Fight Fatigue With These 13 High-Energy Foods

Sluggish? Tired? Missing that get-up-n-go? There’s no question that today’s busy lifestyle can leave the most naturally energetic woman feeling a bit blah any time of day. Instead of reaching for sugary energy bars or high-caffeine beverages, fight fatigue by adding these 13 high-energy foods to your menu plan.

Food plays a bigger role in our energy levels than many people realize. Our bodies are machines made to move, whether that movement involves wrangling toddlers or cleaning for an elderly parent. Unhealthy food choices, especially those with refined sugar, added sodium, and excess fat, don’t nourish the body with the energy it needs to move through even a normal day.

Just like most cars need gasoline to get from point A to point B, your body needs the fuel that comes from food to get from morning to night. Foods for energy deliver a variety of nutrients to fuel cells. For example, tuna offers B vitamins to build red blood cells that then carry necessary oxygen throughout the body. Other energy foods, like fruit or honey, provide natural sugars plus antioxidants to deliver fuel without the empty calories of refined sugar.

1. Honey

This sweet food offers healthier, natural carbohydrates, like fructose and glucose, to pep up those cells.

2. Chia Seeds

Lovely little chia seeds deliver healthy fats, plus they help cleanse the digestive system.

3. Almonds

When you need versatile energy foods, this one’s a winner. Snack on 12-14 whole, unsalted almonds for a snack that comes in at about 100 calories.

4. Fresh Fruit

Low in calories and high in complex (good) carbohydrates, fresh fruit is a natural fit on our foods for energy list.

5. Fresh Vegetables

Eating a variety of vegetables loads your body with energy-boosting nutrients like iron and potassium.

6. Tuna

Tuna, which offers protein and B vitamins, has long been the choice of athletes in need of long-lasting energy foods.

7. Green Tea

Green tea is loaded with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a substance that may increase the rate of fat burn. It also contains some caffeine (but not too much!) to nudge up those energy levels temporarily.

8. Hummus

Made with chickpeas, hummus is a good source of lean protein.

9. Turkey

Not just for Thanksgiving dinner anymore, turkey is a powerhouse of lean protein, plus it helps satisfy the appetite.

10. Greek Yogurt

This variety provides a higher protein content than conventional yogurt for an extra energy boost.

11. Kidney Beans

In addition to protein, kidney beans offer potassium, a mineral that aids muscle function.

12. Salmon

With omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B6, which helps convert food into energy, salmon is one of those energy foods that’s an all-around health superstar.

13. Egg

Begone bad reputation! Eggs are back on the “good” list; they offer the highest complete form of protein of any food.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Core That Are More Effective Than Sit-ups

What is the core?
The term core is often used in health and fitness. However, when most people think of their core, the first thought is often abs. The core does include all 3 layers of abdominal muscles, as well as the muscles of the back and the muscles that surround the hip and buttocks, such as the gluteal group of muscles. The core group of muscles can be thought of as a cylinder the supports your body. All of these muscle groups need to work in good function in order to maintain standing balance and correct posture.


Do I need to do more than sit ups?
Yes! Since there are more muscles involved in the core, it is great practice to focus on each of them during your workouts. Traditional sit ups are somewhat outdated, and there has been research done that suggests the repeated flexion movement of the spine that happens during a sit-up (i.e. the folding upward part of the sit-up) can be damaging to the spine.
So how do I work my core muscles?
Great question! Here is a short list of some excellent effective exercises to work your core:
1. Plank:
Planks are a physio favourite, and for good reason! The plank works on the abdominal muscles, the postural muscles in the back and shoulder stability all at the same time. Talk about efficient. For the plank you have some options: a good place to start is using the knees and the elbows as a base. If this is comfortable, stretch your legs fully out and use either your elbows or hands to support yourself (make sure your elbows/hands are under your shoulders). Keeping your spine in good alignment (try not to let your head drop and do not let your chest sink towards the ground), think about creating tension in your abdominal muscles. If you feel your low back start to sag or your abdominal muscles tiring, take a break. It is better to do shorter planks with good technique than longer held planks without optimal technique.


2. Side plank:
The side plank is another favourite, with the added bonus of more focus on the muscles around the hip. Again, as a beginner, start from your knees and elbows as a support and find a base position that works for your body. Think about keeping a neutral spine position and a nice long line from the top of your head through your hips (don’t let your head or your hips drop). Also, make sure you are not sinking into your shoulder – try to keep pushing the ground away so you can keep a strong shoulder position. Again, if you need to take a break, do so. Short holds are a great starting point and you can start holding a few seconds longer each time as you feel your core get stronger.


3. Paloff press:
The Paloff press can be done using a theraband or a cable pulley machine. It is a great exercise to work on the core muscles in a standing position, without twisting the spine, which can be painful for some. To do the Palloff press, anchor the band or line up the cable pulley at chest height. The band or cable should be aimed towards the side of your body (perpendicular to your chest). From here, grab the cable or band with both hands in the centre of your chest, stand with good posture and engage the core muscles. Slowly push your arms straight out, and don’t let the band or cable pull you into a twist. This exercise may not look like much but it can be very effective, as it makes you work the muscles in anti-rotation (great for the obliques!)


4. Weighted carry:
This is another good standing core exercise. Your core muscles need to be active to maintain good posture throughout the day, so doing exercises in the standing position can be helpful to train your body to do this on its own. For the carry, grasp a weight in only one hand (you can use weight in both hands, but having it on only one side of your body forces you to have to balance the weight). This weight should be somewhat challenging, but start low so your body can adjust to what you are asking of it. Stand with good posture, and be sure that your shoulders are not creeping up towards your ears and that you are not leaning to one side or the other. You should have a neutral spine position and nice tall posture. From here, keep the weight at your side and slowly and deliberately walk forward. You might feel a bit wobbly at first, but use those core muscles to keep you from losing balance.


5. Bridging:
This is a simple exercise, but is great to use on its own to work on activation of the muscles around the hip and buttocks, or as a warm up before moving on to more complex lifts such as the squat or deadlift. When you are starting your bridge, make sure you spine is in a neutral alignment. You will likely have a very slight or small space between the ground and your low back as your spine does have a natural curve at the low back. Think about activating your core muscles and squeeze your buttocks to lift the hips towards the ceiling. If you add a band tied around both knees, this can help to activate some of the outer muscles of the hip, such as the gluteus medius. If you place a ball or yoga block between your knees and squeeze your knees together as you lift your hips, this will help to activate the muscles of the inner thigh.


If you have any questions about these or any other core exercises, please book in with us! You’ll receive personal attention from your physiotherapist, and they can personalize your routine to address any individual concerns.
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, & IMS.

What’s a Shin Splint Injury?

Whether you are a new comer to running, or a seasoned marathoner ramping up mileage/intensity for your next race, shin splints can really hinder your training. In fact, nothing can slow you as a runner like the nagging pain of shin splints.

Technically known as Tibial Stress Syndrome or MTSS, shin splints is the broad term usually used to describe pain along the front portion of the lower leg whether it’s referred to as anterior shin splints—or pain on the front outside part of the leg—or medial shin splints—pain on the inside of the leg.

These are some of the most common injuries among runners, and other athletes, like dancers and gymnasts.

Shin Splints Symptoms

The major sign of shin splint is a burning lower-leg pain that can hinder your running and keep you off training. The shins may ache, throb after your runs, or just when galloping to catch the bus. The pain is usually felt along the shinbone or behind it.

Shin splints—when ignored—can quickly become of the most debilitating running-related injuries that will compromise your training and sideline you for weeks, even months. In fact, a study found that it takes on average, roughly 70 days to rehab severe shin splints.

Shin Splints Causes

Here are the main causes of shin splints:

  • Beginner runners are more prone to suffer from shin splints if they push too much too soon—failing to build mileage and/or intensity slowly and gradually and over time.
  • Even if you are a regular runner, you can still encounter shin splints when either increasing your mileage (too early), or when adding speedwork (think sprints, Fartleks and hill reps) to your routine.
  • You can also get them by changing the surface you run on—like shifting from a dirt path to asphalt, or from running on flat surface to hills.
  • Runners with flat feet are also more likely to develop shin splints.
  • Improper running shoes and bad form can also lead the condition.

In other words, the root cause of shin splints can be captured in four words: too much, too soon.

Shin Splints and Other Sports

Athletes involved in sports that entail a lot of running and jumping, including football, volleyball and so on, as well as sports with a lot of sudden starts and stops, like tennis or basketball, are more vulnerable to shin splints.

So no one is safe from shin splints 100 percent.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Physiotherapy FAQ

We get a lot of similar questions at the clinic, so I wanted to share some of the answers to our most frequently asked questions with you:

Do I need a referral?
No, you do not need a doctor’s referral to make an appointment with us! Your extended healthcare provider may require one to cover physiotherapy expenses, but every plan is different. It is best to check with your extended medical provider if a referral is a required prior to booking your appointment.

Can I book online?
Yes! We started online booking recently. If you would like to book for the Cambie Village location, please visit: https://insyncphysio.janeapp.com to make your appointment. If you would like to book for Burnaby Heights, please visit: https://insyncphysio-burnaby.janeapp.com

Who is the best physiotherapist at Insync?
All of our physiotherapists are very skilled in their work, and they are honestly all wonderful. However, they do take special interests in particular parts of the body or specific sports. If you would like some guidance as to who might be a good fit for you, please call us and let us know a little bit about your injury and if you have any preferences for types of treatment (e.g. IMS, acupuncture, manual therapy).

Do you work with kids?
Absolutely! We have a number of younger patients that come to see us, and especially many young athletes currently in elementary and high school.

Do you direct bill my healthcare provider?
We currently offer direct billing for Pacific Blue Cross, Green Shield, Sunlife, Standard Life, Manulife, Industrial Alliance, Great West Life and Desjardins Insurance. For any other provider, you will need to pay up front and submit your invoices on your own for reimbursement.

Should I go for physiotherapy or massage?
Ultimately, it is your choice. You know your body best. We will often recommend that you see physiotherapy first and then go from there. The reason being that physiotherapy assessment is a little more in-depth than massage assessment. Your physiotherapist can let your massage therapist know specific muscles or muscle groups that need to be worked on. Together, physiotherapy and massage therapy are very complementary to one another. Great results can come from using both as well as one or the other.

What should I bring to my first appointment?
Many choose to fill out our intake forms online, but if you are not filling out the intake online, please bring your BC Care Card with you. If you have an ICBC or WCB claim, please make sure you have the claim number as well as the date of the accident with you so we can set up the appropriate billing. If you have extended healthcare, please bring your card or policy and ID numbers with you so we can set up direct billing. Otherwise, please be sure to wear or bring with you clothing that is comfortable to move in. If you have a lower body issue, shorts would be best. If your neck and/or shoulders are the issue, a tank top is a great option.

How long will my appointment last?
We book each physiotherapy appointment for 30 minutes. This will be a one-on-one session with your physiotherapist. If your physiotherapist is using heat or ice packs after you appointment, this will like push your time to about 45 minutes in the clinic.

What can I expect for my first appointment?
Your first appointment will be partly assessment and partly treatment. Your physiotherapist will go over your medical history and ask specific questions regarding your injury (e.g. What were you doing when it happened? What aggravates it?). They will then move on to range of motion testing and muscle/strength testing for the specific joint, again looking for what aggravates the injury or what relieves it. They will then move on to treatment, which may involve manual therapy, corrective exercises, ultrasound, IMS, acupuncture or whatever they see fit to decrease irritation and progress you towards your goals.

How often should I come?
Again, every body and every injury is different. After assessment with your physiotherapist, they will be able to give you a better idea of how often they would like to see you to ensure optimal treatment of your injury.

Do you have any other questions? Please feel free to call or email us to discuss any further questions or concerns!

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

6 Great Stretches For Tight Hip Flexors

Shakira said ‘Hips don’t lie’. Talking about hips, they are probably the first part of our body to get bloated. The Hip flexor is an important muscle group, which helps move the knees to the chest and the legs front to back and sideways. As many people sit on workstations all day, the hip flexors can become tight and stiff. So, how do we make them supple and trim again?

This is where the hip flexor stretches come to the rescue! These stretches help loosen the hip flexors and improve their flexibility. So, want to know the different types of hip flexors? Then give the following lines a read!

Hip Flexor Stretches – 6 Types:

1. The Standing Hip Hinge:

This is an ideal warm-up exercise to stretch hip flexors. Support your back with your hands and bend the upper body back. Hold for a while and return to the starting position. To add more intensity kneel down and perform the same exercise. The kneeling down will stretch the hip flexors and the quads as well. This is one of the best exercises for back pain and tight hip flexors.

2. The Camel Yoga Pose:

The camel yoga pose stretches the hip flexors. It is also a great way to expand the chest and improve spinal flexibility. A camel yoga pose helps tighten the hips and builds muscle in the arms. Yoga says that the posture promotes the flow of oxygen with every new breath. The pose also helps strengthen arms and shoulders. This pose is slated to open up your heart chakra and you feel more in sync with the world.

3. The Garland Pose:

This pose is designed to free the hips and help improve balance. The garland pose helps improve flexibility in the thighs, ankles and calf muscles. It also tones the core. You can switch to using a chair to sit down if the squatting is difficult or your back problems prevent you from performing this pose. While sitting on a chair, lean the upper body toward your thighs. Keep your feet planted to the ground and your thighs perpendicular to the calves.

4. The Reclined Bound Angle Pose:

The reclined bound angle pose helps stretch groin and inner thighs, while expanding the chest. Ensure that you keep the spine upright and you don’t arch it. For added support, consider placing a hand towel under the lower ankles to reduce discomfort and one under the head to avoid the neck from compressing. The pose helps relieve fatigue and even mild depression.

5. The Perfect Pose:

According to legend, the perfect pose can help you acquire supernatural powers. It usually opens up the hips and stretches the ankles and the back. Yoga is usually represented universally by this pose. It is believed to help dispel nervous energy. The pose helps calm your thoughts. It is believed to have great benefits on people suffering from asthma.

6. Downward Facing Frog Exercise:

The downward frog pose helps open up the flexors as you go down to the floor. To simplify the position, place a pillow or hand-towel under the knees and ankles. If you still don’t find the position comfortable and you strain your ankles, push them towards each other instead of letting your feet around the sides.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

What is Trochanteric Bursitis?

Trochanteric bursitis is just one of many common causes of hip pain among athletes. If you have pain on the outside of your hip, you may be suffering from this sports injury.

The Greater Trochanter

This is a part of the femur, the large bone that makes up your thigh. It actually sticks out from the side of the hip, and is surrounded by several different soft tissues.

Because the greater trochanter sticks out, it is susceptible to friction between the bone and the muscles, especially the Iliotibial Band, or IT Band.

The trochanteric bursa is a small fluid filled sack that sits between the muscles and the greater trochanter in your hip. It is there to reduce friction between the muscles and bone as you move your hip.

With activities like running, jumping, and squatting, the muscles repetitively move over the bone, and over time this can cause an irritation of the bursa. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa.

Common Causes

Muscle tightness is the most common cause of bursitis. The Iliotibial Band, or IT Band is a big culprit in trochanteric bursitis.

The IT band runs along the outside of the hip, and the tendon actually moves over the greater trochanter everytime you lift your knee and flex your hip.

Think about how many times you do this every time you play basketball, or go for a run. If the IT Band is tight, this increased friction will irritate the bursa, and may cause pain over time.

Another cause is direct injury to the outside of the hip.

Contact sports like football and rugby can cause this type of injury, where you land forcefully or are hit on the outside of your hip. This causes bruising and irritation of the bursa.

Treatment

Rest is the best initial treatment for trochanteric bursitis. This will allow for your body to start healing, and for the inflammation of the bursa to subside. During the first few days, ice will help to reduce your pain and symptoms. Ice massage is the most effective way to ice this injury.

Once your pain has decreased, gentle stretching of the hip muscles can help to reduce the stress on the bursa. A good flexibility program can help treat this injury.

It is also a good idea to see your doctor or athletic trainer if you are having hip pain. This is the best way to know exactly what is wrong, and the appropriate treatment options.

Trochanteric bursitis is an inflammation of the trochanteric bursa in your hip. It can be caused by muscle tightness, repetitive motions, over training, or dirct injury to the hip. Rest, ice, and gentle stretching are good treatments, along with seeing your doctor for evaluation.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

The Benefits of Balance Training

Most people don’t think about incorporating balance training into their fitness regime. This is because they don’t understand the benefits of adding it in. Balance is the ability to control the body’s position, either stationary (e.g. complex yoga pose) or whilst moving (e.g. ice skating). Balance is a key element of fitness, along with strength, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility.

Balance training can be done using a stability ball, bosu ball, or board trainer. The overall benefits of balance training include improvements to overall fitness, sports performance, and injury prevention. Specific Benefits Include:

1. Body Awareness

Body awareness is the sense of how your own limbs are oriented in space, also referred to as proprioception. Balance training promotes body awareness which makes movement more seamless, with less likelihood of injury.

2. Co-ordination

Balance training requires all of your body to work together otherwise you might fall or stumble. By improving your co-ordination during balancing training, there should be an improvement to your co-ordination in everyday life.

3. Joint Stability

Balance training promotes stable knees, ankles, hips, and shoulders. This can prevent a whole array of injuries including sprained ankles and serious knee problems. These injuries are not uncommon in people who don’t do any balance training but do play a sport.

4. Reaction Time

If you slip or stumble when carrying out challenging balance exercises your body needs to re-balance immediately or you will fall. This can improve your reaction time as you learn to quickly correct a mistake, but not over-correct.

5. Strength

Balance training is challenging for your nervous system (brain and nerves). The nervous system recruits your muscle when lifting weights, so as your nervous system becomes more efficient it can recruit a higher percentage of your muscle for each lift. This means you are stronger and can lift more weight.

6. Power

Power is the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movement. The two components of power are strength and speed. With quicker reaction times and stronger muscles, your power ability should increase too.

7. Agility

Agility is defined as quick and nimble. It is the ability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner and to achieve this you require a combination of balance, speed, strength, and co-ordination. Therefore, the better your balance is, the more likely you are to have good agility.

8. Fun & Challenge

Adding some balance exercises into your fitness routine adds a new dimension, a dimension which is challenging but also fun too. It is motivating when you notice the improvement to the rest of your fitness regime by adding in balance training.

9. Long Term Health

Incorporating balance training into your routine helps to maintain or improve your balance, which is needed to prevent falls and fractures. As we get older our balance can deteriorate, something we want to avoid.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

9 Tricks to Make it Easier to Run Faster

Looking to break a new personal record in your next race? Or just want to work your way up from a walk to a jog? Running faster during your workouts takes dedication, time, and the ability to break out of the norm—you just have to be willing to get a little uncomfortable. It’s not as bad as it sounds, though!

Although it may not make sense, all runners can actually benefit from doing workouts besides running. Exercises that address other performance components, including strength, speed, flexibility, coordination, and endurance.

Learn to pick up the speed and attack your running goals with these 9 drills and tips:

1. Get Lean

Leaning out your body fat will help pave the way for muscle gain, which helps propel you forward during a race. A body composition test can tell you the percentage of body fat you currently have, and can be done at most gyms or training facilities. From there, choose healthier foods and run and cross-train regularly—when you’re leaner, you run faster.

2. Mobility Training

Stretching your muscles pre- and post-workout is still debatable, but most experts agree that adding mobility to your weekly routine will help improve overall running performance. Repetitive motion will cause tightness, which can affect performance. Increasing mobility by foam rolling, doing yoga, and stretching, can allow for optimal sprint mechanics. Runners with impaired flexibility limit their potential to develop speed.

3. High Knees

High knees help improve running form and coordination. The movement of going up with your knees paired with fast propelling to the ground allows your foot to scoop and push off of the ground. Spring up with light feet into each high knee to add speed and swing your arms straightforward and fast to improve your running form.

4. Sprints

Sprint workouts alternate between low and high intensity speeds, helping to build endurance and increase your pace. Plus, there are so many sprint workouts to choose from that it’s fun to make it your own. Fartlek (a funny Swedish word that means “speed play”) workouts are an alternating series of jogging and sprints, that help prepare a runner for uneven paces throughout a race. They can be done at the beginning, middle, or end of a run at whatever speeds you choose. Longer sprint workouts can include 200m, 400m, or 800m repeats on a track, allowing yourself only a small window of recovery in between each sprint. This helps increase running stamina.

5. Ladder Drills

Ladder runs are an agility exercise to help increase the speed and balance of your feet. Using a long rope ladder placed along the ground, alternate your feet in and out of each ring while running as fast as you can through the length of ladder.

6. Resistance-harness Running

Don’t be scared by the name of this drill—they’re challenging, but fun! Resistance-harness running can help add power and intensity to your training regimen. They inherently load and place the body into positions that mimic ideal sprint mechanics and require increased endurance. It helps teach you to keep pushing and driving your feet forward and can help improve your running form. Resistance-harness running can be done with a partner, a weight, or a parachute.

7. Hill Repeats

Most race courses have at least one hill or gradual elevation that can often slow you down. Find a big hill at your local park and do a series of hill repeats at a pace slightly faster than your race pace. Running hills build muscle and strength that help power your knees, legs, butt, and core muscles as you push up the incline. And the best part about hills? You get to fly down the other side!

8. Increase Mileage

Once you’ve gotten a steady baseline built up, add distance little-by-little to improve endurance and stamina, which will help strengthen your body for faster, more powerful runs. Try to increase your overall weekly mileage with about one-third total miles executed at a higher intensity.

9. Shuttle Runs

Shuttle runs are similar to sprints, but focus on even shorter bouts of power running that range from 10m, 20m, and 30m—or even combinations of all three distances. Start by setting up markers on both sides of the distance you choose, then sprint from one to the next and then back again, leaning down and touching the markers on each side. Repeat these shuttle drills to improve acceleration, balance, speed, and anaerobic fitness.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Foods that Improve your Workout Flexibility

Before working out, it is important to eat the right kinds of foods so that you can flex your muscles and joints easily and not suffer from cramps. Flexibility refers to the ability of different body parts to complete their motions. You need flexibility to perform regular activities like walking, lifting or bending and when you are flexible your muscles also remain active and mobile. This is why it is also important to introduce flexibility exercises when you are working out.

Stretching is a good way to make your body flexible before working out. But in order to improve your workout flexibility, it is not enough to simply stretch. You need to add certain foods to your diet that can improve your flexibility.

Foods which improve flexibility:

Green vegetables:

Dark, green leafy vegetables like spinach, seaweed, kale, chard, collard greens and watercress can heighten your flexibility when you add them to your daily diet. They have high water content which is necessary to flush out acids from your body. Popular diet services emphasize adding fresh fruits and vegetables to the daily diet to rev up metabolism and enhance the supply of nutrients.

Spirulina:

If you can mix this to your morning smoothie, you can increase your flexibility dramatically. This alga has many essential vitamins like beta carotene and B complex vitamins which boosts muscle strength. It can also prevent muscle cramps and let you stretch with ease.

Barley grass:

You can use barley grass extract in your daily meals. This will contain beta carotene, high amounts of calcium and iron etc which all play an important role in increasing flexibility and promoting overall health. Water: Perhaps there is no other food that can improve flexibility as much as water. You should always start your day with a glass of water and make it a point to drink well before you start an exercise routine. Water helps to lubricate the joints making you flexible in the process.

Proteins:

Foods like fish and chicken, whole grains and beans, nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocados, fresh fruits or veggies are great for improving flexibility. For flexibility and to avoid injuries, you need to load up on foods that are known to have very high water content like vegetables and fruits. Protein drinks and fruit smoothies can also help to hydrate your body. Chronic inflammations may cause fluid retention that makes your muscles stiff. Alkaline conditions are known to reduce inflammations and foods which can increase alkalinity are mainly vegetables and fruits. Spices like turmeric and ginger also help because these have anti-inflammatory properties.

Sulfur or Amino Acids:

Foods containing sulfur or amino acids promote flexible joints. So high sulfur foods like garlic, cruciferous vegetables, onions, egg yolks, red peppers etc are recommended for increased muscular flexibility in workouts.

Apart from these healthy foods, you need to remember that junk foods should be avoided before a workout. Junk foods and packaged foods contain excess sodium which leads to joints becoming swollen. The body tries to hold onto more fluids to dilute blood. Coffee and alcohol can also dehydrate the body. Acid-forming foods like processed carbs and sugar rich foods should also be ideally avoided before exercising.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

6 Muscles Women Tend to Ignore

Pectoralis Major

A lot of women elect to skip the bench press partially in thanks to that stereotypical image of a top heavy, male, bulking bodybuilder. But it’s a fear unwarranted: on average, females don’t produce the testosterone required to bulk up quite that much. And working your chest can help ‘perk up’ what you already have! What’s not to love?

Okay, How do I use it?

Dumbbell bench press with properly proportioned weights for you – you should be able to maintain form from each press, but with minor difficulty. You want to be pushing your muscles.

Erector Spinae

This muscle is located in your lower back and helps keep your spine straight. Squats and planks rely a lot on lower back strength, especially to produce results.

Okay, how do I use it?

Lots and lots of practice of the bird dog. Another alternative is the waiter’s bow: resting your hands on the small of your back, bow at the waist like a waiter until you achieve 90 degrees. Bend slowly back up, and repeat. You should feel it stretching your hamstrings a little bit.

Hamstrings

A lot of women avoid working their hamstrings because they don’t want to make their thighs thicker. But such a large muscle is pretty important to avoiding knee injuries, avoiding needless ache when running and so many other basic exercises.

Okay, so how do I work it?

There are a lot of ways to work your hamstrings, but a good choice is by doing straight-legged donkey kicks. A lot of good ways to work them will involve moves that are straight-legged and bring your leg in line with or just behind your butt.

Transverse Abdominis

If you’re feeling the burn during an ab workout in your ab flexors, it could be your transverse abdominis that’s the sore culprit. This muscle is wrapped around your spine and plays a role in your core strength and stability.

Okay, how do I use it?

Just practice some planks or the pelvic tilt exercise. Laying face-up on the floor with your knees bent, tense your core and bend your pelvis slightly up, holding for ten seconds.

Triceps Brachii

Of the three parts of the tricep, one is commonly overlooked. Known as the “Long head”, this is the part of your triceps that run under your armpit and to your shoulder.

Okay, how do I use it?

The straight-arm triceps kickback is a good go-to. Working one arm at a time, get your dumbbell and let it hang from your hand. Keeping your arm straight, raise your hand until it’s just behind your torso. Pause, lower, repeat. You should feel it.

The Middle + Lower Trapezius

While the upper trapezius is more commonly involved in a woman’s workout, the other two parts of the upper back muscle are often ignored. These other two bands of muscle act differently from the upper in that they help to bring your arms down and back.

Okay, so how do I work it?

Preform Y and T lifts, pay attention and don’t shrug your shoulders.

Do you ignore any of these muscles?

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