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No More Back Pain! 3 Core Moves that Help End Aches

What is all the fuss about having a strong core? Yes, of course we all want a smokin’ hot six pack, but is there a real benefit to tightening your tummy beyond the aesthetic? Short answer: Yes. And a lot of it has to do with having a healthier, stronger center and a less achey lower back.

back pain

Strong core muscles make it so much easier to do many of our daily physical activities—such as running errands, doing household chores, and moving every which way. When you use your core to bend, lift, twist, and reach you safeguard your lower back, shifting weight off of your spine and onto your abs and the muscles of your back.

Core exercises strengthen your abdominals, back muscles, obliques (sides), and muscles around the pelvis. But this doesn’t mean do a million crunches! That can only promise a sore back. What should you do instead?

Here are three exercises to do daily as you work toward a stronger core and a happier lower back:
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The Home Exercise Equipment You Shouldn’t Live Without

If you have the time, money, and access to a convenient gym, it’s a great place to get in shape and stay that way. However, with a relatively small investment, you can create your own gym environment at home and ultimately save time, money, and accessibility. All you really need are a few basic pieces of equipment that will focus on cardio and strength training.

home gym

Having a home gym filled with the right equipment can save you hundreds of dollars a year in gym fees, babysitting services, and even cute gym clothes! Let’s face it ladies, most of us have the gym outfit and then the home gym outfit and I’m guessing the home gym outfit is way more comfy.

Clear the ping pong table out of the way and declare that corner of the basement yours. Add the following gym staples and you’ve got your own circuit training course that can be done any time of day, in any weather. Bonus reason for the home gym? If your exercise playlist includes a heavy metal, smooth jazz, country music shuffle, you just take out the headphones and crank it right up.

Must-Have Home Gym Equipment List

Elliptical: Easy on the joints and limbs, this home cross trainer mimics stair-climbing, walking and running. With the touch of a button you can go from slow crawl to an intense workout. You have the power to challenge yourself every time you step on.
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Get Your Run On: 6 Races to Add to Your Bucket List

So you want to run a race. Sure, there are probably a number of local runs in your home town, from a charity 5K fun run to full and half marathons. But if you’re going to put in the time to train to run a race, why not commit to running one to remember?  There are dozens of races held in fun and unexpected location and with themes that will make the whole experience even more fun, and unforgettable.

Our friends at Shape magazine have compiled lists of the best spring races and the best women’s races. Below is a sneak peak of our favorite 6. (Click the links to see the other 14!)

 

tinkerbell-half-700

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Men are technically allowed at this Florida event, which has a Tinkerbell-themed sister run at the southern California park, but it’s clear that women rule the road for this one. You can run a 5K, 10K, or half marathon; costumes are, of course, encouraged. (February 2015)


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9 Signs You’re Addicted to Indoor Cycling

Whether you cycle at the gym or at a cycling specific studio like Soul Cycle or Flywheel Sports, there’s a good chance you’ll go from amateur to addict after a few short sessions. Here are the telltale signs you’ve already made the transition:

cycling shoes

  1. You carry cycling shoes in your purse. Just in case your dinner date cancels/your lunch hour frees up/your favorite instructor announces he’s subbing that afternoon.
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Michael Phelps’ Most Inspiring Quotes Could Lure Anyone Back Out of Retirement

Who could have predicted that 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps would get back in the pool after retirement? Just about anyone! It seemed too soon for the now 28-year-old swimmer, also known as the greatest Olympian of all time, to end his competitive swimming career, but he did just that after breaking every record imaginable at the 2012 London Games.

ABC News reported that Phelps is headed back to the water. “Phelps will compete for the first time since the 2012 London Games at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on April 24-26,” they wrote. His coach says he’ll be competing in only three events to “test the waters” and “see how it goes.” His team is downplaying the return, suggesting it’s far from a full-fledged comeback.

Regardless, Phelps fans the world over are rejoicing at the possibility of seeing him compete in two years at the Games in Rio. No one knows better than him that there’s no time like the present to focus and prioritize your training for your goals.

Need a bit of Phelps-mania inspiration? Here are some words taken straight from this athletic giants’ gold-biting mouth!

Phelps Goals Quote

Phelps Impossible Quote
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