Health & Wellness

Guest Post: The Great Outdoor Workout

Guest Blog Author: Cathy Starnes

Far too many people associate fitness with the gym and don’t look at alternative methods to stay in shape. If you truly want to work out, there are lots of other ways to do it, including outdoor activities.

Outdoor fitness can be anything from a brisk walk to horse riding, but one aspect they all have in common is that they are far more exciting, and better for the soul than endlessly running on a treadmill. Today, let’s look at different outdoor sports activities, which you can incorporate in your fitness routine.

SOCCER

soccer

As the most popular sport in the world, you’re going to have an abundance of sources on how you can incorporate soccer into your fitness agenda. A proper conditioning program covers key elements such as endurance, strength, flexibility and agility, according to Bodybuilding.com.

Endurance is usually developed through walking or jogging, but it’s also important to use interval training as this can yield the best results and replicates an actual soccer game. Varying between low intensity (walking, jogging) and high intensity (running, sprinting) to make it more effective and dynamic.

Strength and conditioning relies mainly on ground-based, functional exercises like lunges and pushups. The former trains your legs using a wide range of motion without difficulty and this is crucial for soccer players. Pushups strengthen the chest muscles, which can aid players in their overall strength.

Power-focused routines, on the other hand, are used to develop agility. Jump squats and push presses are some examples of great exercises. Squats for instance, strengthen the glutes and hamstrings, which aid in fast and explosive movements like pivoting and a sudden change of direction before sprinting. Players do these actions often, which is why these exercises are vital for soccer players. Stretching, both pre and post workout, shouldn’t be neglected as well to improve flexibility and to minimize the risk of injury.

TENNIS

tennis

Tennis is another outdoor sport which is an effective method used to stay in shape. Canyon Ranch states the sport involves various movements: forward, backward, sideways and twisting. Internal organs such as the lungs and heart are strengthened as well due to it being very cardio-heavy. This then leads to an overall workout packed into a challenging and enjoyable activity.

There are also numerous drills which are used in tennis lessons that you can add to your exercise routine. These include jump rope, sprint-stops, back sprints and squat jumps.

HORSE RIDING / RACING

horse

Horse riding is much more unique as you have the chance to interact with a majestic animal. But before you can do that, you need to at least get in shape, as horse riding is more demanding on the body than you think. CNN explained how you can be as ‘fit as a jockey’ but you need to start by strengthening your legs and core first. It also has many other benefits, and teaches you self-discipline across a myriad of verticals.

Moreover, there are lots of famous jockeys that have shared the challenges associated with the sport including how they work hard to get or stay in shape. Three-time Champion Jockey and Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore frequently shares his insights about riding different horses at various racing events. The veteran rider who contributes columns to Betfair Royal Ascot spoke about how he worked with six steeds in Day Five of the race meeting last year and highlighted that each horse has its own specific method of handling. The only way he succeeded was due to his discipline in terms of diet and exercise, which allowed his body the best possible chance to keep up with the varying demands of riding the horses which were individually distinct. Horse racing places huge importance on posture and core strength which are fundamentals for any new rider. When you learn these key skills it will also have positive results on other aspects of fitness too as these skills can be translated to other workouts.

In terms of motivation, trying something different is one of the best ways to motivate yourself to workout or you can check out these ways to kick yourself into gear. Maybe one of these sports is exactly what you’re looking for to have that drive towards improving your overall wellbeing.

5 Steps To Avoid Getting Sick

We are just a few weeks away from Spring so the weather can be very temperamental. One day we’re freezing in our down jackets the next day we’re in shorts and tee shirts. This transitional phase and crazy temperature swings can break down our immune system, making us susceptible to a cold or flu. Our bodies tell us when we’re on the verge of getting sick. So once those signs show up, don’t wait… try my emergency kit and drop kick that cold ASAP. Because who has time to get sick…NOT US!!

This is my 5-step program when my immune system needs a boost to battle:

#1 FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE: UMCKA

umcka

The first signs of a cold (any and all symptoms), I run for Umcka and squeeze in a few drops repeatedly throughout the day. Best taken once the symptoms start to creep in, Umcka is homeopathic so it works safely with your body and no need to worry about side effects.

 

#2 SORE, ITCHY THROAT: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple_cider_vinegar

This healthful tonic which includes powerful healing compounds such as acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes kill unwanted bacteria. It’s a crucial part of fighting off a dry, irritated sore throat before it evolves into an evil bronchial or chest infection. Also a good source of polyphenols, this fermented beverage provides numerous benefits to skin, digestion, immunity health, and helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. Make sure to purchase it organic and raw (one that includes the “mother”. I like Bragg’s) and dilute with water (so not to burn your throat – as I learned the hard way). Gargle several times a day until your throat feels better or make this a part of your nightly routine, like my mama does.

 

#3 ONLY ONE FUNCTIONING NOSTRIL: NETI POT 

netipot

How frustrating is this!? Breathing out of just one nostril (or worse…no nostrils) is a major inconvenience and makes functioning through your day so much more of a challenge. Nasal irrigation with a Neti Pot is not the most comfortable but very effective to thin out mucus, flush out and clear dry, crusted nasal passageways (EW!) so you can breathe again and avoid sinus infection. You do feel like you’re drowning and it’s a wet mess but bear through it and you will feel 100% better. For those with seasonal allergies, the Neti Pot will do wonders for you.

 

#4 HELP BEFORE MY HEAD IMPLODES: EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL

steam
Anti-inflammatory, decongestant, antiseptic, antibacterial, and stimulating, are just some of the benefits of the eucalyptus leaf. It’s powerful medicinal benefits help to ease nasal congestion and help kill off the cold virus. You can apply eucalyptus essential oil (my fave is Olbas) directly on your nostrils or rub some in your palms and take a few deep inhalations through your nose. For those suffering major congestion, apply a few drops of the essential oil into a pot of boiling water. Place a towel over your head to trap the steam around you and take several deep breaths. You may need a break from time to time as the steam/heat can be very intense. But you will feel immediate relief, I promise you!

 

#5 I HURT FROM HEAD TO TOE: CALM MAGNESIUM & SLEEP

sleep

Sleep is one of the most powerful weapons we have against fighting the cold and flu bug. The hours you spend sleeping is the time when your body heals. Cells repairs during this time, hormones are released to promote tissue growth and reparation, your immune system is building back up so your energy levels increase. When you deprive yourself of sleep, you are not giving your body time to recharge so you can function at your best the next day. Every night before bed, I enjoy a cup of hot water with a whopping Tbsp of Calm Magnesium powder and make sure I get at least 6-7 hours of sleep. When you’re sick or for those days you’re feeling depleted, make sure to tuck yourself in earlier and get at least 8 hours of rest. It is vital to fend off illness.

 

There is no way we can function optimally at the levels we demand of ourselves every day when we’re run down and sick. With our daily schedules and responsibilities we want to show up 100% when we can. But when our bodies shut down from these annoying cold and flu bugs, our bodies are communicating to us to STOP AND TAKE CARE NOW! Remember, without our health we are NOTHING! These steps are easy…you just have to make the time for them. 🙂 TAKE CARE AND BE WELL!