6 No-Equipment Abs Exercises For A Stronger Core

Thought that getting your abs into shape had to be about hitting the gym? Think again! There are a whole load of ways to work on your core that don’t involve equipment at all, meaning you can get going on your routine wherever it is that you might be. These no-equipment abs moves can be easily incorporated into your fitness routine, either slotted into a strength building workout or included at the end of a bout of cardio. After a few weeks of these exercises, your core will be looking better than ever before and you will be ready to take on any sort of fitness challenge!

Plank Taps

While a traditional plank will help to tone up your core and strengthen your back, adding in an active movement to the routine goes one better, activating a whole other set of muscles. To try this active strength building move, start in a high plank on an exercise mat and place your feet a hip’s distance apart. While you’re in the pose, tap each hand to the opposite shoulder, tensing your glutes and cores in order to stay as stable as possible. Continue the move for 45 to 60 seconds and shake off your muscles afterwards.

Down Dog Taps

While you’re still in the same position, you can try moving your core upwards into a downward facing dog pose, working a different set of muscles in your abs. Once you’re in position, lift your right hand off the floor and stretch it back to touch your left ankle, gently tapping the floor once you make the reach. Return the right hand to the starting pose and repeat with your left hand, going slowly as you do so. Continue for 60 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

Plank Ups

A cross between a plank and a push up, plank ups are guaranteed to engage both your core and your upper body, strengthening the muscles through the active exercise. To complete this move, start in a high plank, bending one elbow to bring the forearm down onto the exercise mat. Now, bring the other arm down into the same move so that you’re in a flat plank. Now, lift up back to the starting position, one arm at a time, and continue for between 45 and 60 seconds.

Warrior Balance

Incorporating yoga moves into your abs workout is a great way to build up your strength and test your balance at the same time, ultimately helping to tone up your body. To give the warrior balance a try, start by standing on your left foot and bring your right knee level with your hip in front of your body. Now, reach your torso forwards as you extend the right leg out behind you, ever so slightly bending your left knee as you do so. Extend your arms overhead to complete the balance, pause, and return back to the starting position, repeating on the opposite side.

Plank to Dolphin

Helping to strengthen up your core and upper body, this move is one that you might come back to time and again, thanks to its efficacy. Starting in a forearm plank, put your palms out flat in front of you, parallel on the mat. Slowly, lift your core up into an inverted “v” shape, holding it in place when you get to the maximum extension. Pause at the top and slowly lower yourself back down, repeating for another minute.

Flutter Kicks

Using the weight of your legs to work out your abs is a fantastic way to strengthen up your core section at home. Active, strength building exercises will give you the best results, pushing your capabilities to their limits in every workout! Flutter kicks are one of the most effective exercises of this kind, helping to tone up your total core area. To do this move, lie down on your back with your legs and arms extended. Next, lift your heels up off the floor and begin kicking your legs up and down. A minute or so of this activity should have your abs really burning by the end of the session, toning up even the hardest to reach areas of your core!

6 Exercise Mistakes That Can Lead To A Fitness Plateau

Losing weight is a long old process but when you start to finally see results, it can really feel like all the hard work has paid off. Getting into an exercising rhythm is one of the best ways to slowly transform your body, improving your tone and strength over time. After a few months of doing the same thing, however, you might hit a wall. Fitness plateaus are an incredibly common part of the exercising process and if you don’t change things up often enough, you can stop your progress in its tracks. By avoiding certain exercising mistakes, it can be easier to keep on going and smash any goals you might have. It’s time to get fitter and stronger than ever before!

You Don’t Have A Game Plan

Walking into a gym and expecting a few machines to transform the look and capabilities of your body is a common mistake to make. While you can improve your basic fitness levels by consistently exercising, you’re missing out on a whole load of potential if you do the same thing day after day. Having a plan can help you to focus on different areas of your body, improve your cardio capacity and build up strength. You should try to vary your workouts with cardio exercises and strength building moves to give your body the best chance of getting fitter. Having an endpoint in sight with your workout can also push you to keep on going.

You Focus On Cardio Alone

Cardio exercises are an essential part of getting fit. They help to boost your blood flow, strengthen your heart and limber up various muscles in the body. If you’re just focused on cardio workouts, however, you might be only using half of your fitness potential. Incorporating strength training as part of your exercise routine can help you to gain muscle mass and maintain your weight loss potential. Try alternating your workout days between the two types of exercise. You might just notice a boost in your fitness levels.

You Don’t Track Your Workouts

Having an idea of how much you’re progressing over a course of time is essential should you want to keep working towards fitness goals. If you exercise without an idea of your time and repetitions, you could be missing out on serious exercising potential. Tracking the number of repetitions you’re able to do, or how fast you’re able to run in 5 minutes can give you a great understanding of how you’re progressing and push you to meet your next goal. You can be your own fitness motivator.

You’re Not Challenging Yourself

What once was a difficult workout might soon just become another part of your day. Over time, your fitness level will get better and it’s natural that what was once difficult for you will soon become a lot easier. Rather than keeping with the same exercise schedule, you need to ensure that you’re changing your fitness regime on a regular basis. Tracking your heartrate is a great way of getting to grips with how hard you’re working. If it’s too low during your workout, it might be time to shake things up.

You Do The Same Thing Everyday

On a similar note, completing the same workout day in, day out, is a surefire way to see your fitness results plateau. Over time, your body will soon adapt to a workout routine, meaning that your muscles will not have to work as hard as they once did to get it done. If you like to do cardio, try looking to other fitness areas like cycling, swimming or boxing. Strength training workouts can be easily adapted, using both equipment and your own body weight to tone different muscle groups.

You’re Too Distracted

Spending too much time on your phone when you’re trying to workout? It could be time to hit that flight mode button. Taking your entire social media feed into the gym with you might seem like a great use of your time, but just how much of your fitness routine are you using to focus on getting your moves down? Disconnecting from your digital circle can work wonders not only for your physical health but also, your psychological well being. You will be more focused, more efficient and will have the time in which to give each move your all. You can survive for an hour without looking online.

Want To Boost Your Flexibility? Try These Stretches

When you’re getting into shape, what’s the first thing on which you like to focus? Whether you’re trying to lose weight or tone up your body, there are a whole load of ways out there to do so, helping you to focus on different areas of your body. When it comes to flexibility, however, you might turn up your nose and leave it for another day. It’s worth giving the challenge a second look. Maintaining good elasticity will help to keep your muscles in shape for a whole lot longer, giving you a greater range of movement as you age. These stretches will make keeping up your flexibility incredibly easy, slotting into your existing workout routine and boosting your all round health.

Hip Opener

Best approached either after a workout or as a separate activity on its own, this stretching workout will focus on different areas of your body, helping you to get each area in really great shape. For the hip opener, you need to lie on an exercise mat, positioning your butt and legs against a wall. Extend your legs upwards and press them against the facing wall, flexing your feet. Slowly, open up your legs, keeping going until you feel a stretch. Hold the pose for 60 seconds before bringing the legs back up, repeating the move another 4 times.

Deep Lunges

While traditional lunges will help to strengthen your muscles, deep lunges can go that step further, giving tight leg muscles a good extension. To complete this move, start off on all fours, stepping your left leg forwards. Place your left foot out on the floor in front of you, bending your knee 90 degrees. Now, gently push your hip forwards until you feel a stretch, holding the pose for 30 seconds. Switch sides, being sure to hold your chest up as you do. Repeat 4 times, pulling your back foot up to your glute if you want a deeper stretch.

Lower Body Hug

While this move might take you a while to really perfect, it can help to extend out a huge section of your core muscles. Standing on an exercise mat, reach your arms to the ceiling and bend your body down at the hips, folding over as far as you can. Hold the backs of your ankles or legs and straighten out your spine, dropping your head down in front of you. Hold this for 30 seconds and return to the starting position, repeating another 3 times.

Thread The Needle

A little more tricky to pull off, this move is really worth practicing as doing so will have your body feeling all the more relaxed. Starting on all fours, reach your right hand under your left arm until the shoulder is touching the ground. Hold the move for 30 seconds, reaching as high upwards with your left arm as you can. Return to the start, switch sides and repeat the move another 3 times. You will be destressed before you know it!

Heel Drop

Designed to stretch out that hard to reach area of your foot, this stretch is incredibly effective and will have you feeling all the more loose. Standing with your feet a hip’s width apart, face your body opposite a sturdy block or step. Now, place the ball of your right foot on the edge of the step and gently straighten out your leg so that your heel is positioned towards the floor. Hold on for balance if you need, staying in place for 30 seconds before moving on to the other side.

Hip Flexor

Your legs might have a tendency of tightening up, especially after having been put through their paces. If your hefty exercise regime is getting on top of your muscles, it’s worth looking to a deep quad stretch in order to keep things limber and light. That’s where the hip flexor comes in. Easy to pick up and effective, the move will have your legs a whole lot more supple in practically no time at all. Start off kneeling on the floor with both knees bent, keeping your shins in front of you. Now, lunge your right leg forward so that your knee is at a 90 degree angle and your foot is flat on the floor. Place both hands on top of your right knee and apply a light amount of pressure. Hold the pose for 30 seconds before repeating again on the other side.

These Five Major Milestones Can Make You Lose Weight

If you thought that life was designed just to make you gain weight, you might not be as wrong as you had thought. Getting an office job, having kids and aging can all cause you to pile on more pounds than you had bargained for and once they’re on, they can be relatively hard to shift. If you prepare yourself, however, you can turn any milestones around and make it an opportunity to get in better shape than ever before. Any of these life events can become part of your reality at some point or another, and it pays to prepare yourself for their potential arrival. Knowing how you’re going to tackle the life change can make you all the healthier and happier.

You Got A Promotion

So you got promoted. Congratulations! After all the celebrations and congratulations have finished, the reality of your career change might begin to set it, along with all the associated adjustments. If you’re climbing the ladder, you’re more likely to be working longer hours and can suffer from greater feelings of stress as a result. To offset the changes of a more stressful career, try and incorporating physical activity into your day. Get up and move around from your desk at least once every half an hour. Try enrolling in a lunchtime yoga class or relaxing with a little yoga. Acknowledging the changes you’re going through and adapting your routine as necessary can make all the difference.

You Got Fired

Losing your income and sense of security is bound to play havoc with your daily lifestyle. The stress of losing a job can easily lead to weight gain which in turn can begin to have negative ramifications for your self esteem. If you got laid off and you’re looking to make a positive change, try starting with your health routine. Ensuring that you’re getting a little light exercise each day will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night which in turn will assure that you feel rested enough to begin your job search. You can take care of yourself by moving around more.

You Moved In With Your Partner

Moving in with your significant other is a rollercoaster of different emotions. While the emphasis might be on personal happiness, however, few people stop to think about how the move might affect their health. Living with another person will cause a change in your diet, so be prepared to have a conversation about food. Drawing up a weekly grocery list with your partner can make it easier to choose the right kinds of things on your shopping run, meaning that you will be less tempted by unhealthy treats. Getting into an eating routine with your significant other might take some getting used to but you can get there if you work together.

You’re Going On Vacation

Vacation is that time of the year that we all look forward to. An opportunity to sit back, relax and forget about the stresses of everyday life, holidays can cause us to completely lose our inhibitions, which in turn can lead us to pile on the pounds. If you want to stay healthy on your next trip away, try planning ahead. The main contender to focus on is booze. Try drinking every other day to cut down on the amount of empty calories you’re taking in. If you can, cooking in every other night can also help you to make healthier eating choices, putting you in charge of the kitchen.

You Had A Baby

If you choose to become a parent, your life is guaranteed to change forever. With a new child taking up a great deal of your time and attention, you might be more tempted to focus on convenience foods to cut down on preparation time. Processed foods are packed full of sugar, salt and other nasties, however, that can cause an increase in your waistline faster than you might have thought. Try not to let your child dictate what you’re eating. As much as you can, cooking in advance and in bulk can make mealtimes that much easier. Stocking up your freezer is seriously going to help you out, making it easier to defrost something you made earlier.

Sunday Dreaming: Healthy Tips For The End Of The Week

Getting stuck into a healthy lifestyle begins with your week. While Monday might feel like the time in which you naturally turn a page, putting new things into action, it is Sunday on which you can really make the right kind of changes to your lifestyle. Both the end of one week and the start of another, Sunday is a bridge day, giving you the chance to both contemplate on what you’ve already done and make a plan about what you aim to do. Using the day as a way to implement healthy goals can help you to make the very best out of each working week, seeing you on the road to a more balanced lifestyle faster than you might have thought!

These tips will help you to lose weight, stick to an exercise routine and eat right, everyday. It’s time to use Sunday to its very best purpose.

Schedule Your Workouts

While having an idea of when you’re going to work out is all well and good, you can go one better by getting even more specific about your planning. Using Sunday as a way to schedule in and plan each workout can help you to set out the rest of your schedule, stick to a routine and find real time in which to exercise. Take the morning or evening as an opportunity to look through your favorite activities and sign up for an exercise class. You can try sending a message out to a few of your friends, too, roping in a group for an early morning workout.

Put On A Load

Monday should be started on a clean slate, so try and use your Sunday as a way of getting all of those lingering household chores done. If you know that you’re going to need certain items of clothing for the week, ensure that you put on a laundry load on Sunday to give yourself time to prepare for the days ahead. Starting the week with an empty laundry basket can have a bigger impact on your well being than you might have thought, making you feel all the lighter and less stressed.

Pack Up Your Things

Are there things that you are absolutely going to need during the week? Rather than having a midmorning panic about finding everything, why not use Sunday as a way to prepare all of your things for the week? Packing your workout bag will make getting up and out of the door a whole lot more easy in the morning. If you want to go one further about the whole thing, you can try using the day as a way of getting ahead on your cooking and prepare yourself a couple of batch meals. Store what you don’t eat in individually-sized tubs and keep them in your freezer for later.

Prepare Your Lunch

While making up a sandwich for everyday of the week might not be possible, there are ways that you can get ahead on your meal planning. Opting for salads and soups is a great way to stay full and cut down on calories, helping you to make healthy choices at every meal time. Preparing your ingredients and storing them in seal tight containers will make putting together your lunch an incredibly quick process. You can follow this approach with a morning smoothie, keeping all of the chopped ingredients in a freezer bag, putting the whole thing in your blender in the morning.

Get Some Shut Eye

Although your Saturday might be all about getting things done and seeing friends, Sunday should focus on kicking back, getting your things in order and doing your body a little good. Rest and recuperation are essential parts of a healthy lifestyle, giving you the strength you need in order to avoid illness and keep going throughout the year. If you know that you’re going to have a busy working week ahead, it’s worth hitting the hay a little earlier on Sunday to ensure that you’re as well rested as possible to start Monday. If you’re not tired, try simply relaxing your body, turning off your phone and computer and picking up a good book. You will feel all the more refreshed for it.

Do These 6 Things Right Now For Better Health

Improving your health is about implementing small changes. Expecting to see results overnight is only going to leave you unmotivated and at a loss of what to do. If you’re serious about giving yourself the best chance of getting on a healthy lifestyle, you’ll look to the smallest detail of your everyday routine. Feeling in a rut is a great catalyst for getting into shape and even if you only make one small change, doing so can make it easier to carry on with the process. Getting into a healthy routine for the long haul is a question of making sustainable changes to the way you live and act. By incorporating these things into your everyday life, you can feel all the healthier for it and ultimately, see the results too.

Drink More Water

Maintaining proper hydration in your body is essential to your long term wellbeing. As well as negatively impacting your ability to concentrate and complete your work, dehydration can slow down your metabolism and leave you feeling a whole lot less energetic. When you’re on the go, try taking a liter bottle of water with you to sip throughout the day. Keeping a water container on your desk at work will encourage you to keep yourself hydrated and ensure you are getting your proper fill each day.

Schedule In Your Workouts

Balancing a hectic work/life schedule can make it seem impossible to dedicate enough time to getting into shape. In order to push yourself to your workout, you might want to turn to your calendar. Scheduling in your fitness routine, even if you’re going to be exercising alone, will give you more of a sense of motivation and obligation to keep going with it. Penciling out certain periods of time in your diary will keep weekly gaps free, helping you to take a little scheduled time out to focus on yourself.

Get To Bed Earlier

As well as moving your body adequately, getting enough rest is an essential part of good health. If you want to enjoy better energy, clearer skin and a healthier metabolism, you need to ensure that you’re getting a good quality of sleep every night. As much as you can, try to avoid screens and visual stimulation before going to bed at night. Take an hour out to finish your beauty routine, read a book and even meditate a little. You will feel so much more relaxed and will be able to drop off to sleep like a baby.

Write Up A Meal Plan

Even if you have the best of intentions, you’re less likely to make healthy eating choices if you don’t have an idea of what you’re going to prepare. Picking random bits from your fridge is all too common and by the end of a busy working day, you might simply search for convenience. In order to make the right eating choices, drawing up a weekly meal plan can be a great option. You can ensure that you have everything you need in your cupboards and even prepare some of your dinners in advance. It’s all about taking control.

Up Your Nutrition Intake

Healthy eating is all about getting the right mix of the essential dietary nutrients. Simply committing yourself to a low fat diet isn’t enough; you need to ensure you’re including vitamin rich foods in order to get the benefits. When you’re writing out your meal plan, ensure you’re choosing high fiber recipes that have a hearty serving of greens. It’s also important that you get the right kind of fats in your diet, so while you might cut out saturated fats, make sure you’re still eating nuts, oily fish and eggs. Cutting out food groups entirely is never a healthy program to follow.

Take It Outside

Whether you’re going for a walk, taking in the air or exercising your body, getting outside is an essential part of following a healthy lifestyle. Being close to nature can help to improve your mental health and give you a chance to decompress from the day’s tensions. Getting out and about on your lunchbreak is a fantastic idea and if you can, it’s worth searching for a park. A healthy lifestyle is all about a positive mindset, so make sure you’re nurturing your brain, too.

Lose Weight Without Taking On A New Lifestyle

How can you lose more weight without making drastic changes to your lifestyle? It’s something that all people on a health kick want to know and yet, up until this point, there has been a serious lack of information on the subject. While following a healthy diet and exercising sufficiently are the best way to go about shifting the pounds, there are a number of small tweaks you can make in order to up your chances of success. These healthy tips won’t interfere with your existing lifestyle, letting you go about your business as normal. If you’re really going to lose weight, you want to make sure that it’s going to stay off for the long haul.

Start Your Meals With Water

While you should always drink water with your meals, you can boost your hydration levels before you eat in order to ensure that you don’t over-consume at dinner time. Liquids fill out your stomach, meaning that you will eat less in order to feel full. While you shouldn’t use water as a way of replacing your meals, you can ever so slightly up your intake of the stuff in order to eat that little bit less.

Focus On Portion Control

When it comes to losing weight, it really is all about what you’re eating. Measuring out your ingredients and snacks before you eat them can really help you to gain control of what you’re putting in your body and avoid overeating. It might take a while to get used to in the beginning but before long, the right portion sizes will become second nature to you.

Keep On Eating

It might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to lose weight, but maintaining constant eating habits throughout the day can actually help you to stay more healthy. Going too long without eating can cause your blood sugar levels to crash and you to turn to high energy, high sugar foods in order to get it back up. Consistently staggering your meals throughout the day will prevent your blood sugar levels from getting too low, making it easier for you to choose healthier eating habits as you go.

Choose High-Protein, High-Fiber Foods

When you’re planning your meals, it’s a good idea to go with specific ingredients in order to stay healthier. High fiber, high protein foods will keep you fuller for longer throughout the day, helping to keep your blood sugar level at a constant in between meals. Foods that are rich in both protein and fiber also tend to be more filling than other varieties, meaning that you will feel satisfied all the more quickly.

Make A Light, Early Dinner

Your dinner can have a huge effect over how you feel for the rest of the night. In general, eating a lighter dinner earlier in the evening can make it easier for your body to digest the food that you’ve taken in, helping you to feel healthier in the morning. Keeping your dinner to an earlier hour will ensure that you don’t have digestive issues during the night, making it all the easier for you to get a better night’s sleep.

Turn In Early

Your sleep has a huge effect on the state of your health. Making sure you’re getting enough shut eye during the night can make it all the simpler for you to keep up healthier lifestyle choices and stick to a balanced diet. The more rested you are, the less that you will feel you need to turn to high calorie, high sugar products in order to keep going. You will have more energy for your workouts and be able to burn more calories over the course of time.

Switch Up Your Dessert

Cutting out all unhealthy options might seem like a good way to go with your diet but pretty soon, your limited intake of food will cause you to make bad eating decisions. If you’re struggling to fight your cravings but want to keep healthy eating habits, it’s worth adapting your existing diet. Instead of preventing yourself from eating something sweet after a meal, try opting for a square or two of dark chocolate. You will get a taste of something sugary without going overboard with your treat.

Wave Goodbye To Back Pain With These Posture Improving Moves

Bad posture habits can soon become a real pain. If you fail to sit in the right position throughout the day, you risk doing your back some serious harm and over time, you can really start to feel the consequences. Fixing your back starts with your fitness routine and once you start to make a few changes to your routine, you can seriously notice the difference. Improving your posture all starts with building up your strength. By focusing your attention on certain daily habits, you can start to hold yourself up higher and feel all the benefits. These toning tips are for more than just looking good and once you make them a part of your daily routine, you might wonder how you ever did without them in the first place.

Stretch and Go

The state of your physical health plays a huge role in the health of your emotional wellbeing. Taking proper care of your body feeds into every part of your normal life, helping to make even the most mundane of tasks a whole lot more easy. If going to the gym to workout doesn’t appeal to you, there are hundred of other choices out there, targeted towards different areas of your fitness. If you’re starting off with focusing on your posture, there are a number of simple routines that you can get under your belt in order to make the task a whole lot more easy. Shoulder rolls, chest releases and side bends will all help to tone up your core muscle groups and make holding yourself tall that bit easier. You can improve your health in baby steps and see all the positive effects it can have.

Turn To Technology

We’re a generation of slouchers. Never before have some many people had so many back and neck problems and the issue comes largely down to the fact that so few of us are able to hold our bodies in the right way. Slouching has been described as the smoking of our generation and if you do it for too long, you might start to notice adverse side effects. If you’re struggling to hold yourself up straight in the office, however, there are a number of ways to get around the problem. You can try to make the move to a standing desk like so many others, making it easier to elongate the spine. You might also like to try your hand at muscle stimulation technology, which is designed to monitor your sitting posture. Used alongside exercise, these tools can help you to understand more about the way you hold yourself and how you can improve it.

Sit Up Straight

Practicing good working posture can make all the difference to how you feel at the end of the day. Getting into the habit of holding yourself up straight will make perfecting your posture a whole lot easier, improving the strength of your muscles at the same time. Your natural sitting pose is the best for your back, helping to keep your spine and joints pressure free over stretches of time. You should hold yourself in a position that is straight but comfortable to keep up for some time. Try and maintain a 90 degree angle between your arms and your keyboard so that you don’t have to lean forwards in order to work. Your screen should also be at the right height so that you avoid craning upwards to read what you’re writing. Experiment with the angling of your equipment and lock things in place.

Breathe Deeply

Practicing meditation can work wonders for both your physical and mental wellbeing. If you’re practicing bad posture, you’re more likely to suffer from shallow, insufficient breathing as your body lacks the space in which to take really deep breaths. Bad posture and bad breathing are interconnected and over time, they can take a toll on your general health. Breathing practices and meditation can seriously help to turn things around, however. Sitting on a yoga mat, place both of your hands on your diaphragm, in the center below your lungs. Using your hands as a guide, breathe in to extend the diaphragm, feeling it move as you do so. As you exhale, your diaphragm should become move inwards, expelling the air from your body. Holding your body straight will allow you to breathe deeply like this, making it simpler to extend the diaphragm. Practicing this technique once a day can help you to get into better posture practices, making it easier to hold yourself in the right way.

5 Bedtime Yoga Poses For Better Health

Struggle to destress before going to bed? It might be time to incorporate yoga into your routine. Naturally relaxing, yoga exercises are centered around deep breathing, increasing the saturation of oxygen around the body. Despite the fact that sleeping naturally relaxes your body, going to bed is not always enough for you to switch off entirely from the day’s tensions. Practicing yoga in your bed just before you turn off the lights can help to give your body a good stretching and release any anxieties you might be carrying from the day. By making this a part of your nightly routine, you will be able to switch off without a second thought!

Child’s Pose

One of the most relaxing positions in yoga, the child’s pose is great to stretch out your back and neck. If you’re working long hours in front of a computer, you’re likely to carry a great deal of tension in this area and over time, it can really start to affect the strength and flexibility of your muscles. Sitting on your heels, slowly reach forwards with your arms, stretching them flat out in front of you. Hold the pose for a few counts, breathing deeply as you do so. While your chest and back get a good stretching, you will be able to let your problems dissipate and let go of any tensions. Focusing on your breathing can enhance your respiration skills, making it easier for you to practice calming breathing throughout the day.

Thread The Needle Pose

While it might look like a strange pose to master, thread the needle can work serious wonders on your lower body muscles, so it pays to get it under control. In order to get into position, you need to begin on your hands and knees, letting your head hang naturally downwards. Exhaling at the same time, thread your right arm under your left arm, facing your palm upwards. Rest your right ear against your pillow and look towards your left side. As you get into the pose, relax your lower back, letting all of your tension fade away. Breathe deeply on this side and then repeat on the opposite side of your body. The pose will gently open up your upper back and chest muscles, detoxify your upper body and send oxygenated blood to your extremities.

Supta Virasana

If you struggle from digestive issues, the supta virasana can help to boost blood flow to the tummy area, easing any tension you might be carrying. To pull off this move, begin sitting on your heels. Slowly, ease your body back onto the bed behind you, using your elbows to support your back and core as you relax down. Once you’re supine on the bed, stretch your arms out above your head and relax your head on your pillow. Hold the pose for up to one minute, breathing steadily and deeply as you do so. The supta virasana can help to improve digestion, as well as stretching smaller tendons and ligaments in the legs. If you suffer from leg issues, this pose can seriously help you out.

Savasana

The ultimate in relaxing yoga poses, the savasana can really send you off to sleep. To perform savasana, you need to be lying on your back. Spread your feet ever so slightly apart in front of you and keep your arms at your sides, palms facing upwards. Tightening the muscles in your legs, gently lift them off the floor, inhaling as you do so. When you exhale, release the tension in your muscles and slowly pivot your legs to the ground. Performing this pose can help to release stress, reduce fatigue and generally calm the mind.

Jathara Parivartanasana

While it might be a mouthful to pronounce, jathara parivartanasana is worth getting under your belt simply for the health benefits it can hold for the body. Lying on your back, gently draw your knees together, using your hands as a way of support. Bring your knees together and position them towards your left side, keeping your arms stretched out flat. Breathe deeply in this position before switching your body to the opposite side. The pose can help to boost your digestion, improve your posture and release any tension you might be carrying in your lower back. You’ll be feeling better before you know it!

Want To Get In Shape? Here’s How To Fall In Love With Running

How do you like to work out? We all have our own methods and whether we like them or not, we tend to stick to what we already know. It turns out, however, loving how you work out can make all the difference to your fitness routine. Many of us turn to running as a quick and effective way of getting into shape, without really knowing what we’re doing. Before long, we might be sick of the whole thing, begrudgingly sticking to our schedule without really loving what we’re doing. Getting into running takes a little time and effort but by switching up your exercising approach, you can really begin to fall in love with the exercise. Once you persevere and build up your fitness levels, there will be no stopping you!

Test Your Mind

The biggest thing getting in the way of your ability to succeed in the running field is your mind. Getting over your mental barrier is the first challenge that you’ll experience, so try to get into the act with a gameplan in place. If you feel like you simply can’t keep on going, will yourself to take a few more steps before you stop. While you might need to slow down the pace if you’re feeling tired, keeping your legs moving is the best thing that you can do. The first run might be painful, but the next one will feel all the more easy.

Sign Up For An Unusual Race

Running without a purpose can be a hard pill to swallow. If you’re getting into the activity for the first time, try giving yourself a fun challenge in order to motivate yourself. While signing up for a short running race can serve you well, seeking out an obstacle course can be even better for your motivation. Obstacle races are a great way of letting loose, testing your fitness and boosting your confidence levels. Training with the challenge in mind will add a little extra interest into your workout sessions and help you to keep going for that bit longer.

Use It As Stress Relief

One of the best things about exercise is its ability to help you destress. If you’ve had a hard day at the office, try searching for your running shoes rather than reaching for that bottle of wine. Even if you go for a short sprint, you can effectively work through what’s bothering you and get rid of any leftover anxiety from the day. Longer runs can serve as great fuel to run through more complex problems and come to a solid decision. Running will help your body to get into shape, but it can help out your mind a great deal more.

Explore Your Local Area

Want to get to know a new area? Running is a great way in which to do so. If you’ve just moved somewhere for the first time, jogging around new neighborhoods can make it much easier to get a lay of the land. Look at a map before you go and aim to run down a new set of streets each time you head out. Similarly, if you’ve been living in a place for a long time already, try and use the activity in order to expand your understanding of the city. Aiming to explore new places for later can really fuel your running fire, giving you the motivation to go further each time you head out!

Track Your Progress

If you’re heading out without any idea of how far you’re going or how fast you’ve been running, it’s easy to lose all forms of motivation. In order to give yourself fuel for the next run, try downloading an activity tracker in order to keep count of your progress. Running apps will collect all of your data, helping you to understand your speed over a period of time and any personal bests you might have set. Each time you go a little faster, celebrate your achievement. It will be a great push to go a little faster the next time.

Watch Other People Running

Need a good excuse to get on your running shoes? Let other runners be your motivation! Going to watch a marathon can be a great way of motivating yourself to keep going with your own training. Seeing why others are running and who they’re doing it for can really help you to fall in love with the sport. It’s not always just about getting into shape.