Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Reclaiming core fitness.



It is not just about abs.



It is a general perception to associate core strength with a flat belly or a six pack abs. However, that is not the exact case. Core strength can be built regardless of how your mid-section looks, but a flat abdomen is an added benefit of working those core muscles.
A flat belly or six-pack abs, may be motivating goals to you, but there are so many more benefits that come from improving core strength than how your midsection looks, including improved posture, better balance, reduced back pain and easier breathing.

What are Core Muscles?
It is interesting to know that your core muscles go far beyond your abs. Core muscles form the trunk of the body, which include abdominal muscles or abs, oblique (sides), mid and lower back. They work in tandem to stabilize the body and support the spine. They are important because they not only make the body strong; core muscles support the load of movements we need every day- whether it is carrying the baby, standing for long hauls or reaching out to a shelf. If core muscles are weak, you are more prone to back pain, spinal problems, injuries etc.  

Strengthen your core and you'll firm and tone muscles in your back, sides, pelvis, abdomen, and butt that are critical for every move you make, from bending and reaching to twisting and standing. What's the difference between "regular" and "gentle" core exercises? Gentle core exercises are specially designed for people who aren't up to tackling regular core exercises, perhaps because they are out of shape, or possibly due to an injury or health problem. 


Core strength and flexibility are so important to your health. Regular exercises that gently work your core can help in the long run. A strong core improves balances and stability. Thus, helping in evading falls and injuries during sports and other activities. Core exercises are generally neglected with the performance of the usual sit-ups or pushups. However, this should not be the case as core strength reinforces all your bodily activities. Here are some reasons as to why you should focus on core fitness as well;

·         Relieves Back Pain: Research has proved that people are prone to increased risk of back injury and ache if they have weak core muscles. A weak core means lack of adequate spine support. Strengthening your core with exercise, yoga and Pilates means reducing discomfort, better mobility and support for the spine for patients suffering from acute and chronic pain. 

·         Improves Posture: A stronger core gives you better posture for sitting and standing. This also aids in reducing risk of disc herniation and vertebrae degeneration. Better posture also helps in breathing better.

·         Better Athletic Performance: Every sports or related activity relies heavily on your core strength for performance. A stronger core will give you the agility and forte needed to be a well-rounded athlete.

·         Improved Balance: Poor balance is a complicated condition, but lower body weakness, vestibular dysfunction and neurological deficits are often contributing factors. Studies have shown that dynamic balance improves as core strength increases.
·         Safer Everyday Movement: Daily mundane activities and tasks—such as maintaining balance on an icy sidewalk, carrying groceries, hoisting children and walking up a steep flight of stairs—are easier and less likely to result in an injury when you core is strong. Not only do you have better control of your muscles, but you can more easily find your center if you’re caught off-balance. In addition, being able to depend on a strong core will make it less likely that you’ll overtax other muscles.

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