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Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Exercise Running

The reason this exercise is being given so much of credit is because it is not only very simple but can be carried out on one’s own and there is never a problem about space to run issues. Here some incredible benefits of including running in your daily regimen.

  1. Good bye fat – Yes cardio exercise running can help you lose a lot of weight. No more will you be seen with unsightly bulges. It is said that apart from swimming and biking, running is one of the top forms of exercise when it comes to weight loss management or even simple staying fit routine. More than half of the crowd who take up running are in it to lose extra weight.
  2. Stronger bones – Exercise program running helps increase the bone density. Sitting in one spot all day or leading inactive lives can lead to weak bones which will erode over time but running is the perfect solution to this problem. The bones grow stronger with a set routine of running.
  3. Greater immunity – Like most other cardio exercises, exercise routine running helps increase the immunity of the body and hence works very well. People who are at a risk of suffering from osteoporosis or even hypertension are recommended to run to ease the risk. Running also controls the strength of the heart and hence the risks of heart attacks too are reduced. No more high blood pressure or diabetes too.
  4. Stress buster – If you are over burdened with the cares of the world then you must try the exercise fitness running to relieve yourself of the cares. It is a brilliant stress buster. It helps you deal with problems better and gives you great comprehension skills. If you feel that there may be any problem that has been not letting you rest at peace then try going for a run. It’s an excellent antidote to headaches as well.
  5. Improves coordination – If one is a veteran runner they will know how much of coordination is required to run. This improves the general coordination of the body. This can be done by running on trails that have uneven surfaces.
  6. The advantage of starting to jog is that it can be done anywhere you don’t need a special place or you don’t need to invest any money into it to be able to run. All you need is good shoes to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself and you can start.

Muscles Are Utilized When Run

Quadriceps. Also known as quads, this is actually a muscle group made up of of four muscles on the front of your thighs, or upper legs.

Your quads get tons of work when you’re running – especially long distance and high intensity workouts like hills or intervals. But of course, remember that all of that work is high repetition and low resistance.

So they’re still a great candidate to work on in the gym to develop greater strength.

Hamstrings. Again, this is really a muscle group made up of several muscles located along the back of your thighs.

Now while these muscles work opposite to your quads, the hamstrings don’t really work hard or through a very long range of motion when running. I once had a very painful hamstring injury that laid me up from running for several months.

It’s important to work on your hamstrings in cross-training so that they are effectively strengthened to work against your powerful quads. This will help you to keep your knees healthy and you off the disabled list.

Gluteus Maximus. Better known as ‘glutes’, this muscle is what gives your backside that great, eye-catching shape.

But more than catching eyes and giving you something comfortable to sit on, your glutes help to work your hips while running. Your glutes can also get involved in a healthy lower back, so running contributes to a healthy-back fitness regime.

Calves. Again, this really a muscle group (made up of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles), though smaller than the others previously mentioned. They are located along the backside of the lower leg.

Runners with really well-developed calves show very angular muscles. I’ve seen this a lot in sprinters or myself when I’m doing heavy hill or interval training. In the gym, calf-raises can also turn weak calves into very impressive muscles.

Hip Flexors. Though not leg muscles, your hip flexors also have long and thoroughly unpronounceable names: iliacus and psoas. They’re also harder to locate as they connect your spine to your hips and your hips to your upper legs.

While these muscles don’t necessarily drive your legs while running, they are crucial for flexing your hips. So, if you like to latin dance in addition to running, you probably have pretty healthy hip flexors.

Core Muscles. In addition to the muscles of your legs, your core muscles are very much involved in running. These include your abdominal muscles which are crucial for maintaining a healthy lower back.

I recommend every runner include core fitness exercises as part of an effective cross-training program. It will keep your back healthy on long or intense runs and make you a better runner overall.

Prepared For Running in Rain

Protecting yourself against the cold and the rain is a lot easier than it was in the past. Today sport clothing manufacturers have produced amazing materials that protect our bodies from the elements. One particular fabric is Gore-Tex which is clothing that many runners use during their winter training. The key thing is to be prepared in advance and plan ahead. For those bitterly cold days you should invest in a pair long training pants a Gore -Tex upper body jacket, running gloves or mittens a cap or face mask. Once you get running and the blood circulating you will not notice the cold.

If the ground surface has ice then it may be a better option to stay indoors and use a treadmill if you have one or use one at your local gym. If you are determined to go out in icy conditions then you need to be extra careful. A slip can result in a nasty accident to your groin, hamstring or knees. This could put you out of action for a couple of months. Keep a close eye on the surface and avoid the icy patches and black ice.

Running in the rain is not a problem but it is better to be prepared. If it is raining outside and it is cold then wear a protective Gore – Tex jacket or a jacket that has water resistant and breathable qualities. If the weather is wet and hot then the best option is to wear fewer clothes. The clothes should not be water absorbent as this will increase the weight of the clothing.

What is very important when running in wet and cold conditions is what you do after the run. After a session remove your wet clothing immediately and put on a set of dry clothes. If you are still feeling cold then take a nice warn shower to heat you up.

During a storm with thunder and lightning it is best to wait until the storm passes. If you are caught in the middle of a storm do not seek shelter by standing under a tree as this will increase your risk of being struck. Look for a man made shelter and wait it out.

Prepare to Run Long Distance

First let’s talk about what one should wear when they go for a long distance (greater than 5 miles) run. When one runs long distance then as one swings their arms and legs any rubbing of the arms against the body or the legs against themselves can lead to irritating rashes later on. For example it’s normal for arms to rub against the side of one’s body, slightly under armpit area. The constant rubbing can become painful after 10 or more miles of running. Applying a small amount of vaseline directly under the armpit area can help alleviate this issue. Some runners try to keep their arms apart farther from their body, this is a better solution but some running purists argue that it may expend more energy than necessary.

Another issue is that when running long distances most people tend to sweat a lot. Sweat, combined with constant rubbing of the running shirt can cause nipples to bleed. This is another common problem that is easily addressed by applying a little vaseline on the nipples before running. Another solution is to get a different running shirt. Runners prefer mesh shirts to cotton ones because they are lighter weight and more breathable but mesh material tends to irritate the skin more frequently than cotton.

Shorts can cause similar rashes around the waistline. Most running shorts aren’t very baggy like basketball shorts and are usually made of some lightweight material that again is more likely to irritate the skin through constant rubbing. One could go to the extreme of wearing something form fitting to eliminate rubbing completely but most runners trying to run their first marathon probably won’t want to invest in a professionally fitted running suit. So the best solution is to simply make sure that running shorts aren’t too tight but aren’t too loose that they constantly rub either. They should fit just right.

If one is going to be running for more than an hour in the sun then it is highly advisable to wear sunglasses. Constantly running in the sun day after day without sunglasses can make eyes very sensitive to sunlight. Wearing a visor is another alternative but is yet another article of clothing that one has to make sure fits just right. Most sunglasses provide ultraviolet (UV) protection which a visor won’t protect you against. So getting a cheap pair of UV sunglasses is the best solution.

Finally the most important piece of equipment are the socks and shoes. Socks have to fit the foot perfectly, any slack in the sock can produce painful blisters. So it’s good practice to buy shorter ankle high socks where there is less chance of being any slack as opposed to longer calf to knee high socks which tend to droop towards the ankles while running. While running the slack can get pulled into and under the foot and can produce a blister.

About Easy Fitness Running

Running in Moderation

Smart running means ignoring people who say that you won’t get any benefits unless you’re spitting your lungs up. Even the best runners intersperse hard training with plenty of slow running and outright time off to allow for recovery.

Running puts a lot of stress on your body. Each time your foot strikes the ground, it hits with a force equal to three to four times your body weight. Runners who ignore this fact and consistently push themselves to fatigue do so at their own peril.

Begin With Caution – If you’re out of shape, you’ll need to start slower than if you’re already active but not running. The really important thing is to monitor your soreness.

If you’re sore, you’re doing too much, and you need to back off.

Out of shape runners start with 30 minutes of walking, three times a week. When this starts feeling comfortable, kick up the pace, but still limit the walk to 30 minutes. Then add some jogs to that 30 minutes.

Add Time To Your Routine – A lot of people are already running, though not much. Typical is the runner who notches 2 to 3 miles in 15 to 30 minutes. That’s not a bad workout, but if you want to really burn some fat, you need to increase the time to a minimum of 45 minutes.

Follow The 10 Percent Rule – If your normal run is 20 minutes and one day you decide to go for 40, you’re going to get hurt, not fit. Stick to a more measured approach. Each week, boost your running time by 10 percent. By giving your legs (and lungs) time to adapt, you’ll find that you’re no more tired after a 45-minute run than when you were doing one half as long.

Break It Up With Walking – There isn’t a running cop out there who will bust you for changing pace when you start getting tired. A lot of runners, experienced and beginners alike, will alternate 5 minutes of running, with 5 minutes of walking. By allowing time to recover, you’ll find it’s easy to stay on the move for 45 minutes or more, and the run will be more comfortable.

Interspersing a run with walking may sound tame, but you lose little and gain much. For example, when you jog for 5 to 8 minutes, then walk a minute, you’ll burn 95 calories a mile. Jogging continuously will burn only an extra 5 calories. It might sound sedate, but a combination of walking and running will turn you into a fitness animal, and it’ll keep you at it.

Change Your Running Pace – Even if you’re beyond walking/running stage, it’s still smart to incorporate easy jogging into your hard runs. Advanced runners often take a slow jogging break every 10 minutes.

Don’t Skip The Preliminaries – In a perfect world every run would begin with 10 minutes of light jogging to warm up the muscles, followed by 10 minutes of stretching. But the real world is not that generous with time, and trying to cram a run plus stretching into a lunch break is impractical. A quick way to prepare your muscles for the run ahead is to jog very slowly for 10 minutes before running. If it is cold out or you’re unusually stiff, walk for 5 to 10 minutes before taking that easy jog.

Don’t forget to cool down when you’re done. Ending a run with a punishing sprint and a screeching halt will leave your muscles wallowing in lactic acid (a by-product of hard exertion), making you sore and stiffer. Ending your run with a 10-minute jog allows blood to flush lactic acid from the muscles.

Staying Comfortable

Running is a hard sport (if it weren’t, it wouldn’t burn many calories), and it’s crazy not to try to make it easier. Before setting out, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.

Think Soft Surfaces – As mentioned earlier, every time your feet hit the ground, they’re generating a tremendous amount of force. To reduce shock to your joints, seek out soft surfaces on which to run.

Cement and concrete are the worst. A better surface would be dirt or grass, or, if there’s one nearby, a running track. These are often made from spongy rubber surfaces such as Tartan, which are very forgiving on the feet.

Drink Often – This is obvious advise that runners all too often ignore. In fact, runners typically replace only 50 percent of the fluids lost during exercise. That’s why they’re continually confronting thirst, headaches, dizziness, and even vomiting, the various stages of dehydration.

It is possible to lose tremendous amounts of fluids when you run – up to 6 pints an hour during vigorous exercise in the heat. Neglect to replace those fluids, and you might find yourself bent double examining your shoes.

Drink 16 ounces of fluid 2 hours before a run. While you’re on the road, drink 5 to 10 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes.

Many runners swear by sports drinks. While these drinks do replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes, their most important ingredient is water. Water is the most commonly overlooked athletic aid.

Save Your Lungs – The key benefit of running is that it gets you breathing hard, but when you’re an urban dweller in a sea of bus exhaust, the equation seems a bit less straightforward.

You can’t avoid pollution entirely, but you can time your runs so that it’s a little less noxious. On sunny days – when car exhaust and sunlight combine to form ozone – it’s smart to run later in the day after the ozone has been depleted or early in the morning before it has a chance to form. Running on cloudy days is good. So is running after a thunder storm because rain flushes ozone from the air.

Morning Run

One can try to arrange the shoes and other accessories needed for jogging the previous night itself, so that the person starts jogging without wasting any time in searching for the needed items the morning. The next thing the person should take care is with regards to the jogging schedule and route. The person has to be very clear with respect to the route to be followed for jogging and the time to be spent on jogging.

This frees up he person’s mind from any confusion during the jogging period. Person’s interests also will not come down by planning properly. By getting up early in the morning, one should feel fresh before starting jogging and should not feel tired and exhausted. Running with a tired body and mind will further weaken the mind and body. A good night sleep is absolutely essential to wake fresh in the morning. Going to bed early the previous night is

one way of ensuring this. It is also good to drink sufficient water after 7 to 8 hours of sleep. If one crosses the initial period in jogging by properly following some tips mentioned here, then the person will be able to sustain the interest and continue to do the early morning jog.

Thus the first 3 weeks is absolutely crucial for the person and in this period, the person should constantly involve in self motivation in order to sustain the interest and enthusiasm levels. Once the person crosses those 3 weeks without any interruptions, then there are very good chances the person will continue to jog with enthusiasm.

Recreational Running

These are just a few of the benefits, but the next question is how can someone with no prior experience start recreational running? Here are some of the helpful tips to help you get started and continue to make it part of your lifestyle:

1. Do your physicals: – Seek medical advice from your physician to make sure that your health status can allow you to pursue recreational running. It is especially important for people who are overweight to consult with their physician to ensure that they are physically able to run or jog without overstressing their body systems.

2. Find a trainer or coach: – Once you have been cleared by your physician, you need to sit down with your trainer or personal instructor who will advise you accordingly. With the help of your trainer or coach, set some realistic goals. Your trainer can help you decide on the right training shoe and tracksuit. Remember to start slow, it is really tempting to put too much on your plate the first time and not be able to get started. Most people get discouraged early in the process as a result of taking too many steps at one time. One step at a time is all you need and before you know, one step becomes a mile and a mile eventually becomes a couple of miles each day. Your goals should not become an obsession; but rather they should just be motivating factors. Remember recreational running should be fun and entertaining not a job.

3. Join recreational runner friends, groups or clubs: Unlike other recreational sports such as indoor games, fitness running is more challenging physically and mentally. Having other people with similar or same interests around is significant for progress. This is especially important for support when the going becomes more challenging. It is also easier to achieve your goals if you treat recreational running as a social activity, after all you are having fun with friends. If for some reason you can’t find others to run or jog with, you can always take your dog for company, he/she will really enjoy doing that and it is great for his/her health too.

4. Participate in fun competitive races: One good goal to include in recreational running is to compete on fun road running. This is a great motivator for both beginners and experienced recreational runners alike. Running or jogging and finishing a 5 K, 10K, half marathon fun race is a wonderful experience that only the competitor is able to explain. There is something special about running with hundreds or thousands of other runners. By this point, recreational running will have become part of your live.

Start Running If You Overweight

After you get medical clearance from your doctor, you need to start with a gradual flexible program. When I say gradual, I mean it’s going to ease you into running very slowly. Running for weight loss is easy, but expecting to run long distances right away is unrealistic and likely to lead to injury and discouragement. You can still get fabulous results quickly while easing into running.

When I say the program needs to be flexible I mean you need to be able take it on at a pace that works for you. Every body is different and so you need to be able to adjust your running program to work with your body and fitness level. Here’s a flexible program that should work for you:

You’ll need a watch to time your running and walking intervals and I recommend a flat place for your first runs. As your fitness level improves, you’ll be able to start looking for hilly locations you can add to your running destinations.

To begin, you’re going to run for one minute then walk for two minutes. I call this a one-two interval. You’ll repeat these intervals for a total time of 20 minutes. That will give you a total running time of 7 minutes. When you are running, you want to work only hard enough to raise your heart rate slightly. If you can still carry on a conversation, you’re doing fine. If you can only sputter out a few words, you’re working too hard. Back off the pace and take it easy. Remember, you’re running for weight loss, not trying to set records.

In the first week, you need to run/walk 3 times. Take a day off in between running days to allow yourself time to rest and recover. If you want to bike, swim, walk, hike or lift weights on your days off, that’s even better. We call that cross-training and you will get fitter even faster.

In the second week, your run/walk interval will be one-one, meaning you’ll run for one minute and walk one minute. Again, you’ll repeat these intervals for 20 minutes which will give you a total of 10 minutes of running. Three days of run/walk intervals will complete week 2.

In each of the subsequent weeks, you will increase the run portion of your intervals by one minute so it looks like this:

  • Week 3: Run 2 minutes / Walk 1 minute
  • Week 4: Run 3 minutes / Walk 1 minute
  • Week 5: Run 4 minutes / Walk 1 minute
  • Week 6: Run 5 minutes / Walk 1 minute
  • … and so on…

If at any point, you find that increasing the run time is too hard, feel free to stay at the previous week’s interval for another week. I’d much rather you take extra time to achieve your goal than over-train and risk discouragement and/or injury. You can always take a few extra weeks to lose weight and improve your fitness. This is a lifestyle change not a fad diet to shed a few pounds.

Daily Runs Strengthen

Fitness

Running keeps you fit and helps you lose weight. Even at a slow place you’ll see the difference.You only need to be consistent. In addition, running also helps build a healthy cardiovascular system by improving the lung capacity, breathing and oxygen distribution.

Good for the heart

Running builds a healthy heart. People joke that each of us has a limited number of heartbeats so why run and shorten your life. I have news for you. Cardiovascular improvement includes a slower heart rate (longer life), improved blood flow and decreased toxic chemicals.

Strong bones

Running strengthens bones and muscles improving the way you look and feel. As long as basic precautions are taken, the bone density improves and the muscles harden giving that ‘fit’ look.

Good for mind and spirit

Running is great for the mind and spirit. At the very core, running is an individual activity and you are competing against yourself. It helps strengthen the mind.When you push harder you reach that state of mind called ‘runner’s high’. It helps focus the mind to achieve goals that you would have set which can be the very basic as reaching the next lamp post to more complex decisions.

Getting started

Now is a good time to start with running in India gaining popularity and fitness having no age bar.

Here are a few tips to help you take the next step:

Check your fitness:

Talk to your doctor before starting any running programme so that he can assess your current fitness and ensure that you don’t over-train in the beginning.

Gear:

Clothes and shoes are the most important running equipment.You don’t need to buy new or the most expensive stuff to start running. Clothing should be appropriate to the weather and climate while shoes should be comfortable and fit well. Once you become regular in your running, an investment in specialty running clothes and shoes can be made.

Warm up:

Before you start running, ensure that your body is ready for increased activity.This should be gentle and done smoothly, avoiding and jerky motions.

Realistic goals:

Set goals that are realistic and achievable. Breaking a large goal into smaller manageable chunks would ensure that you reach this. If you plan to run a 10k in August, you should plan weekly/monthly goals which allow you to ramp up slowly. Then you will not burn out too soon.

Cooling down:

Cool down after the run, again with no jerky motions.This will help you avoid injury and stiff muscles, and make it easier to run the next day.

Slow Jog

Here are some of the benefits you can expect to receive from running for fitness:

If you’re struggling with your weight, jogging can and will burn off the calories you need to drop pounds. Best of all, jogging at an easy pace naturally places your body in a heart rate zone that is best for burning fat. To burn fat effectively, you don’t want your heart rate too high. The easier you run, the better you burn fat.

As an impact sport, jogging is good for bone density. One of the best things you can do to combat osteoporosis is jogging. It will stimulate your body to deposit more calcium in your bones. Although runners may look very lean, their bones are dense and healthy.

Some people worry that running for fitness can damage joints. In fact, evidence suggests that easy jogging in proper footwear can actually improve the condition of joints in the lower body. It appears that running stimulates the body to strengthen joints,

If you’re concerned that exercise will make you look bulky from building up muscles, you won’t have those concerns from jogging. Running – especially a slow jog – will burn fat and leave your leg muscles lean and toned.

If you suffer from insomnia, jogging will help you sleep better. Exercise causes biochemical responses in your body that will help you sleep. When I’m running for fitness, I sleep very well. And as an added benefit, sleeping well reduces the type of stress that contributes to weight gain.