workouts more interesting.

 

Establish a Reward System

While it might be tempting to go out for a luxurious restaurant meal after winning that marathon, it is important to stick to healthy rewards. Giving yourself little markers for your achievements helps improve your motivation while reinforcing positive behaviors. Consider giving yourself something fun like a stadium blanket with your favorite team’s logo, or you could get some new gear such as running shoes. Either way, rewarding yourself sends signals to your brain that will keep you wanting to achieve even more.

 

Get Inspired

Remembering why you care about fitness is as simple as watching others who also pursue a healthy lifestyle. Take a break from your regular workouts, and go watch a professional or high school sports team in your field of expertise. From catching a football game to enjoying a gymnastics competition, watching others playing at their peak performance will help you renew your determination to hit your fitness goals.

 

Make It Social

It’s possible that you have been focusing too much on your workouts and not enough on how much fun physical fitness is when you add some friends. Get your friends or teammates together and head to the park for a game of soccer. Alternatively, you could schedule a weekly jog with a friend. Even walking with another group of moms as a stroller group turns a mundane workout into an uplifting experience, and having someone depending upon you to show up helps keep you accountable.

 

Set a Schedule

Changes in your routine are another common reason for setbacks that are easily correctable. Getting sick, having a baby or starting a new job are all potential hindrances to your normal workout schedule, and it is possible that you just need to change it up. Think about what happened before you got off track, and see where changing your workout schedule might help. For example, you may just need to get up an hour earlier in the morning instead of doing your jog at night. Once you set your schedule keep in mind that flexibility is still important. On days when you can’t stick to your routine, have a backup plan such as breaking your workouts up into smaller chunks so that they are more manageable.

 

Talk to any professional athlete, and they will tell you that setbacks happen to everyone. The important thing is to not let it deter you from accomplishing your goals. While you can’t take back the time that you have lost, you can take control over the future by implementing these strategies for getting back on track. By renewing your focus and adjusting your workout routine as needed, you will be able to accomplish every one of your fitness goals.