Hello divas! I hope your week has gotten off to a great start. Mine has been slowing down a bit which is a great time to do some updating and planning for the fall (it’s just around the corner) and recovering from a busy June. I’ve also been staying indoors a lot because the heat and humidity has been horrid here in Tennessee.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that in the past I have shared the importance of cross-training. As a runner, it is so important to do OTHER fitness activities than JUST running. They give your muscles a chance to recover from your runs, work other parts of the body, build muscle and they can be a life saver when it is just too hot to actually go for a run.
My the weakest area I have hands down is my core. And many times we don’t consider how much we use the core on a daily basis. So when I consider what cross training activities to do, I always do at least a little bit of core work (yoga or PiYo is great for this!). Today I thought I would talk a little about your core and why it is so important to strengthen the core.
When I first started running, I focussed on the actual running part. I mean if I can’t make it a half a mile without being out of breath, I really need to work on that right? What I didn’t realize at the time is that there is so much more to being a good runner. Not only do you need to work on your actual running, but you need to be improve your strength through strength training and core work. So why is the core so important?
1. It Stabilizes Your Body
If you have ever taken a fitness class, you will have heard cues telling you the proper ways to do the exercises. Many times, this will include engaging your core. A strong core is a stabilizing force in your body. This stabilization will also help with balance when you are not working out and just doing everyday activities.
2. It Helps Improve Form
I don’t know about you, but when I get tired, I sometimes get lazy when it comes to form. This is true for a lot of exercises and workouts, but especially true when I am running. When running or working out, improper form can lead to a lot of bad things – including injuries. Proper form will also help your body to work more efficiently which will lessen the strain on your body.
3. It Helps Maintain a Healthy Back
Most people will have some sort of back pain at some point in their lives. And for some, lower back pain can be debilitating. A strong core will help take pressure off of your back when you are dong any activity, whether it is at work, home, working out or resting. It will also help with your posture which can help release tension in your back and shoulders.
4. It Helps Prevent Muscle Imbalances
At stated above, strengthening your core can help stabilize your body. During workouts a strong core will help you to maintain proper form. This allows you to work the muscles you are supposed to be working and preventing imbalances. After all, you are doing bicep curls to strengthen your arms, not tweak your back.
5. It Helps You Perform Daily Tasks More Easily
You may not realize how much you use your core on a day-to-day basis. Without the core, it would be challenging to get through your day and put things on a shelf or bend over to tie your shoe. The stronger your core, the less energy and effort you will use for these tasks.