Running is one of the most popular form of exercises, people of all ages and fitness levels are bound to have experienced some form of running in one way or another. Today, we will be sharing some tips to help you on your run and how you can greater benefit from it.
Health benefits of running
Everyone knows that running helps you stay in shape, but not many people know the actual health benefits of running often. Here are some of the health benefits of running.
- Builds stronger bones: Contrary to popular belief, running actually helps to strengthen your bones because it is weight bearing exercise. Studies have shown that people who run often are less prone to develop problems with their spine and knee joints as they age.
- Strengthens muscles: It helps strengthen your low body, running helps to build a strong lower body. Having a strong lower body improves overall balance and prevents injuries more effectively.
- Improves cardiovascular fitness: Running is an excellent way to train your cardiovascular fitness. A good cardiovascular system brings an abundance of health benefits like lower blood pressure, stronger immune system, regulates blood sugar and many more.
- Better mental health: Running affects you mentally as much as it does physically, running often has been proven to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves your overall brain response time significantly.
Tips to improve your running
In order to fully reap the benefits of running, we have to practice running the right way and strive to improve continuously. Here are some tips that will help you become a better runner.
- Set progressive goals: It is always important to have a goal before you start running, set a goal of how far and how fast you plan to run each time so that you can track your progress and improvement.
- Focus on endurance: While you might think that speed is the most important aspect of running, it is actually endurance training that brings about the most health benefits, focusing too heavily on sprints and speed often places tremendous stress on your joints due to the explosive movements.
- Get a running partner: As the saying goes, two is better than one. Having a running partner can give you a real motivational boost and make you look forward to running which can only bring positive results. You can take it a step further and run with someone more experienced so that they can pace you, helping you improve more effectively.
- Be positive: Having the right mindset can make or break a run, thinking positively while running will not only allow you to enjoy your run, it also improves your performance making you a better runner. Having the right mindset and drive is what pushes you to improve and get better each run.
Important things to note
Preparation before a run just as important as running itself, it is very important to properly prepare your mind and body so that you can have an effective and enjoyable run. Here are some things we think are important to note before and during your runs.
- Always warm up before a run: There is a reason coaches and athletes always preach proper warm ups before any physical activity. Warming up helps get blood flowing to the muscles and loosens your joints before the run which helps prevent potential injuries and muscle cramps resulting in a smoother and more enjoyable run.
- Eat appropriately before a run: Food is fuel for the body, always remember to have a light meal or snack before a run. The food you eat should include some form of complex carbohydrates and a little bit of healthy fat. This ensures your body has to energy it needs to properly function and will help you run more effectively.
- Steady progression instead of pushing the limits: It is common to want to improve yourself everyday, but you should not push your body to it's limits for every run as this will lead to over working your body and you will run a higher risk of injury. Instead, focus on steady and progressive improvement over time, this will ensure that you can fully reap the health benefits of running while not putting too much stress on your body.
- Make recovery a priority: While it is important to word hard and try to get better every run, however you should not overlook recovery. Providing your body and muscles time to recover properly is just as important as giving your best during your run, if you run too often it could actually do more harm than good. Giving your body adequate time to rest and recover allows it get stronger and will ensure you perform at a higher level in the progressive runs.
Running is an excellent form of exercise which provides long term health benefits and improves your overall physical and mental fitness. But similar to other forms of exercises, proper knowledge, technique and practice are absolutely paramount to help you become a better runner and stay injury free!