1) A Powerful Core Means a Powerful Body
I can’t even begin to describe just how critical it is for any athlete to have a strong core. A strong core helps athletes out immensely in strength and contact sports like football. For instance, skilled positions like wide receiver and defensive backs need a steady core for speed and quick-twitch muscle movements. More on its role in sports down below.
Core Health’s Role In Physical Activity
In tennis and golf, the core is needed for trunk rotations swing timing. For MMA fighters, the core is the center of strength, balance, and guard. Put simply: it’s pretty damn important for maximum function for most physical activities. Furthermore, you use your core in almost every body workout or exercise anyway. This means you probably already have more of a foundation to start with than you think.
Quick tip: DON’T go home and overdue it on the crunches. Although crunches do harden your ab muscles, the movement doesn’t necessarily strengthen them. Also, studies have shown that the movement for crunches is not good for the spine; a repetitive motion of this nature could lead to extensive damage.
Instead, aim for more exercises with balancing motions. Try timing yourself with planks if you don’t have anyone holding your feet for conventional sit-ups.
Everyday Exercises That Strengthen The Core When Done Properly
With those tips in mind, the real way to truly add functional strength to your core is through these simple body weight exercises:
How? With each of these workouts, tighten your abs as if you’re bracing to be hit in the gut. Your core is the center link that connects all the major muscles in your body. Tightening them during exercises not only strengthens your abs but also activates, strengthens and maximizes the muscles in play. It’s also a mechanism to protect our spines from serious injury, and if your back is straight and your core is tight during an exercise, then chances are your form is right, and therefore, you’re doing the exercise right.
Also noteworthy is that it’s a mechanism to protect our spines from serious injury. If your back is straight and your core is tight during an exercise, then chances are your form is right. Therefore it would be safe to say you’re likely doing the exercise right. This is another reason core care is so critical to our health.
2) The Core is One of Many Active Beacons Indicating Your Overall Health
Another reason core care is important is that it’s a good indicator of your overall healthThe midsection is one of the first places you’ll exhibit symptoms if there is an outside intruder in your body. Nasty microorganisms sneak their ways inside our bodies more so than we would like to think. Harmful viruses and bacteria can enter our systems through the mouth or nasal cavity. From there they travel down through our digestive system.
Here they interact with our own natural microbiome in our guts, the “good” bacteria. This could upset our stomach and trigger physiological responses like aches, vomiting and/or diarrhea depending on the microscopic varmint intruding.
Sometimes, it literally comes down to listening to your gut.
When I first got Pneumonia in October 2016, I was exhibiting many symptoms of the flu. I don’t like going to the doctor and would rather treat myself at home with natural remedies. This time, however, it was different. I was experiencing both diarrhea and throwing up to a point where I couldn’t keep food or fluids down. Not being able to nourish my body properly was enough for me to finally visit an urgent care and get treatment.
It’s important to note that it wasn’t the coughing or the fevers that prompted me to seek medical attention; it was the issues and red flags at the core of my body. The reason for that is because my livelihood depends on my gut’s ability to digest and absorb the food I eat. If my body isn’t keeping food down, obviously I’m not absorbing it. This literally makes it impossible for me to maintain my overall health.
3) A Healthy Core Is Also A Healthy Metabolism
Functions such as digesting, absorbing, and filtering nutrients create energy. As a result, our core serves as an internal furnace assisting in the regulation of our metabolisms. When we combine healthy eating and lifestyle habits with exercise, our core can function at its optimal level. Here are a few things you can try that strengthen your gut microbiome, regulating your digestive system and ultimately your metabolism:
- Lemon water in the morning. This moistens your digestive organs, activating their juices and enzymes for digestion.
- Taking fish oil pills. Omega 3 is a known good fat that also aids in helping your gut flora thrive. Dr. Tobias Omega 3 pills are a goods source.
- Eating vegetables. Vegetables like your dark, leafy greens have antioxidants and other nutrients that activate your digestive juices while also strengthening your digestive immunity.
- Herbs, mushrooms and spices. Spices like turmeric used in many Indian cuisines, garlic, and ginger are magnificent anti-inflammatory foods. They reduce inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract resulting from illness or physiological symptoms of stress.
- Probiotics. Probiotics are foods and supplements with healthy bacteria cultures in them used to increase the healthy cultures in your gut. For more in-depth information on probiotics and some good supplements to try, take a look at my blog post on it here.
It’s important to combine these core-healthy lifestyle habits with exercise as well to further stimulate a balanced metabolism as well as to maintain your overall health.
Go With Your Gut My Friend
Of all the areas of the body to take a particular health interest to, the core is my favorite. Core care is intertwined in so many areas of our life. A strong core is vital for exercise, sports, and daily activity. It also reduces chances of spinal damage.
A healthy core with the right foods and nutrients going into it can help prevent illness as well as regulate our metabolism and subsequently our weight. It tells us when something is wrong with us, whether that’s through inflammation as a result of stress or from antigens. With all of these vital things that a healthy, strong core can do, it’s safe to say that it’s best to go with your gut in terms of maintaining good health.
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