Family-Friendly Cities Your Kids Will Love

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As a mom that loves nothing more than seeing the world, I want to be able to show my kids as much of the world as possible. In a utopian world, I would love to hop around the globe with them in tow, jaws on the floor as we take in the sites of all 195 countries. Of course, right now, this remains a pipedream and leaves us wanderlust parents with the tricky decision of knowing where to prioritise.

For us, it has to be cities. It has to be exploring the gorgeous beating hearts across the world, where culture and diversity and history all come together like great oceans meeting. That’s where we want to start, by showing our kids the world’s most breathtaking metropolis’, starting with these kid-friendly cities:

  1. San Diego

Of all the places to start and end your day, nowhere is more special than the Omni San Diego Hotel in the downtown district; it has a heated rooftop pool, entertainment in every room and, best of all, a walkway to Petco Park, one of the most family-friendly baseball stadiums in the world. As for attractions to see, Balboa Park is must-pop-into-place and their legendary zoo with amazing parks and 14 museums should be on every list as well. Oh, and so should the New Children’s Museum, Air & Space Museum and SeaWorld.

  1. Paris

Once again, you could throw a dart at Paris and land in a nerve-janglingly beautiful hotel. However, or advice would be to stay in the Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel. A trip to Paris should be memorable, and this luxury hotel will certainly help you achieve that. What makes it such an amazing city, though, is the fact you can explore so many of the major attractions, parks and museums without having to travel too far – they’re all within walking distance. As for must-see spots, you have the Eiffel Tower, Cites Des Science, the Champ Elysees, the Catacombs and, just 45 minutes by train, Disneyland Paris.

  1. Portland

The heated pool at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower is what makes this the place to stay (not to mention the free breakfasts, that will make a light lunch a lot easier on the pocket). Moving onto what it is like as a city, though, it is about as relaxed and easygoing as anywhere on earth, which makes it perfect for those with toddlers or tinies. You have the Oregon Zoo, submarine tours at the Museum of Science and Industry, a planetarium, the Japanese gardens and, for dinner, some of the most mouth-watering eateries you can imagine (mmm hmmm, we’re talking about you Grilled Cheese Grill).

  1. Seville

If you want a rich cultural experience where everywhere you look throws up yet more colorful places for your eyes to gaze, then you need to board a flight to Seville in Spain. You can waltz around the Real Alcazar Palace feeling like royalty or get transported back centuries by taking in the Barrio Santa Cruz and introduce your kids to some of the most delicious foods anywhere on the planet, such as the local delicacy that is tapas.

5 Easy Health Hacks for Busy Moms

Perhaps you feel like your life revolves around running endless errands, working, caring for the kids, and keeping the house clean. Whether you work at home or in the office, motherhood is demanding. There is always something to do or someplace to go, and often we forget to take care of ourselves. Make this the year that you decide to make your health a priority. Being physically and mentally happy will make you a better mother and partner, and it will make you feel more energetic and confident. Try these five easy health hacks for busy moms.

Eat Healthy Snacks

Image via Flickr by Tom Gill.

Do you ever get so busy you forget to eat? And then when you finally find time to eat, the only thing around is a McDonalds? Stop the destructive pattern of forgetting to eat and then eating the wrong things. It slows your metabolism because your body thinks it’s starving. Eating light at regular intervals every few hour keeps your metabolism steady and actually helps you burn fat. Pack some healthy non-perishable snacks in your car, such as an apple or some nuts. That way, you won’t be tempted to eat junk food or skip a meal the next time you’re starving.

Stretch

It only takes a few minutes to stretch, and you don’t need any fancy equipment. In fact, you can stretch while you’re waiting at a stop light, standing in a checkout line, or passing time in a waiting room.

There are many health benefits to regular stretching. First, it helps to relieve the tension that we store in our muscles. Just like a good massage can help you relax, so can a good stretching session. Second, it improves your posture. When you stretch your back and shoulders, it makes it easier to sit or stand up straight. Finally, it helps prevent injuries.

Take the Stairs

Instead of using the elevator to get to that next appointment, take the stairs. It’s an easy thing to do and just takes a few moments more. Do this every day, and you’ll soon have buns of steel and notice you have improved your endurance.

Park Far Away

Don’t drive around and around the parking lot wasting precious time and looking for the closest possible spot to the entrance. Pick a spot on the outskirts of the parking lot and walk instead. You’ll get a little more exercise, and all those steps will eventually add up.

Meditate

Mediation is a fabulous way to calm your nerves and get re-centered. You can do it just about anywhere — even in your office chair or while sitting alone in your parked car. Just close your eyes and take some deep calming breaths. Try to empty your mind and focus only on your breath.

We know that being a mother isn’t easy, but you have to stay healthy or everyone in your home will eventually suffer right along with you. Try these five easy health hacks for busy moms to help you get and stay healthy.

Improve Your Beauty From The Inside Out

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Today, living in this social media focused world and selfie culture, we are becoming more and more focused on the way we look on the outside, and whilst it’s perfectly reasonable for us to want to optimise our appearance, indeed this focus on beautifying yourself has been around for thousands of years; but if it’s true that real beauty is on the inside – perhaps it’s worth paying some attention to how we can enhance our inner beauty as well as our external beauty.

Agreed, how we look on the outside is incredibly important and feeling good about how we look externally helps us to feel better on the inside too.  It’s understandable why so many people are looking to understand how to build a personalized skin care routine or the most effective ways to take care of their hair, yet sometimes we are so busy creating a desirable external image that we often forget the saying that states “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”.

If you’ve ever noticed a stunningly attractive person sitting on a train that gets a lot of attention from people, but exudes a negative and arrogant energy, you’ll know first hand that no matter how beautiful the outer shell – the inner attractiveness or unattractiveness will always find its way through, and in reality, who do we honestly want to spend our time with – is it the superficially beautiful or is it the warm, kind, funny, caring and charismatic people we can share our hearts with?

The key point is that beauty is beyond skin deep.  We attract people to us based on who we are on the inside, not just on the outside, so this article looks at three ways to improve your beauty from the inside out.

LAUGH MORE

The benefits of smiling and laughter are huge… there’s even yoga classes that incorporate spontaneous laughter and over the top smiling in order to reap the benefits that include greater immunity, hormone regulation, and a longer life.  

Try smiling.  Even if you don’t feel like smiling – just changing your physiology triggers certain neurotransmitters to fire in the brain, that indicates to your brain, that you must be happy — the brain therefore goes into that state of happiness.  You can essentially trick your brain into thinking you are happy even when you’re not, and when the brain releases these natural chemicals, it lifts your mood… so it’s a win-win.

Furthermore, the effect you smiling at someone has on that person is hugely positive.  We live in a world where so many people feel disconnected and ignored; smiling at someone, making eye contact and asking them a simple yet genuine question is a great way to boost self-esteem, confidence and self-worth in others.

When was the last time you had a really good belly laugh?   See, laughter is contagious.  It not only leads to you feeling better… it causes a chain-reaction that infects those around you.  Have you ever started to laugh, for no reason, just because someone else is laughing so hard — ever heard the phrase “he’s got a contagious laugh” — how do you feel around people that are smiling and laughing all the time?  You naturally want to be around them, right, which is a definition of attractiveness.

HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT

Leave people, places and things better than you find them.  Have a positive impact on everyone that you come into contact with; whether that’s through something as simple and implicit as a well intentioned smile or an explicit compliment to brighten their day.  Interact with people in an uplifting way that brings joy into their life.  

BE A GIVER

Feeling beautiful on the inside has a lot to do with how you treat others as well as how you treat yourself.  Be kind to people.  Be generous.  Focus on creating value for others and see your relationships as a place to “give” rather than “get”.  Whether this is as simple as giving someone a little encouragement, holding a door open, giving up your seat, offering a compliment or donating to someone in need.  

There is a saying by Tony Robbins, that the “secret to living is giving” and the most fulfilled people are those that give the most; whether this is on a financial level, an emotional level, or a practical level.  There is an important principle to remember though, in terms of giving, which is that you must first give to yourself – even on an airplane you are advised to tend to your own oxygen mask first.  The aim is to be so “full” yourself that you are brimming over with abundance to help others.

In summary, our external appearance matters – but what matters more is how we feel about ourselves and if we don’t feel beautiful on the inside, this will come out – like toxins seeping through our pores.

Troubles with Unseen Disabilities

Whether mental or physical, disabilities can be detrimental to anyone’s life. Problems with work, family and loved ones get in the way. Living a normal life becomes difficult. Sometimes when disabilities are not obvious, it creates a different problem. When groups or people doubt any disability, it can be harder to move forward. Here are some considerations in moving beyond that point.
Complications of disabilities
Disabilities, such as bipolar or major depressive disorder are not visible to most people. The reality is that these can severely impact your life. Coming to terms with your situation is the right first step. If these are serious enough to prevent you from working you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits.  However, many times the government denies these benefits on the first go-round. If you find you need help, there are legal services to help you move forward. Firms such as Myler Disability services will help you if you are currently having trouble obtaining Social Security benefits. The Second thing would be to gather information you know you would need to apply for SSI. Things like what documents are needed for disability applications and what mental disorders for social security are supported.
Keeping documentation
Some people in treatment for non-visible disabilities have trouble keeping documentation. If necessary to moving forward, contact all of your previous care providers. They will often have a list of things such as treatments and historical documentation. These are vital to proving your claims. Start by asking for records on evaluation, treatments, and any tests done. Make sure to ask for a list of prescriptions, asking who prescribed them and why.
Besides medical documentation, there are other requirements. The SSA requires you to have a record of the types of jobs you worked. They also need information such as when you began to have trouble with work. They also require your educational background. While this might seem like a lot of extra nonsense, it will help you solidify your claim. Let’s face it, the government excels at putting all sorts of hoops to jump through in peoples’ paths.
Understanding your disability
Treating disabilities can be tough in its own right. Its hard to step out of ourselves and think about ourselves in this way. There are steps to coming to grips with your disabilities. If you are in treatment, you have often had many conversations about it. Take some time to think about your issues and how they have changed your life. Write down some specific examples of complications your disability.  If you are like many who are in limbo with treatment, organizations like NAMI can help. They are an organization that will connect you with the proper groups for treatment services. Getting back into treatment is the right step. Discussing these events can help organize and pinpoint what it is you really want to say. The last step is to weigh your options of what route to take.
Weigh your options
Sometimes people get lucky. There are multiple ways to apply for Social Security benefits. Online applications for Social Security benefits are easy for those who have trouble leaving their homes. You can also apply by telephone  at 1-800-772-1213, or find a local Social Security branch.

If you run into trouble applying in person, don’t be afraid to contact legal support. Excellent services like Myler Disability exist for when the worst happens. Sometimes when you are facing the situation alone it can seem like a lot. Let’s be honest, the difference between good legal help and poor legal help can affect your outcome. When you have amazing support, you might still feel uncomfortable. But a strong and hopeful outlook can prove positive in getting the outcome you deserve.

Putting An End To Your Worst Habits, Step-By-Step

We all have our vices. Unfortunately, many of them are bad for us and when they get out of control, they can take over our lives. Some habits are based on dependence, whether to alcohol, smoking, or drugs. Others are about behaviors we wish we could control, such as outbursts of anger or episodes of unbearable stress. Here, we’re going to look at the approach you need to take with unhealthy habits when they start getting self-destructive.

Photo by geralt

Be open and honest about it

The first step to coping with any problem is admitting you have it. It can be a hurtful step because it lays you vulnerable to some of your darkest thoughts. But it’s crucial because otherwise, you will keep making excuses for yourself until it’s too late. It’s worth thinking about telling your family and friends about it, too. Beyond providing support, they could help keep you accountable through your journey. If you have an addictive personality, you need to know it.

Photo by Anemone123

Get help

When bad habits get truly out of control, then you shouldn’t try coping with them alone. Your family and friends can be a good start, but there are other places that can lend support in ways they can’t. If you have anger management issues, then getting to the route of them could be a lot easier with counseling. If you find yourself dependent on a vice, addiction services have systems to help you battle through them step-by-step. Support groups can be a huge source of helpful information. Otherwise, it can feel like you’re only getting assistance from those taking an outside perspective, not those who truly have an idea of what your experience is like.

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Value yourself

An important step in keeping yourself away from your most harmful behaviors is applying the same concern and value to yourself as you would to some of your closest friends and family. Treat your body right by getting the right exercise, diet, and sleep. Forgive your transgressions as you would someone you love.

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Know your triggers

Beyond getting out of the initial cycle of bad behavior, you want to be equipped to continue fighting temptation for a long time. Knowing and avoiding your psychological triggers is one of the most effective steps to take in doing just that. For instance, if stress at work makes you smoke, consider a career change or scaling back your ambition until you’re able to cope better with it. If you’re prone to taking party favors, then avoid parties.

Photo by Myriams-Fotos

Make your new day

Once you identify your triggers, you should think about getting rid of some of the worst of them. This is truest of friends who pressure you into behavior you’re trying to stay away from. If you’ve admitted to a friend that you have a drinking problem, for instance, and they keep pressuring you to go to the bar with them or join them at a party, it’s seriously worth considering cutting them off. You have to prioritize your well being over people who don’t want to show show the right concern for your health.

It might not be as simple as saying “you’re cured” when you do all of the above. If you have a personality prone to bad habits, you have to keep yourself in check. It’s a lifelong journey, but it’s one worth making.

Finding True Diet Drinks

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There are loads of companies out there which market their drinks are diet and light options. It doesn’t matter how bad they are for you, these products are often advertised as being good, and will often promise the idea of a healthier lifestyle. Of course, though, when you’re drinking these chemical cocktails, you could be doing yourself worse than going for the full sugar examples. Instead, it’s a better idea to work on the other drinks you like, working towards making them as healthy as possible. With all of this in mind, it should be possible to avoid the diet drinks entirely, giving you the chance to look at other areas of your health.

 

  • Coffee

 

A lot of people find it almost impossible to start the day without the right mix of chemicals to get them going. Coffee will play a large role in this, giving people the caffeine they need while also providing some much needed morning warmth. For a lot of people, the healthiest part of a drunk like this is the milk which goes along with it. Being high fat, this part of the drink can be hard to avoid, unless you know what to ask for. For those unwilling to get rid of the stuff, soya alternatives can be great, and will give very similar results to the normal coffee you drink.

 

  • Juice

 

Of course, along with coffee, having a glass of juice with your breakfast is a tradition a lot of people struggle to live without. These drinks are often incredibly high in sugar, though, and this makes them bad to consume each and every day. To avoid this issue, creating your own juice is a great way to ensure that you’re only getting the good sugars, and you only need to find a list of the best juicers on the market to get started. Whether you like bits or no bits, you should find it easy to get your hands on a morning drink which you can enjoy.

 

  • Tea

 

Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about tea, and the most common ways for it to be consumed. Iced tea has made a resurgence in recent years, promising a healthy alternative to other drinks out there. In reality, though, the companies making these options aren’t doing so with fitness in mind. Instead, they will produce options with extremely high sugar content, even if it ruins the taste. Thankfully, drinks like these are easy to make, and you’ll only need to read some reviews before you can get started.

Hopefully, with all of this on your mind, it should be a lot easier to start cutting out the unhealthy drinks from your life. Of course, it’s always worth making sure that you give yourself the chance to enjoy this part of your diet. Treats are alright, as long as they are had in moderation, but a lot of people find it hard to achieve this, finding themselves drinking badly all the time.

Hair Care Essentials

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When it comes to keeping your luscious locks looking as good as possible, the basics are the first things that you should concentrate on. Maintaining your hair is all about getting into a good routine, as well as keeping a healthy diet and practising good hygiene. Here are just a few essentials of looking after your hair which you can follow yourself.

Wash

Use a good quality shampoo to wash your hair, and try to go for one which is specifically suited to your hair type. But don’t do this too often as this can end up drying it out and removing the natural oils which are so important. You should also be conditioning your hair every time you wash it. Make sure that you leave it in for several minutes before rinsing it out so that it has full effect on your hair. If you are going to add other hair care products, be careful about the ones which contain too much protein as this can leave your hair feeling brittle.

Dry

Try to let your hair dry naturally when you can. If you are going to use a towel, go for a softer one which doesn’t cause frizziness or split ends. And if you do have to use a blowdryer, you should avoid putting it on a setting which is too high. Perhaps you prefer to shower before you go to sleep at night, so put your hair up in a bun and allow it to air-dry overnight.

Brush

Be careful about brushing your hair too often as this can lead to frizz and split ends. If you are going to brush your hair as soon as you have stepped out of the shower, go for a wide-toothed comb. If your hair is prone to tangles, comb your hair in sections so it is less likely to become knotted.

Styling and Dying

One of the best ways of getting rid of split ends is by trimming your hair regularly yourself. Otherwise, you should be aiming to go to the hairdresser every 6-8 weeks so that you can avoid the dreaded split ends. When you are buying straighteners or curling irons, make sure you invest in quality products that aren’t going to cause undue damage to your hair – read this article for some more information. Try to avoid hairstyles which tightly pull back your hair as this can cause damage to the roots. If you are going to treat or dye your hair at any point, you should do this sparingly.

Maintain Your Health

The final thing that you need to do to look after your hair is to take care of yourself. Make sure that you eat a diet which is rich in lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Take steps to reduce the impact of stress on your life, finding some emotionally healthy outlets for it including yoga, exercise or meditation.

Follow these simple steps and keep your hair looking at its very best.      

Experience Beauty at Five Popular Destinations in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs pulsates with numerous unforgettable experiences for the resident, adventurer and for the visitor. Being a popular tourist destination and the most populous municipality in the county of El Paso, Colorado, Colorado Springs is a beehive of interestingly rewarding activities.
The following are the five best hot spots in Colorado Springs:

WaterFalls
The sight of the waterfalls is awesome. There are 224 steps to climb to access the steam that feeds the falls.

The University of Colorado
Situated in a serene and likable environment, the University of Colorado is a four-campus-united-in-one University founded in 1876. This University serves the residents of Colorado and elsewhere and graduates of about 15,000 students each year from over 300-degree programs. The University is primarily focused on making a difference in the life of Coloradoans by advancing the economy, health and culture. The University’s architectural designs smack of a rich, pragmatic demonstration of craftsmanship and dexterities. The Faculty and Student community are so diverse that the wealth of individual differences add color to the University’s activities. Come explore how the University shares knowledge across the state of Colorado and beyond. The online home of the University is at cu.edu

Fine Arts Center
This center houses four cultural entities. There is a museum to visit, a theatre gourmet dining to relax at, a retail shop and an art school, all in one place – all displaying relics of Colorado’s rich culture and catalyzing kindred spirits in visitors. On top of that, other fun activities including exhibitions, events, musicals, dramatic displays and concerts are something else to consider.

The garden of God’s Park
The garden of God’s Park is a National Natural Landmark, with its full blend of woodlands, sandstone rocks, mountain forest and grasslands. This park is rated as the No. 1 Park in the U.S. in 2014 by a trip service provider. The beauty of this park is breath-taking. Nature meets creativity here! The adventure is terrific

Colorado Springs Real Estate
Colorado Springs has an assorted, exquisite selection of homes for purchase or rental purposes. A number of real estate brokers mediate the real estate brokerage transactions. The REDFIN, a real estate company, lists their real estate agents on its site. These agents are committed to your ultimate satisfaction. Their agents can help you acquire one of the over several-hundred homes listed on its website for acquisition.

How to Understand and Manage Panic Disorder

It is human to be a little anxious and nervous once in a while but if this nervousness and anxiety gets out of hand, and then it is a matter of great concern. Anxiety is a normal preventive action of the body in case of a danger but when this danger becomes imaginative or unreal, this anxiety can cause panic disorders.

Know what a panic attack is?

Panic attack is the fight-flight-freeze response of your body in case of any danger or threat. Your heartbeat accelerates, your blood starts pumping at a faster rate, you feel overwhelmed, nauseous and at the lives end. It is an intense fear that comes unannounced and unexpected and is accompanied by the immobilizing intensity. And know that panic attacks are quite sudden and can be quite frightening.

The reason for the attack cannot be defined as they come out of the blue, without any warning, even when you are in a relaxed state of mind.

Panic attacks can strike out of the blue and can be a one-time thing, but in most cases, it reoccurs and resurges when the situation re-arises when panic attack had happened before. For instance, it might occur due to the fear of crowds or claustrophobia or fear of public speaking and such reasons.

Panic attacks don’t last longer even at the peak of the attack. And the good news is that panic attacks are treatable, there are certain coping techniques that one can learn and practice when having an attack. But, the problem arises when the attacks have become a regular occurrence and are a part of other disorders.

What are the symptoms of a panic attack?

Panic attack can strike at any time, whether you are at home or at work or at a mall or away at a vacation. It is better to be prepared in advance and have the knowledge of the telling signs and symptoms of a panic attack.

Anyone having a panic attack may have a few or all of these symptoms

  • Hyperventilation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Terrible trembling of the body
  • Chest pains and heaviness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating profusely
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Fear of dying
  • Feeling helpless
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Feel like going crazy
  • Feeling choked

Any of these symptoms will not last more than half an hour in any person, even at the peak of the attack.

Panic disorders

Having a panic attack or two is not a matter of concern but if it persists and repeats every now and then, then it becomes a panic disorder. Having repeated episodes of panic disorders often leads to panic disorders that is accompanied by behavioral changes and persistent fear of another panic attack. Panic attacks without any obvious triggers can also be panic disorder.

Recognize the disorder

Having a panic attack lasts for a short while but it leaves a lasting imprint in the mind of a person. If one is suffering from reoccurring panic attacks, it is bound to take a toll on the physical and emotional health of a person and make him scared of the next panic attack. This may make the person anti-social, scared to venture out in the public and turn him into an emotionally burdened person. He may lose his self-confidence and this will have an adverse effect on his physical and mental health.

Know if you are suffering from the panic disorders if you

  • Have frequent panic attacks that are not correlated to any specific situation
  • Are scared of the next attack and live in the fear of getting another attack
  • Have a fear of losing control
  • Have experienced behavioral changes in yourself

Panic disorder symptoms

  1. Phobic avoidance

A person may start avoiding the situation or a specific place where he had a previous attack and where he thinks there will be no help available or there will be no escape outlet, this becomes Phobic avoidance. In its extreme form, it can become agoraphobia.

  1. Anticipatory anxiety

A panic attack has passed, yet you are not feeling relaxed and are living in the fear of the next attack. You are anticipating the next panic attack and are not able to have a normal everyday life due to this fear.

Managing and treating panic disorders

If one feels he has a panic disorder, first thing to do is consult a specialist immediately and determine the level of problem. The doctor will conduct a few tests and will try finding out the reason or the triggers for the attacks. Your doctor might refer you to a mental health specialist, like a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

There are two ways of treating panic disorders – psychotherapy and medications. Your doctor will prescribe the best treatment for you depending on your medical history and symptoms.

  • Psychotherapy

There is a type of psychotherapy for the panic attack patients known as the Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT in short. In this therapy, the patients are taught to think, behave and react differently during an attack. In due process, the attacks diminish and the patients are cured completely.

  • Medication

There are various types of medications that may be prescribed depending on the severity of the problem. They are

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Benzodiazepines

Looking for a mental health specialist for your panic disorder treatment? You can find best doctors and hospitals at xpertdox.

Apart from these two methods, the patients can self-help themselves and cope with the attacks on their own in due time.

  • Practice breathing techniques or learn yoga
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Keep in touch with your friends and family
  • Have complete knowledge about panic attack
  • Exercise regularly and know your triggers
  • Breathe quietly and slowly
  • Stand up for yourself

Avoid The Physiotherapist: Protect Your Muscles

Nobody wants to have to spend weeks of their life being bed bound or unable to exercise due to injury. Then there’s the hassle and cost of heading to a physiotherapist once or twice a week to help your recovery and make sure you don’t get injured again. But what if there was a way to avoid all of this? Well, there is. You simply don’t get injured in the first place. Now, this may sound like an obvious thing to say, but that’s because it is. With a bit of patience, preparation, and routine, you can drastically lessen your chances of injury at the gym. Below are three things that you should keep in mind if you want to avoid being on first name terms with your local physio.   

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Warm up

The very first thing you should do before any sort of exercise is a thorough warm up. Nine times out of ten, if someone has injured themselves in the gym it is because they didn’t warm up properly (or tried to perform an incredible feat of strength that people twice their size would struggle to complete). You wouldn’t start your car on a freezing cold day and expect it to drive well on full throttle, tyres screaming around the corners. Likewise, your body cannot perform without being eased into the process. Five or ten minutes on a piece of cardio machinery, slowly ramping up the speed, should get your heart and muscles suitably prepared for your workout.

Stretch

Stretching before your main workout, but after your warm up, is important to ensure that your muscles are ready to perform. However, you shouldn’t spend too long on stretching at this stage, as you don’t your body to cool down again. The best time to do a thorough and deep stretching session is immediately after you’ve finished your workout. Not only will you be able to stretch further and help your body to become more supple, but you will also decrease the amount of aching you feel in your muscles the next day. Stretching also be used in conjunction with a foam roller to really help smooth those muscles out and keep them healthy.

Footwear

Not only should you ensure that you are wearing the correct footwear for your activities, but you should ensure that you are investing in quality. Many people simply wear running shoes for all their activities; however, this is not the most beneficial option. If you regularly use weights for strength training, it is recommended that you wear a shoe with a flat, hard sole. Running shoes do not provide the correct stability and support to be safe when lifting heavy weights, particularly if you squat and deadlift. Proper Olympic lifting shoes, or even Chuck Taylor’s, should be worn to keep your body safe. If you are running, you will need something that is compliant and will absorb the repeated impact as you run. A good insole like those found at biopods.com will work with your shoes to prevent excessive jarring to your ankle and knee joints.

Hopefully, these tips will be enough to keep you in the gym and away from the doctor’s office. Take the time to look after your body now, and it will thank you for years to come.