Exercises to Relieve Sciatica Pain

Exercises to Relieve Sciatica Pain

If you suffer from lumbar radiculopathy, commonly known as “pain of sciatica”, do not miss this blog in which we explain what is the sciatic nerve, symptoms and possible causes of this discomfort with which it is associated, and what exercises can you help relieve discomfort.

Exercises to Relieve Sciatica Pain

What is “the pain of sciatica”

The popular term “sciatica pain” refers to a set of symptoms in the area of the sciatic nerve: the longest nerve in the body. It begins as a bundle of nerve fibers in the lower part of the spine and continues down the back of the legs until it reaches the toes. Some diseases in the lower back can irritate the sciatic nerve and cause the pain to radiate along. These symptoms are known as “sciatica” or, properly speaking, lumbar radiculopathy.

The 6 most common causes of sciatica pain

Due to the complex anatomy of the sciatic nerve, the symptoms are different, since they depend on the irritated area. For this reason, it is important to understand what is the underlying cause of pain and we have also described pain management techniques. Below, we describe 6 problems in the lower back that are usually the cause of this condition:

  1. Lumbar disc herniation. Between the vertebrae of the spine, there are fibrous discs, which contain a pulpy mass. If the substance leaks, or moves, towards the external fibrous structure, then it irritates or pinches the adjacent nerve root. The most common symptom of a herniated disc is sciatica pain.
  2. Degenerative disc disease. Although this condition is typical of the aging of the spine, some people have more deteriorated discs in the lower back. This can irritate the root of a nerve and cause sciatica pain.
  3. Isthmic spondylolisthesis. This disease appears when a vertebra slides forward over the one below. In this movement, the nerve can pinch and cause sciatica pain.
  4. Stenosis of the lumbar canal. It happens when the nerves of the legs and the spinal cord are trapped in the back. It can be due to the increase in the size of the ligaments of the spine, the excessive growth of soft tissue or a protruding disc that exerts pressure on the roots of the nerve and causes sciatica pain.
  5. Piriformis syndrome. It happens when the piriformis muscle, which is located in the area of ​​the buttocks, has spasms and causes pain. If this muscle irritates or pinches the root of a nerve linked to the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain similar to sciatica pain. Although it is not a lumbar radiculopathy, it is associated with it because the pain is very similar.
  6. Dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint. If this joint is irritated, which is located at the base of the spine, it can also cause irritation of the nerve of vertebra L5, which is above the joint. As a result, sciatica pain appears.

Exercises for sciatica pain

Once you know what is the cause of your sciatica pain, then you will know what exercises are recommended for your body health. It is also important to know the underlying causes because, although it is rare, it could be a more serious disease that requires specialized medical attention, such as an infection, a fracture or a tumor.

Here we explain some recommended exercises if you suffer from sciatica pain. We suggest you consult a doctor before practicing them.

  1. To relieve pain resulting from herniated disc:
  • Extension exercises
  • Back flexion exercises
  • Upper back extension exercises
  • Abdominal push-ups, to strengthen these muscles
  1. To relieve pain arising from stenosis of the lumbar canal:
  • Dorsiflexion exercises
  • Supine march
  • Abdominal pushups
  1. To relieve the pain derived from the degenerative disc disease:
  • Supine march
  • Bridge exercises
  1. Stretching Regardless of the cause of your pain, include the following stretching exercises in your routine to relieve sciatica pain:
  • Stretching of the piriformis muscle
  • Low back stretch
  • Hamstring Stretches
  1. Of muscular strength. Strong abs provide more back support and relieve sciatica pain. It is recommended that you practice a gentle strengthening routine and stretching exercises.
  2. Low impact aerobic exercises. In addition to the specific exercises according to your condition, it is recommended to include some aerobic exercise in your routine. It will help you reduce pain and keep you in shape. The most advisable thing is to walk. Once the pain has subsided and you feel stronger, you may be able to walk faster, including jogging, or cycling.

In summary, if you suffer from symptoms similar to those described in this note, we recommend that you consult a doctor to find out what is the cause behind the pain. Once you are informed, consult with a specialist to know which exercises are most appropriate for you and practice them frequently to overcome the discomfort.

Kegel Exercises and Their Benefits for Men

Kegel Exercises and Their Benefits for Men

Urinary incontinence and impotence are not problems associated with age that can not be solved. The Kegel exercises are the healthiest choice and cheap you can do to hold longer without going to the toilet to urinate and to enjoy good sexual health.

In the 1940s, Dr. Arnold Kegel proposed exercises to his patients. In 1948 he published his discovery in the article ” Progressive resistance exercise in the functional restoration of the perineal muscles “.

Although Kegel’s results were tested by women, lately, its success has also been demonstrated among men.

Kegel’s recommendations of the 1940s to his patients were the basis of the Kegel exercises practiced by thousands of men today.

Kegel Exercises and Their Benefits for Men

Kegel exercises for urinary incontinence

Men who have undergone a prostate operation or other pathologies tend to suffer from weakness in the urinary sphincter.

In this area, the pelvic floor muscles affect. These are responsible, among other things, for emptying the urethra by reflex action after urination.

With this type of exercise and healthy food, men can concentrate better, strengthen the muscles of the lower part of the bladder and control the urge to urinate.

Beyond urinary function, these muscles also help to avoid sexual impotence.

Kegel exercises for erection problems

Male people who reach a certain age have problems maintaining long-lasting erections.

The muscles of the pelvic floor not only serve to keep the bladder and sexual organs in place. They control the urge to urinate and improve sexual function.

In the pelvis are the bulbocavernosus muscles, which surround between 33% and 50% the base of the penis. Muscles that prevent blood from escaping during an erection and that pump during ejaculation.

These muscles play a fundamental role in sexual relationships. Any exercise that reinforces them improves performance.

Practice the Kegel exercises

To effectively execute the Kegel exercises, you have to locate the muscles that need strengthening.

One of the best ways to do it is when you are going to urinate. For the flow of urine at half urination. Do not tense the muscles of the buttocks, legs or abdomen. If you can completely cut off urination, you will have found where the muscle is that you have to strengthen.

Some men find these muscles from imagining that they are preventing a leakage from escaping. Tightening these muscles provides a pulling sensation. These are the muscles that you should reinforce in pelvic exercises and not others.

If you can not locate these muscles, you will need to learn biofeedback. It is a technique that helps control involuntary functions of your body. It is a therapy that prevents and treats different conditions such as headaches, chronic pain, incontinence, and high blood pressure.

Kegel exercise chart for men

In the case that you have already detected what these muscles are, you should go on to do the following Kegel exercises for men:

  • Contract the muscles slowly counting to five.
  • Relax the muscles, little by little, for five seconds.
  • Repeat ten times both the contraction of the muscles and the relaxation of them.
  • Practice all these exercises three times a day.

Although Kegel exercises can be done standing, the first time it is recommended to do them lying down. This way, your muscles will not have to fight against the force of gravity.

In the beginning, it may be easier to contract the muscles for two or three seconds, instead of the five.

After several weeks of exercises, it contracts and relaxes the pelvic floor muscles in ten-second cycles.

Combine Kegel exercises with other techniques

To increase the strength of the pelvic floor muscles and improve sexual performance do not stay only with these movements. Improve the results with others such as stretching or jelquing , a natural technique to enlarge the male member.

To further strengthen the pelvic area, you must perform different stretches, apart from the Kegel exercises:

  • Lift each of the buttocks separately to harden the area.
  • Stretched on the floor, flex each leg separately and lift them to you individually. You must exert a slight pressure towards the chest, without reaching the pain. Try not to lift the pelvis off the ground.

Thanks to Kegel exercises, you will be able to solve your urinary incontinence problems and fully recover sexual function.

These movements that you have met in this article are better known among the female audience, but also offer numerous benefits to men.


What Is Better to Have Breakfast Before or After Exercise?

“Have breakfast before going to run or is it more beneficial to exercise on an empty stomach?” Whether you are a rookie in the fitness world or an expert who has been training with consistency for some time, you will see that the debate about whether to have breakfast before or after exercising has its history among athletes.

As expected, there is not a single correct answer to the question of whether to have breakfast before or after exercising, since everything depends on what your goal is. That added to personal tastes as if you are one of the people who wake up with a lot of appetites or who only drink a cup of tea or coffee.


Set your goals

If you want to burn fat and lose weight, some experts say you could get better results if you train on an empty stomach. What happens, in this case, is that the muscles do not find enough energy to function, so they probably use reserves. In short, this theory holds that the less glucose you have in the body, the more fats you will burn.

On the contrary, if what you are looking for is to improve your performance, it would not be a good idea for you to leave the house without tasting anything. The lack of energy would prevent you from getting the most out of your practice.

Similarly, you have to take into account if you suffer from any disease, such as diabetes, or if you usually have low blood pressure, for example. In these cases, it will be necessary to have breakfast or to drink something before starting your training, especially if you exercise right after waking up.

If what you want is to increase your muscle mass, they recommend you eat within 45 minutes once your routine is finished. This is a period during which the food you eat will be used to replace glycogen (your carbohydrate reserves) and to recover.

Benefits of Eating since training

The point at which the experts agree is that, whether you have eaten or not before exercising, it is vital that you do it at the end. When you exercise, you increase the production of hormones. Therefore, you have to fill your reservations and rest enough for a better reconstruction of the muscles and skin beauty.

During the first 2 hours after finishing your training, the body absorbs more easily the vitamins and minerals that you provide. And, since muscles need protein to rebuild, this would be a good time for you to eat them.

In any case, it is also important that you drink water throughout the day, both before and after exercising, to stay hydrated.

What breakfast before exercising? And then?

Although we said that some experts in the subject endorse you exercise on an empty stomach if you want to lose weight or burn more fat, there are also many others who think otherwise. Its foundation is that, while it may be true that the body uses fat reserves, you can also lose muscle mass.

In addition, the constancy is important when exercising. If a person goes out running 3 or 4 times a week on an empty stomach, it would be likely that soon afterward they would reduce the frequency with which they exercise due to fatigue or lack of motivation.

Whether you decide to eat or not before practicing sports, we give you some food tips to keep them in mind:

Before training:

  • What you eat before exercising will help you to have more energy and optimize your performance. Try to make it healthy and light. Nuts, a banana, cereal or a piece of cheese can give you the strength and calcium you need for a good training session.
  • The carbohydrates, such as brown rice, oats or other sources of low glycemic index, are energy to muscles. It is preferable that you take them before exercising and not afterward.
  • If you practice an aerobic routine, try to eat light carbohydrates, such as a fruit without peel, at least 1 hour before startingDairy products, such as milk and yogurt, usually inflate the stomach. If they are part of your breakfast, you may prefer to wait a couple of hours before training so that the body can digest them.
  • After exercising:

  • After training, muscles need carbohydrates and proteins to rebuild. You can prepare an omelet with egg whites or maybe you prefer to eat chicken, fish or vegetables. Other sources of carbohydrates and proteins are nuts, almonds, fruits, cheese, ham, cereals, milk, and yogurt.
  • The whole foods are rich in fiber. Although we need them, they can bring intestinal discomfort. In this case, you may prefer to eat them after exercising.
  • You see that there are different theories about whether to have breakfast before or after exercising. Taking into account your goal and your needs, try to see how your body responds to the food you eat to achieve better results when training.
Triathlon Training Routines for Beginners

Triathlon Training Routines for Beginners

If you are reading this article, it is surely because you have signed up to participate in a triathlon test. !! Congratulations!! It is not an easy test, but with the right preparation, it is acceptable. You just have to follow some Triathlon training guidelines for beginners and you will see how on the day of the test you arrive with enough strength to pedal, run and brace in the water.

Triathlon is a discipline that since its origins is a demonstration of courage and physical strength. Legend has it that he was born in a bet in 1978 between some American Marines in Hawaii to find out which athlete was more resistant: a cyclist, a runner or a swimmer.

In order to finish a triathlon, you have to follow a rigorous triathlon training plan and thus achieve the strength you need. And it is that everything that is worth it requires an effort and a dedication. When you pass the goal you will see everything you have been rewarded for preparing the triathlon.

Triathlon Training Routines for Beginners

Beginners triathlon training

Block 1 of triathlon training

Before starting the first week of training you will have to calculate the minutes you can train each day. Once you have clear the time you can dedicate to your training, you will have to divide it in three sessions of swimming, two or three sessions in bicycle and two or three sessions running and also concentrate on Nutrition.

In the case that you have few minutes to practice, combine workouts. When you head to the pool, do it running, sign up for a spinning class after a bit of running, etc.

The main objective of the first three weeks of training is that you enjoy the exercise and that you make consistent movements. From each discipline make an easy session (breathe and expire through the nose) and two other constants (breathe through the nose and expires through the mouth).

Block 2 of triathlon training

As of week 4 of training, it is recommended to increase the minutes that you dedicate to physical exercise by 10%. This means that if you run 10 minutes, you must increase the time by one minute.

The resulting time of extending the training routine should divide it into three sessions of swimming, three of race and three of bicycle. As in the previous block, if in your case time is scarce, you can combine workouts and run to the pool or splice a spinning class with a race.

When you train in this block, focus on technique, consistency, and endurance. In addition, both in swimming, as in the race and on the bike, make an easy session (breathe and expire through the nose) and two constant sessions (breathe through the nose and expire through the mouth).

Block 3 of triathlon training

When you enter week seven of your triathlon training, you must increase the number of minutes to you dedicate to your exercise by 10%. If you train 10 minutes, train eleven minutes to addict your body.

Once you have increased the number of minutes you dedicate to triathlon training, divide the total time into three swimming sessions, three bicycle sessions, and three race sessions.

This last block is expressly dedicated to the technique, the consistency, the resistance or the strengthening threshold or the expanding degree of fat burning. This is recommended to make an easy session (breathing and expires through the nose), a constant session (breathing through the nose and expires through the mouth) and a difficult session (breathe and expires through the mouth).

Tips for preparing a triathlon

If you are a rookie in this triathlon, it will be good to pay attention to a series of suggestions, besides strictly following the training plan that we have suggested previously.

To finish a triathlon you have to repeat many times a day that you will get it. One thing that is very good is to imagine yourself crossing the finish line.

Remember also that great goals are achieved based on small achievements. Do not obsess about finishing the three races in the top ten. The first time you try the triathlon, be satisfied with finishing it and not having to abandon it.

The previous training can help you measure the results obtained and give you peace of mind and self-confidence in the face of the tests.

Do not stop self-assessing the training plan, consulting specialized articles on blogs such as Gymcompany or asking experts at your trusted gym. In this way, you will have a more realistic idea of ​​the progress you are making.

Men's Health: From Stress to Lightning

Seven Things You Did Not Know About Men’s Health: From Stress to Lightning

Despite being already in the XXI century, with all the current technological advances, men continue to suffer a significantly different variety of health problems with respect to women.

Currently, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, followed closely by cancer, and precisely such diseases tend to affect men. In fact, men tend to live fewer years than women, all over the world, and some health conditions that have been unraveling the different studies could explain why.

Men's Health: From Stress to Lightning

Men live 5 years less on average than women

According to a study recently published in The Lancet, men live on average 5 to 6 years less than women worldwide. South Korea stands out, where females tend to be around 90 years of age, while males live an average of 84 years.

In Spain, women usually reach 88 years of age, while men live an average of 83.

Men are more at risk of death from heart disease linked to stress

Research has shown that stress affects the heart of men and women differently, causing more heart problems for the former.

Likewise, the  European Heart Journal affirmed the last year 2015 that anger and anxiety can increase between 8.5 and 9.5 times the risk of suffering a heart attack.

Men are more likely to die or be injured by the fall of lightning

According to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control. , in which a period of up to 43 years – between 1968 and 2010 – has been analyzed, deaths from lightning strikes tend to occur more in men than in women each year. In total, 85% of deaths occurred in men.

The reasons why this occurs do not appear in the report, but an independent study suggests that it could be due to the fact that men tend to do more leisure activities than exposing them to lightning, such as fishing or camping.

Men tend to go less to the doctor

Although, in general, both men and women usually avoid going to the doctor for different reasons, the reality is that men, in particular, tend to go with a smaller frequency.

The reasons, according to an online survey conducted by Orlando Health, could be that men are “too busy”, “are afraid of detecting any disease” and “feel uncomfortable with explorations such as rectal exams.”

Men commit suicide more than women

Although it is true that there have been more attempts suicide unconsummated by the women, the men are often those who themselves consume such suicide.

According to Harvard Health Publications, the reason why this occurs is that men are less likely to seek care for depression and other mental illnesses.

Men smoke more

Although in recent years, tobacco use is increasing among women, currently up to 40% of all men in the world are smokers, while only 9% of women smoke, according to the World Health Organization.

Men drink more alcohol

Finally, and linked to the previous point, it is also known that men tend to drink more in excess compared to women, and also tend to participate in more risky behaviors – such as driving at high speeds without a belt.

Taking into account this type of behavior, combined with alcohol, the risk of injury or death is significantly higher.