A lot of times when we think about strengthening our core, the image that pops up in our mind is a six-pack or a flat and toned stomach. But the truth is, that’s just a tiny side effect of having a strong core.
There are so many other benefits! In fact, when you start digging into all the ways a strong core helps your body, it’s pretty amazing. Strong core muscles actually keep you healthy!
It works like this: strong core muscles support your body in proper posture, which in turn helps all your body’s systems do their jobs better. Like your digestive and circulatory systems.
Plus, your posture plays a surprisingly large role in your mood and emotional state.
Let’s dig in a little deeper…
Your Digestive System
When you slouch, the weight of your body puts a lot of pressure on your abdominal muscles. That can cause problems both upward AND downward.
For instance, that added pressure can contribute to heartburn and indigestion.When there’s downward pressure on your stomach, it can force stomach acid up into your esophagus. This leads to indigestion and heartburn.
And likewise, the muscles in your pelvic floor (which form the foundation of your core) can be affected. When those muscles are weak and you suddenly add extra pressure by coughing, sneezing or laughing, it can lead to small amounts of urine leaking out. No fun! A strong core can help to eliminate these issues.
Poor posture can affect blood flow through your body. Whether it’s sitting cross-legged, or hunching over your computer or desk, you might notice pins-and-needles feelings in your extremities.
It’s even linked to thoracic outlet syndrome. This is when nerves/blood flow get restricted in your neck and chest, leading to pain, tingling and other potentially serious problems.
Rounding your shoulders forward can lead to tight chest and shoulder muscles. Over time, this can lead to shallow breathing, which can contribute to increased anxiety, stress, and other ailments.
A strong core, with proper posture, can help keep you on the right track (and in a better mood!).
Your Stress & Energy Levels
In one study, scientists forced participants to either sit slumped or upright in a chair. Then they monitored their blood pressure and heart rate while having them do various tasks.
According to the researchers, the upright group felt stronger, more enthusiastic, and had improved pulse responses, while the slumped group felt more nervous, anxious, and tired.
As you can see, the benefits of a strong core go far beyond your workouts!
It’s incredibly important to focus on your stabilizing core muscles, so they can support your body in proper posture throughout the day without getting tired!(That’s one of the main reasons I put together this guide for you!)