Many times, we take our hips for granted. How easy is it to put our shoes and socks on, or bend over at the waist (hint: you shouldn’t do this) to pick something up off the floor? What about something as simple as rolling over in bed? After our ankles, which provide the first line of defense for balance in the body, our hips will take over. If our ankles cannot provide us with stability when walking on an unstable surface, our hips will take over and sway to keep us balanced. If both the ankle and hip balance support systems fail, we may take a step to avoid a fall. If all three mechanisms fail, we will fall. Having hip mobility is therefore important. But, it’s also crucial we possess hip girdle strength. Otherwise, when walking, we will notice we don’t walk normally; our gait will be “off”. Although, gait deviations can occur due to imbalances in other areas as well. Muscles to note here as important are the pelvic girdle muscles: gluteal complex at the side and rear of the hips, pelvic floor muscles below, psoas in the front, and abdominals.
The ball-and-socket shoulder joint of the body provides the greatest amount of range of motion but the least amount of stability; that is why it is an easily injured joint. The rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder keep the head of the ball in the socket and are crucial strengthening muscles. Likewise, muscles in this area are also important for our posture, along with our neck muscles. Interestingly, if you hold one pound in your hand at your waist, then raise straight out in front, it will feel like 10 pounds, which is why strengthening and stability are important aspects of keeping the shoulder happy and healthy. However, all this is not possible without good range of motion in the shoulder. Think about daily tasks that would be difficult without proper movement ability: putting on your seatbelt, reaching overhead, and washing your back. Let’s not take any of these for granted and keep our shoulders in proper working order.
When working out one needs to remember to strengthen above, below, and around the area(s) involved for optimal performance. Strengthening the same area should not be performed on two subsequent days and at least one day’s rest in between is necessary to allow the muscle to break down and build back up to become stronger. This philosophy does not apply to stretches; those may be performed daily. The stretches and strengthening exercises provided here are general guidelines for overall health and should not cause pain. If you experience any pain besides some increased workout type soreness, stop. And, please consult with a healthcare professional.
Water is free (or at least close to free). And I don’t just mean that in the monetary sense.
Water is hands-down the best beverage to choose because it has zero calories. Drinking water before meals helps fill the stomach at the cost of zero calories. This will help you feel full and eat less during the meal. Winning!
Drinking the right amount of water has a bigger impact on your ability to pass waste than the amount of fiver you eat. Now, I’m certainly not saying that fiber isn’t important, but if you want to have good poops, you have to drink plenty of water. That’s enough on that topic because we are dangerously close to TMI.
Studies show that you’ll perform better on tests or other brain activities if your brain is properly hydrated. You’ll also be in a better mood which will increase your fun factor. Bonus!
Many headaches are actually related to dehydration. Since our brains are about 75% water, they need lots of fluid to properly function. Without water, it’s like your brain is “drying out”, and that can cause painful headaches.
Researchers discovered that drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30% within 10 minutes. They estimated that drinking 1.5 liters of water a day will burn an extra 17,400 calories. This alone will produce an annual weight loss of approximately five pounds. Cheers!
A 2012 study found that mild dehydration can lead to inattention. According to Harris Lieberman, PhD, a research psychologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, “…a decrease in your ability to focus is an early warning signal that it’s time to drink up.”
Water increases energy. Fatigue is often related to dehydration because your body simply cannot function properly without water. Feel like you’re dragging in the afternoon? Have a big glass of water and see how it perks you up.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you think you’re hungry, a big glass of water satisfies the urge to chow down? Very often, thirst is mistaken for hunger, and though you think it’s time for a big, juicy burger, what you really need is a nice, tall glass of ice water.
Dehydration causes muscle fatigue. Even slight dehydration will negatively affect your athletic performance and cause loss of coordination. So if you want to increase your chances of winning, drink more water 24 hours before your next race.