5 Reasons to Increase Your Core Strength
Your core is your body’s powerhouse. It is essential to facilitate your everyday movement, from getting out of bed, to walking up the stairs, to climbing up a mountain, and even laughing. If you have ever had a compromised core such as through abdominal surgery or even through an intense workout, you know how challenging it can be to get through your everyday tasks. Below are five important reasons to build your core strength for a stronger and healthier you.
1. Protects Your Back
A strong core protects your lower back. If you are experiencing lower back pain it is because you have been putting too much pressure on your spine. Many causes of lower back pain include bending forward without hinging from your hips or bending your knees, sitting for long periods of time, and hunching your back.
In order to develop a strong core you will need to engage your abdominal muscles throughout your daily movement. For example, when picking something up from the floor use the forward fold position. Remember to tighten your abdominal muscles, bend your knees, and hinge from your hips. Another option may be to switch out your desk chair for a medicine ball for a couple of hours in the day. This will alleviate pressure on the spine by engaging your core and upper back muscles.
2. Improves Your Posture
A strong core definitely improves your posture by allowing you to stand upright with wide shoulders. Having good posture supports bone and joint alignment so that your muscles are being used properly and efficiently. It decreases stress on the ligaments by holding the joints of the spine together and decreases the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces. It also prevents fatigue not only because the muscles are being used more efficiently thereby, expending less energy, but also because it allows you to breath better providing more oxygen throughout the body. Moreover, it prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions such as a hunchback as well as backache and muscular pain. Lastly, it exudes a sense of confidence and contributes to a healthy appearance. People will notice your stature and will likely be more impressed by you.
3. Shrinks Your Belly
Working out on your core will help to target that stubborn belly fat by increasing the muscles that burn fat. Remember that weight loss is only effective by maintaining a healthy diet filled with a balance of nutritious foods, lots of water, and consistent physical activity. You will be targeting muscle groups that will strengthen and tighten your abdomen that shrink the area around your waist. Now who wouldn't like that?!
4. Enables Better Balance
As the powerhouse of your body, a strong core is essential to achieving proper balance especially when working out. Better balance helps to improve gait (i.e., your manner of walking) as well as prevents injury when performing high intensity poses. Specifically when practicing yoga, it is essential to have proper alignment and balance in order to effectively achieve the poses within a sequence. This is true for all other exercises as well.
5. Increases Your Energy
The stronger your core the more stamina and endurance you will have. You will notice a shift in your energy because you will be using your muscles properly and efficiently as well as increasing your breath and blood flow. Having a strong core also protects your organs, veins, and arteries enabling them to work better as you move throughout the day.
For more information on how to strengthen your core, read my blog post on my Top 5 Yoga Poses for a Stronger Core.