To put it simply, hydration is very important for your body before, during, and after your workout. Nothing will drain you faster than when you carry out your fitness routine on a “dry stomach.” After all, your muscles are 75 percent water!
For each 1 percent of body weight that is lost due to dehydration, your performance suffers by 2 percent. Losing just 2 percent of your body's water weight results in the following:
That’s not what peak performance looks like, does it? Of course not! So how much fluid do you really need and what should your drink look like? What do you need to know when it comes to workout hydration? To make it easy for you, I’ll list the 5 reasons why fluid intake is key to your optimal performance and health.
1. Energy boost: When you’re dehydrated, you’ll often feel tired or unmotivated. This is caused by a drop in your blood pressure. When this happens, your heart is working overtime to keep your system oxygenated and functioning. The blood doesn’t reach your brain as quickly which contributes to that tired feeling you get. Drink some water for a little pep in your step!
2. Muscle Repair: Hydration is essential for protein synthesis. When you work out, tiny microscopic tears form on and within your muscles. But don’t be alarmed. This is completely normal! After these rips occur, your muscle is rebuilt via protein synthesis which is dependent on your hydration level. Now get big and go home with a nice jug of water!
3. Injury Prevention: Science has shown that even a small amount of fluid loss (3 to 4 percent) can increase your risk of injury. Having water before exercise can provide you with an extra pump and decrease the time you need to recover between sets.
4. Warm or Cold, doesn't Matter: Contrary to popular belief, your body doesn’t absorb warmer liquid easier than cold ones. Breathe easy knowing that any temperature is the best temperature… Unless it’s hot outside. Drinking cooler water can keep your core body temperature down, and the fire in your belly alive so you can push yourself up and onward.
5. Carb Up: Carbohydrates are great for energy, stamina, concentration, and recovery. You can eat some before your workout (~25 grams 1 ½ - 2 hours before) for that extra boost but don’t worry about including carbs in your drink if you’re working out for less than 60 minutes. For any time longer, you’ll want to pack an extra Gatorade or another carb-filled drink.
Remember, when you’re thirsty, it may already be too late! You should always try to keep your fluid intake consistent across the board. This means that you shouldn’t wait until your tank is empty before filling it all the way up again. You should drink about 8 cups of water per day and about 1 cup of water every 20 minutes during your workout to achieve maximum fighting power.
Water bottle bottoms up!
Laptops are amazing devices that allow you to take your work or entertainment anywhere you go. Can you believe that this portable piece of equipment which can comfortably fit on your lap used to be the size of a building? It’s safe to say that we’ve come a long way. In the past several years, laptops have become lighter, faster, and more jam packed with features than ever before.
Yet despite the many benefits they bring to our lives, laptops are the source of many health problems.
These issues generally stem from poor posture. As time goes by, you may forget about body composure and so unless you are constantly aware of your body movement, breathing, blinking and remember to consistently break up static contraction, you’ll eventually start paying the price.
Here are 8 ways a laptop can inflict havoc on your body:
1. Slouching as you type away affects thoracic curvature (kyphosis), causing you to lose thorax extension. This “C-shape” posture increases the stress on the joints and discs of the spine. You’ll have a harder time rotating your torso, meaning your lower back needs to work harder to compensate.
2. You won’t be able to breathe as well if you’re hunched over. Your chest can’t expand as much so you’re essentially limiting your oxygen intake. *Here's a test so you can understand what I'm talking about: Try taking a deep breath when slouching. Now do the same thing with a straight posture. Can you feel the difference?
3. That breathing impairment forces you to use your deep neck flexors, (the scalene muscles) as accessory muscles. They become short, tight, and can contribute to pain, tingling, and numbness in your arms, upper back, axilla, and forearm.
4. Slouching causes your shoulders to round forwards. This is a major cause of altered shoulder mechanics. Instead of your shoulders moving freely, Your humerus will grind against your tendons and bursa which may lead to impingement. In addition, increased kyphosis of your thoracic spine will seriously limit your capacity to raise your arms above your head.
5. Your head will jut forward as a result of the righting reflex. Even when you slouch, your eyes will naturally try to be level with the horizon which causes you to lift your chin while “crunching” your suboccipital muscles. AKA the perfect recipe for headaches!
In addition, your “forward head” increases tension in your trapezius muscles. This puts them through hours of static contraction. Tight Traps will also contribute to tension headaches.
6. Your TMJ will feel the ill effects of this muscle related stress. A forward head will cause your jaw to jut forward, creating undue strain on your TMJ joint. This tension and a good amount of teeth clenching can cause a significant amount of pain.
7. Tight forearms (flexors and extensors) with ulnar deviation caused by poor posture. You can't possibly type with straight wrists (the proper way) when you’re hunched over! That constant deviation will increase stress on your forearm muscles, resulting in moderate discomfort at best.
8. Strained and dry eyes, a result of spending too much time looking at a screen. Not blinking enough and forgetting to make frequent distance adjustments is detrimental to your eye health.
You should always be aware of your posture when you use your laptop. Failure to do so will result in very preventable painful symptoms that’ll leave you feeling less than stellar. So take breaks every 20 minutes, move around, and stretch regularly.
Your body will thank you!
In this day and age, the average person is spending less time outdoors and more time indoors with their eyes glued to a glowing screen. We are undoubtedly becoming more sedentary than ever. Spending all day in front of a computer is bad enough. but once you throw in some long commute times and hours spent lounging on the couch, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. The risk of repetitive strain injury will continue to skyrocket unless you know the right ways to prevent this common condition.
One way to prevent RSI is to make sure you are sitting with proper body alignment. This will minimize the stress placed on your body due to poor posture.
This sounds like an easy solution but it’s more difficult than you might think since proper posture requires muscle recruitment (Meaning your muscles must contract and perform some work to maintain that good posture) and recruitment requires constant effort.
Often times, we end up tiring out since the muscles holding that upright posture are weak, eventually causing us to slouch.
So what kinds of havoc can slouching bring about to your body? Instead of using your muscles to hold yourself in a proper position, you rely on your ligaments the further you hunch over, resulting in one or more of the following problems:
As a solution to these issues caused by slouching, standing or adjustable desks have become more and more popular. But even standing for prolonged periods of time can become an issue. If you don’t adjust the desk to suit your needs, then this could possibly add unnecessary stress to your body. Always make sure your standing desk is at the correct height!
Quick Tip: You can place a small box under one of your feet when you are standing to help your lumbar spine. (If you’re questioning where you’ve seen this applied, have you ever noticed that railing you’ve rested your feet on while waiting for a bartender to serve you? Bar owners realized that their patrons would be more comfortable, stay longer, and order more drinks by simply resting their feet on that rail.) So if you’ve ever wondered what to do with that Yellow Pages book you have laying around, you can always use that as a foot rest. Otherwise, you can use anything that rests a few inches off the ground.
With all this being said, we’ve come to understand that prolonged sitting and standing is bad for you. So what are we to do if we’re not supposed to engage in either of those things?
The answer is to apply ergonomic principles while moving on a regular basis. Just remember:
Your best position is the next position!!!
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