Regardless if your back injury was an acute occurrence or something that has been nagging you for a while, you want to proceed carefully when getting back to the gym. The worst thing that you can do is to rush the process and set yourself up for chronic back issues. Here are three workout tips to keep in mind when returning to the gym after a back injury.
Go When You’re Ready
Spinal cord injuries vary from individual to individual. Your progress may be slow depending on the extent of your injury. For this reason, it is important to remember that your return to the gym is an individual decision and should not be influenced by any factors other than when you are personally ready. It’s natural to experience a little anxiety for a while when you first get back to the gym. The fear of injuring yourself again is implanted in your brain and can be overwhelming at first. This is why you need to only go back to the gym when you feel ready.
Start Off Slow
Now is not the time to push your body to the limits. While you may want to go all-in when returning to the gym, it is a much smarter approach to start off slowly and build your endurance back up. Before each workout, it is also especially important that you stretch your back muscles. This will boost blood flow to the muscles and make them loosened up and warm. You can then work up to performing range-of-motion exercises and moderate strength training. Once you are able to handle these movements without any pain, you can consider adding in low-impact cardiovascular work. Give your body time to rest and recover if you experience any type of discomfort.
Be Aware of Warning Signs
Although you do not want to let fear hinder your workout, you also need to be aware of the warning signs of more serious back problems. Issues to look for include tingling or numbness in one or more of your extremities or radiating pain down your legs. If you experience any of these worrisome symptoms, you should stop exercising and seek medical evaluation by a professional. It is not worth the risk of re-injury to push through the pain.
Recovering from a back injury is a long road. The most important thing to remember when recovering is to listen to your body. You are the best judge of when you are ready to start your recovery process and get back in the gym.
Foods You Can Make Healthier from Scratch at Home
Eating healthy can sometimes be a hassle. It is expensive to buy food that is certified organic, and those costs just continue to increase. As an alternative to buying expensive healthy foods, here are some that you can make from scratch at home.
One thing that you can make from scratch is bread. While you will have to most likely purchase specific bread pans, bread is one of the cheaper foods to make from home and has been by people for centuries. Bread, at its simplest, contains flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and water. There are dozens if not hundreds of recipes for making homemade bread. Most all of them however will require the presence of yeast, or saccharomyces cerevisiae. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is one of the oldest foods still used in the world, used in other foods like wine and other baked goods.
Homemade yogurt is an incredibly simple food to make, requiring just whole milk and a yogurt culture. Yogurt culture is a culture of bacteria that metabolizes the enzyme lactase, which is present in all milk products. This is why a lot of people who are lactose intolerant can eat yogurt with little to no problems. To make homemade yogurt, buy a yogurt culture, which can simply be a cup of your favorite plain yogurt brand, that you add to milk and let ferment overnight. There are many different variations that you can make, such as adding honey for a sweeter yogurt. Yogurt can also keep for up to a month in the fridge.
Granola is another good food that you can make healthier from scratch at home. There are dozens of variations of homemade granola, but each includes dry and wet ingredients. The dry ingredients include oats, almonds, coconuts, sunflower seeds, and anything else you might want to add. The wet ingredients form a syrup, which includes honey, butter or oil and vanilla that you warm up and then pour over the dry ingredients which are then spread into a pan and baked in the oven. Each recipe of homemade granola varies, but most agree that it is much simpler, less expensive, and very healthy compared to store bought granola.
While it does take a little extra effort to make food from scratch at home, it will pay off in the end because the food will be healthier and tastier than food from the store.
Here’s another article you might like: Vegetables That Are Healthier When Eaten Raw
Vegetables That Are Healthier When Eaten Raw
It isn’t a secret that vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals. However, the way you eat them affects the number of nutrients that make it into your body. Some foods lose a good portion of their nutrients as soon as they are cooked. So before you turn on the pan, consider which vegetables may be better for you when eaten raw.
Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and other components that can fight cancer. Sulforaphane, for example, has been shown to discourage the growth of cancer cells in the colon. Furthermore, this substance has significant anti-inflammatory properties and may also protect against heart disease and overall system inflammation. Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are natural compounds present in broccoli, are known to reduce the chances of developing eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
One cup of raw broccoli provides high percentages of your daily recommended amount of certain vitamins and minerals. With all the nutrients that this vegetable provides, you should be eating it raw so you don’t miss out.
Carrots are popular for their high content of carotenoids, such as beta carotene. The abundance of nutrients found in this vegetable can help fight cancer cells and stimulate the immune system. Moreover, they can also increase the number of red blood cells in the body and improve vision at night. Raw carrots have also been known to act as a natural toothbrush, whereas cooked carrots lack the rough texture that helps remove plaque from your teeth. Two medium raw carrots provide high amounts of vitamins that your body needs. Similarly to other vegetables, cooking carrots may lead to a loss of vitamin C and other nutrients.
Although it may not be as popular as other vegetables, kale is not lacking in nutrients. As an abundant source of fiber, calcium, and vitamin C, kale can match or sometimes even surpass spinach. Two cups of raw kale are enough to provide almost half of your recommended vitamin C. Kale also can provide a small amount of protein, vitamin A, and a vast number of antioxidants. However, cooking reduces the amount of vitamin C and antioxidants available. In other words, eating your daily dose of raw kale allows you to get the most out of this cruciferous vegetable.
Vegetables are a rich source of nutrients and phytochemicals that protect your body from the ravages of disease. Still, it is important to remember that some of them will benefit you more when consumed raw. Put them to the test, and always use moderate portions. Your body will thank you for it.
Looking for other ways to improve your diet? Check out Sneaky Ways to Stop Eating So Much Sugar
How to Change Up a Fitness Routine That Has Gotten Boring
If you’re like most people, you know that you should work out on the regular, and, also like most people, you probably have trouble wanting to work out sometimes. Often, this has to do with feeling bored with your workout routine. If you’re ready to mix it up again, try these three suggestions to take your workout from boring to booming.
Try New Equipment
Do you remember when you were a kid going to a new playground for the first time? You couldn’t wait to try the new contraptions. You probably spent hours going down the slide or climbing on the ropes. Getting a new piece of gym equipment has the potential to recreate those feelings of fun and wonder, particularly if you buy new equipment for your home gym.
When you get a new workout gadget, it often feels like you’re getting a new toy or discovering the slide at the playground for the first time. Take advantage of these feel-good boosts. They’ll make your workouts feel more fun and like less of a chore.
Work Out New Muscle Groups
Sometimes, routines get boring because they are always the same. If you’ve already added new equipment to your workout routine, why not concentrate on adding new muscle groups next? Here’s an example. Try exercises that work out your latissimus dorsi, one of your primary back muscles. This muscle often gets neglected, even though it’s one of the main muscles in your body’s core. Consciously choosing which muscles to work out makes you more aware of your body. New bodily awareness breaks up the routine, helping to alleviate feelings of boredom.
Work Out With a Partner
If you normally work out alone, partnering up with someone could add new life to your fitness routine. When you work out with a partner, you begin to feel a sense of rapport and camaraderie with your workout partner. This, in turn, prompts you to keep your workouts going because you don’t want to let your partner down. To add even more oomph to your partnered work out, try to exercise with someone who is better than you are. It’ll up your game because you’ll try to match your partner’s output.
Working out makes you feel better on a mind, body, and spirit level. If you’re doing the same workout day in and day out, you’re bound to feel bored. This could negate some of the benefits you get from working out and even make you stop working out altogether. Doing things like working out with a partner or changing up your routine in some way does away with your boredom and gets you excited about your workout again.