BCBSNC – the Core of Preventive Care

Sit ups - fitness couple exercising sit up outside in grass in sThere’s been a lot of talk lately about “core strength, but what exactly does that mean?  Contrary to popular belief, there is more to core training than simply trying to get a six pack of abs, though a nice toned tummy might be one of the benefits.  Still, core strength isn’t just a buzz word in the exercise world.  Its’ one of the most important things you can do to keep your body strong and healthy, and a strong, healthy body is something Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina wants all its members to maintain.

Your “core” is actually made up of three groups of muscles:  the upper abs, the obliques (your side muscles), and a very deep layer of muscle.  It’s really those deep muscles that help the most because those are the ones that support the spine and hold your tummy muscles tight, making your stomach look flatter.  Core training not only helps you look thinner, but it helps promote balance and overall body strength.

In fact, the big difference between “core” training and traditional sit ups is that core training doesn’t just target the front side of your body, but your back side as well.  An exercise that trains your core will work more than one muscle group and produce much faster results.  Although looking great in a swimsuit is nice, it’s not the most important part of core training, especially as we age.  The real benefit is that the spine is strengthened to support the weight of our bodies and keep us from having chronic back pain.

One nice part of core training is that there are many different ways to help increase core strength.  More traditional exercises such as sit ups and crunches are crucial for developing surface muscles that will help as you continue to strengthen the deeper layer of muscle tissue.  Yoga and Pilates are also excellent ways to develop core strength.  Water sports such as paddle boarding and surfing are also great ways to build a strong, solid core.  Basically, any kind of exercise you do can strengthen your core if you introduce some element of instability.  What that means is that you make the exercise tougher by creating an unstable surface of some sort.  Instability then forces your body to work to create stability, which ultimately results in strong core muscles.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is a strong advocate for preventive care and one of the best things you can do to prevent health problems tomorrow is to invest in your physical well-being today.  Make core training a part of your preventive care program.  A healthy diet, adequate rest and a good exercise regimen can do wonders for your both your body and mind.

As always, before starting any exercise regimen, consult your doctor first and get his/her clearance for physical activity.  Find out if there are any issues that would affect you participating in a new nutrition and fitness program.  For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance coverage, the Marketplace and healthcare gov  to apply for your subsidy, please visit our website at or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.  Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.



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