Running is the easiest workout ever. You don’t need a gym membership, take time from a busy schedule, lift weights or hire trainers.
Just pick a pair of comfortable sports shoes, a bottle of water and hit the track, with or without a music player. For first time runners though, here are a few things to keep in mind to avoid making mistakes and run correctly.
– Avoid eating any heavy food before a run. The ideal thing is to not have heavy food at least two hours before a run. You can, of course, grab a snack before the run, like a small portion of salad or a protein shake. However, running on a full stomach is not a good idea as it will slow you down and make your run sluggish.
– If you are running on a busy road, try and run against traffic, so you can easily spot oncoming vehicles. In fact, in some countries, there are laws which require you to run against the traffic.
– Running doesn’t require extensive warming up. However, practise light stretches like knee lifts, side stepping or climbing down the stairs before you begin running. They need to not be longer than five minutes. Even brisk walking before breaking into a jog is fine.
– Avoid wearing flat soled shoes while running. Your heel needs support, so look for decent quality running shoes which will help you avoid injury and unnecessary strain on your feet.
– In between a run, there is no harm in stopping for a quick break. You can briskly walk, or do light stretches if there’s a stitch in your side. A run-walk approach is also quite effective if you are a first timer.
– After a run, cool off by taking a warm shower. A mild pain in your calves and thighs is no cause for concern. That’s because your muscles have been stretched with the activity. Also, don’t worry if your body heats up. Just hydrate yourself and stretch out your legs, until you start feeling relaxed.
– Make sure that you eat a protein rich meal after a run. This will help in repairing your muscles quicker. Also, include some greens so that you can load up on the minerals and vitamins your body has lost because of sweat.
Did you know?
– Physically active people have a 60 % lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease than couch potatoes.
– You can burn at least 10 calories per minute with running. A 20 minute run will burn off a bar of chocolate.
– Sprinting for 8 seconds and jogging for 12 seconds over 20 minutes, burns up to five times more fat than 40 mins of jogging at the one speed.
– The bone mineral content in the shins of a male sprinter is 15.2% higher than that of a non-runner
– The average exercise life of a running shoe is about 650 kilometres.