Swimming for Health: A Low Impact Way to Exercise

Lots of people have joint conditions, and those conditions often prohibit the sufferers from getting the aerobic exercise they need. Running can be a big challenge for those who have joint problems in the ankles and knees, especially if every step causes intense pain. Research suggests that swimming can be a great, low-impact way for people to start their aerobics adventure, beginning the road to weight loss, as well as muscle and skeletal health.

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Swimming is good fun and good for you!

The buoyancy water gives helps to cushion the human body. When you’re immersed to the waist, your body bears just 50 percent of its weight; immersed to the chest, its 25 percent – 35 percent; and to the neck, 10 percent. Exercising in the water helps to guard against injury that even healthy athletes can suffer when running due to a misplaced step or stumble. Many athletes swim as part of a cross-training regimen or after sustaining an injury.

Swimming exercises every muscle of the body, including the shoulders, back, abs, legs, hips, and glutes. Water, since it is twelve times as dense as air, provides enough resistance to help a swimmer build up body strength, making swimming not only a great way to get aerobic exercise, but also isometric exercise.

Besides, swimming is fun! A lot of people have pleasant childhood memories of going to the beach or the community swimming pool during summer vacation. By undertaking a swimming exercise regimen, you can get healthy and recapture those fun memories all at the same time.

Picking the Right Running Shoes

Whether you are new to running, or you have been a runner for years, one of the most important things you need is a good pair of running shoes.  Good shoes ensure that running continues to be a fun and beneficial experience, and that’s a must!

Because we all run differently, and because our feet are all uniquely shaped, the perfect running shoe will vary from person to person.  What’s best for me might be miserably uncomfortable for you!!

Cradle your feet with the right shoes!
Cradle your feet with the right shoes!

When choosing running shoes, the first thing to take into consideration is the surface on which you’ll be running.  Shoes created for road running are made to be light and flexible, to cushion your feet while you’re running on harder surfaces.  Trail running shoes, by comparison, tend to have more tread for better traction, and offer more protection for the bottoms of your feet.

It’s also important to understand how you run on your feet.  This is often connected with your arches.  There are three main types of arch: fallen, neutral, and high.  To gain a better understanding of your arch, grab a pair of well-worn running shoes, and examine where the tread is most worn on the bottom.   Alternately, to figure out your arch type, you can do the wet test: wet the sole of your bare foot, and step onto a paper bag or piece of construction paper.  Through your foot print, you can see the type of arch you have.  Fallen arches look flat, and high arches give a very thin footprint.   The best option, though, is to go to a running store, and have someone there help you figure out your arch type.

If you have flat feet or fallen arches, you will also be more prone to overpronation, or the inward rolling of your feet when you run. The inside portion of your shoes will be the most worn if this is your running style. In general, you are going to want shoes with higher stability. This will help to prevent overpronation.

With neutral pronation, wear will show mostly on the balls of the feet and slightly on the heel. Those with neutral pronation can wear a wider variety of shoe types, but if you fall into this category, you will probably want shoes with moderate stability.

With high arches often comes underpronation, the outward rolling of your feet when you run. With this, the outside edge of your shoe will be the most worn. With this arch type, running shoes with added cushioning are the best.

Of course, other things, such as the runner’s weight, the runner’s experience, and the amount of miles you plan to run at a time need to be taken into consideration. The above information will help you get started on finding your right shoes, but finding just the right running shoes is often a trial-and-error sort of process of trying on a variety of running shoes and finding which ones are the most comfortable. In general, it is best to consult the professionals to help you determine which kind of shoes are best, but don’t give up!  Once you find the right pair of shoes, you’ll fall in love with running all over again.

Five Reasons to Register for a Summer 5K

If you’ve never run a 5K race, you’re probably wondering what the buzz is all about.  You may have noticed it seems like everyone is competing in a race, whether it’s a company team building event, or a fundraiser for a good cause.  Many 5K races allow participants to walk, so it’s a great place to begin if you have an interest in becoming a runner, or you want to challenge yourself.

Here are five reasons why you should challenge yourself to your first 5K in 2017!

Lace up and hit the road!
Lace up and hit the road!

It’s great for your body – It’s great exercise and one of the quickest ways to burn calories. If you begin training now, you’ll have a whole new body to show off at the beach this summer!

Get your heart healthy – You need cardio in your workout regimen. It’s what keeps your heart healthy and has been shown to naturally lower cholesterol and your blood pressure.  Running is a great cardio workout!

Run for mental health – Running is one of those exercises where you don’t need to count reps or follow steps to a specific beat. All you have to do is breathe and put one foot in front of the other until you reach your destination. Your mind is free, and your run is an excellent time to think about problems you might need to solve.   Running is not only good for your body, it’s good for your mind!

Satisfy your charitable spirit – Select a race where your entry fee will benefit a cause that is important to you. You not only benefit from a fitness standpoint but you have also given back, and that’s a win-win.

Six Tips For Running A Marathon

Training for a marathon is a huge undertaking, and it’s a big accomplishment!  You’ve spent months or even years preparing your body for the big day, and you should be proud of yourself for making it this far!  You’re ready, as ready as you can be!  Here are some tips for keeping you in the game on race day.

First, and perhaps most importantly, remember to pace yourself.  You may want to start running as fast as you can, but pace yourself so you have energy stores to finish.  Slow and steady!

Don’t worry about the other runners!  Everyone is running their own race, and it doesn’t matter if they’re passing you.  Don’t worry about them – remember you’re doing this for you!

Push yourself beyond your limits
Push yourself beyond your limits

Focus on your race!  Stay calm, keep your mental clarity.  It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of the race and the enthusiasm of the spectators.  Just keep running!  Keep your mind occupied and focused.

Beat the boredom!  Sometimes it’s hard to keep going and beat the doldrums during a long race.  You’re running a lot of miles, your brain may get bored.  Try singing, or talking to other runners.  Listen to your favorite playlists or audiobooks.  Review your grocery lists in your brain – whatever it takes to keep occupied!

Break the race up into manageable pieces.  Keep telling yourself you’ve got one more mile, or five more kilometers.  This helps make the race feel less overwhelming and keeps you going.  Find a landmark ahead of you, and aim for that!  Then, once you make it, find the next landmark, or friendly face in the crowd.

Work through the pain.  When you feel pain, as you inevitably will, think of another part of your body that isn’t bothering you.  Remember it’ll soon be over!  Remind yourself that soon, you’ll have fun a complete marathon!  That’s amazing!!  You can bet you won’t remember all that pain at the end!

You’ve made it to the end, you’ve been successful!  You’ve received your finisher’s medal, and you should be incredibly proud of yourself!  A marathon is an incredible accomplishment, and you’ve pushed yourself to success!

 

A Little Yoga Can Help You Reach Your Running Goals

Running is a full-body sport. It builds strong muscles, bone density, heart, and lungs. What more does a person need? Well, it turns out, adding a bit of yoga to your daily fitness practice can help your body maximize the effects of your running. Yoga helps you balance your strength and flexibility while, tying in breath and meditation. Adding yoga into your warm-up and cool down will also help you create more body and breath awareness which can prevent injuries and keep you running longer.

Yoga can help improve both physical and mental health.
Yoga can help improve both physical and mental health.

For your warm up try five to ten minutes of sun salutations with breath. Include lunges to stretch out your legs and ankles, and try to notice any imbalances there. Flowing through chaturanga, cobra, and downward dog will help warm up and strengthen your back. Add in some Warrior III to help you lengthen your body which will increase your running speed. While you’re warming up, take the time to focus on how your body feels. This is a great time to check in and make sure everything seems to be feeling right. If you notice any pain or tension you should tailor your run to accommodate it. Recognizing your bodies limitations is crucial to preventing injuries. Respecting your body and limiting your run today will make you stronger and healthier tomorrow.

After your run, stretch out those tired legs with some lunges and warrior poses. Stretch out your back and create balance with eagle pose. Then catch your breath with a some time in downward dog again. Finally seal your run with a few breaths in child’s pose and take a moment to evaluate how your body feels.  This extra time spent creating balance in your body will bay dividends later.  You’ll spend less time nursing injuries and more time doing what you love.

January’s Yes.Gram Feature – Crystal B.

In December, we held an Instagram contest looking for our January Feature, and we are so excited to introduce to you Crystal B!

Yes.Fit helps to keep me motivated to move ...and helps to build my love of running!
Yes.Fit helps to keep me motivated to move …and helps to build my love of running!

Crystal writes, “My journey to fitness is a fairly simple one.  If I want certain things in life, I needed to lose weight and get healthy.  It’s a simple concept, but it took me years to accept.”  She told me about how she received a diagnosis of poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, a common endocrine disorder in women, and the complications that came along with that diagnosis, which included difficulty starting a family.  Crystal explained that after two years of treatments and with the help of a reproductive endocrinologist, she was able to have twins in 2010!

She tells me, though, that even then she knew she wanted to continue to add to her family, but that her body has had other plans.  She writes, “Here I am six years later, and I still have the desire to increase our family, but PCOS is still a huge part of my life.  Through all of the research [we] did over the years, we found one common thread.  In order to defeat the condition, you need to be willing to diet and exercise.”

This can be incredibly difficult, and Crystal agrees!  She explained, “I am the worst  when it comes to dieting.  I would rather drink my daily calories in the form of a Coke or Dr. Pepper!”

But she discovered running gave her something that a poor diet didn’t – shiny medals.

She writes, “I will run like a mad woman for something that sparkles”, and this is where becoming a member of the Yes.Fam helped her along on her journey!  She set a goal for herself to be able to complete a half-marathon at her 35th birthday, which is coming soon, and for which we wish her the most success!  To date, she’s completed 20 5k races, and a handful of virtual challenges.  She writes that she’s lost a few pounds, but that her non-scale victories are the ones she’s proud of.  She writes, “…what makes me even happier is how much better I feel about myself.  My body does not hurt the way it has for years and I can actually run, something I have not done since I was in school.”

Crystal, you are an incredible inspiration, and we’re so proud of you!  Thank you for being such an amazing member of our Yes.Fam community, and keep on running!  We are cheering you on!

Nobody Puts Healthy In A Corner!

At Yes.Fit, we believe that becoming a healthier human should be fun and exciting!  Exercising should spark enthusiasm, because being excited about a challenge is truly the key to being successful at completing that challenge.  We’ve set out to come up with new and exciting races for our Yes.Fam, and we are thrilled to announce our newest licensed event!

Choose Your Reward!
Choose Your Reward!

You know nobody puts Baby in a corner, but have you found yourself stuck in a rut that you need to get out of?  Maybe our new Dirty Dancing race, the Lake Lure challenge, will be just the thing you need!  Come join us for a short 9-mile race through the Lake Lure area of North Carolina, celebrating one of the most beloved movies of all time.

This is the first in a three-part series, and we can’t wait to share the rest of the challenges with you, so stay tuned!

Join the Yes.Fam!

Have you found yourself dragging?  Are you looking for inspiration?  We all know how motivating an active and supportive network of friends can be!  And yet, sometimes it can be so hard to find a place that feels like family, a place where you know you are going to find like-minded folks who are going to cheer you on for each milestone you reach.

Ready, Set, Yes.Fit
Ready, Set, Yes.Fit

Yes.Fit has the most supportive and kind Facebook Group out there!  Come join us and discover what genuine support means, as we cheer one another on, encourage one another when we stumble, and challenge one another to be the best us we can be!  Join us for give-aways, entertaining Facebook live events, and even just for our weekly check-ins.  Our group is so active and genuine, that we really are a family – the Yes.Fam family!

Yes.Fit, at the very heart, is about encouraging regular, every-day folks to be more active and fit, by making fitness fun.  By offering exciting challenges, and building this incredible support group, we are striving to make health and fitness something achievable for everyone.  Come jump on board, and find what moves you!

December’s Yes.Fam Feature – Audie G.

As we move into the New Year, we want to continue to feature Yes.Fit members who inspire us to become our better selves.  This month, we are delighted to feature Audie G!  Audie has been a member since March 2016, and in that audietime, she’s completed a whopping 23 races, and logged 1.3K miles!  Her story is incredible.

She told us that in August of 2015, she started a journey to get to the bottom of her comfort eating and compulsive eating.  She worked from August until January to come to terms with her anger and fear, and in March, she found Yes.Fit.  She signed up for the Race to Oz, and was hooked!  She writes, “Each race left me wanting more.  As of right now, I am 479 days binge free and have dropped 69 pounds along the way…”  She says this isn’t her stopping point though!  She’s set a goal of 101 more pounds, and we are cheering her on along the way!!

Audie, you are truly an inspiration!  We are so proud of you!!

Tips For Choosing Your New Year’s Resolution

As the New Year begins, our minds turn toward new beginnings.  A new year might represent an opportunity to wipe the slate and begin fresh, establishing new routines and rituals, improving ourselves, making resolutions.  It’s a time to set goals for ourselves, but it can be daunting!  Here are some tips for choosing resolutions that are attainable and achievable.

First, think about your goals.  It’s really important to give your resolutions a good deal of thought before adopting them.  Choose resolutions that encompass who you currently are, and who you want to be.  Make them meaningful, satisfying resolutions – ones that really speak to your soul, instead of ones that are frivolous.  The more committed you are to your resolutions, the more likely you are to achieve them.

Once you’ve considered the resolutions you might make, make them yours.  Be specific about your goals, make sure you can attain them.  Make your resolution something you really want, because if you don’t feel that deep yearning to achieve that goal, you won’t get there!

bemoreawesomeBe detailed and specific.  Don’t set out with a generalized resolution like “lose weight.”  Own the resolution, and dial it down into a very detailed plan.  Establish specific goals, like “lose 25 pounds,” or “run a 5K”, but be sure they aren’t overwhelming.  Lay out a plan for how to help you reach that goals.  Maybe you need to write out a Monday-to-Friday meal plan to help you lose weight, or a training schedule to help you smash that 5K.   Find what works for you!

Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Resolutions are goals, things we want to achieve, but they aren’t written in stone.  Acknowledge that as time passes, your goals and resolutions might shift, or they might become irrelevant to where you are in the moment.  That’s OK!  Don’t be critical of yourself if you find that a resolution isn’t working for you.  It’s time to revise that goal and move past it.  And equally important when you’re establishing your resolutions, be real.  Make sure your goal is attainable for you.  Don’t feel the need to compare!  What you might find achievable may be a pie-in-the-sky dream for someone else, or the reverse might hold true.  That’s ok!  Your goals and resolutions are deeply personal.

Hold yourself accountable.  Let people know your goals, and ask them to help you.  Join a support group, talk to a friend or family member, recruit your partner to help.  The goal here is to find someone who will serve as your cheering section, someone supportive who will help you keep your eyes on the prize.  You can do this!

Finally, set rewards!  Incentivize your goals, with whatever rewards motivate you!  Maybe you set a goal of a 100-pound weight loss, with a reward of a trip to a favorite amusement park.  Maybe it’s a new wardrobe, or new earrings, or a dinner at a fancy restaurant.  Find what encourages you to meet those goals and stretch yourself for those prizes!

Remember as the new year approaches that this is a time of reflection and renewal, and that resolutions are meant to help you become your best person.  Make them achievable and exciting, and be proud of yourself for committing to your goals.  Knock off each little step, and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way toward a better you.  Focus on establishing good habits, and remember that set-backs will happen.  Set-backs just serve as a reminder to refocus on the goals, but they don’t define who you are.  A new day brings a new opportunity to re-establish good habits and start fresh on your journey to a new you.