One advice you will hear often from your trainer is that you need to work your core, even if you are slim. That’s redundant, right? I am slim, duh. I don’t need to work my abs. If you really think that, then I am sorry to inform you that you are wrong. A strong core is more than not having abdominal fat and strong abs; it also includes the muscles of the back and the glutes.
To be a fit individual, a strong core is a necessity. Your core muscles work in synergy with the muscles of the rest of the body, and things do really fall apart when the centre cannot hold. Improper alignment is often a result of a weak core, and it brings with a multitude of problems and can cause pains from the ankle to the neck.
Reasons To Build A Strong Core
When the skeletal structure is misaligned, the bones cannot support your weight efficiently and muscles have to work extra in order to support the body. This leads to tight and aching muscles, and injuries such as bone spurs, tendonitis and more in the long run.
The core muscles are engaged in almost all day to day activities such as getting out from the bed, bending down to pick up your shoes, wearing a pair of jeans, etc. Even sitting and standing require a well activated core!
The core’s importance is often neglected because we don’t pay enough attention to it unless and until we develop minor, or sometimes major, aches that hinder our activities.
Another reason is that before the ushering in of the machine age and technological boom, most work involved physical activity. Nowadays, work for many people entails sitting for 12 hours, which means that core muscles get less regular activity and become weak. This degeneration is often accelerated by improper posture.
Once these aches develop, they can become chronic if the root cause is not corrected. Chronic pain means that a lot of activities, from daily chores to recreational activities such as sports, are hampered.
Lower back pain is something which affects a majority of people at some time in their life. It is often debilitating and frustrating. A core strengthening routine is prescribed to all patients who complain of lower back pain.
Another important activity which is affected by a weak core is balance. The core muscles are required in all activities that require balancing; they stabilize the body and ensure that you don’t fall. Imagine wearing socks while standing because you are in a rush, a lot of people are injured while doing this mundane activity because they lose balance. A strong core will not only keep you away from aches and ensure that you can enjoy all kinds of activities, it will also make sure that you can count on your body to come through when required.
A core that works optimally can also keep the balance of your life in check; the pains that happen because of a weak core often destroy the balance of your life.
The weekend is spent nursing the pains instead of relaxing and engaging in activities that give you pleasure.
Good Core Workouts
Consider taking Pilates or Yoga lessons a few times a week; once you understand the basics and know how to work the muscles correctly, you can perform the exercises at home for a few minutes every day.
Some stretching after every half an hour of sitting will ensure that your muscles remain supple and pain free.