Running is a terrestrial locomotion that allows one to move rapidly on foot. It has been described as the world’s most accessible sport. In a running body changes in kinetic and potential energy within a stride occurs simultaneously with energy storage accomplished by springy tendons and passive muscles elasticity. Most people have complained of not having seen any effects of running on their body other than pain. Here are a few things you must get right for an effective running exercise;
- Posture: it is best to be in an upright posture slightly leaning forward. This places your centre of mass on the front part of your foot, which avoids landing on the heel and enables the use of the spring mechanism of the foot. In order to avoid injury, maintain a relaxed frame and use your core to keep your posture upright and stable. Avoid making the common mistake of tilting your chin up and scrunching your shoulders.
- Pace: don’t be in a hurry to sprint off. Pace yourself. Do little warm ups and start out slow. Most people are too eager to burst their weight that they just jump right into running. NO! Stretch exercises can help your body to warm up. It wakes your bones up and prepares them for the run. This prevents injuries and sprains. It is also important to slow down before you finish. Don’t just abruptly end your run. Slow down to a jog before you finish and stretch your body.
- Resting periods: taking water breaks doesn’t make you weak, it makes you smart. Repetitive stress on the same tissues without resting periods can lead to injuries.
- Breathing: a lot of people make the mistake of holding their breath while they run resulting in them being out of breath a few minutes later or passing out. PLEASE inhale and exhale smoothly and continuously through both your nose and mouth. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Forcing air through your nostrils while running can tighten your jaw and other facial muscles.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF RUNNING
- Running reduces the risks of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
- It strengthens the bones and may increase bone density.
- Running can effectively slow or reverse the effects of aging.
- Running reduces total blood cholesterol
- Running serves as an anti-depressant. It has been known to be recommended for people with clinical depressions.
WEIGHT LOSS: running has been known as an effective weight loss tool. Running doesn’t just aid weight loss; it helps you stay fit and improves the body composition. When you run, your metabolism increases such that you continue burning calories even at rest. Studies show that a person of average weight burns about 100 calories while they run and continue burning calories at rest.Running will be more efficient when it is consistent and the distance is relatively challenging.
Running is the best workout for weight loss because it is cheap, accessible and presents fewer barriers to maintaining a routine even while traveling. It is also fun which makes the probability of sticking to it even higher. As they say, the first rule of exercising in weight loss is that if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it.
While it is true that running significantly aids weight loss, it is most effective when combined with other exercise and a meal plan that encourages low calorie intake.
Despite the many health benefits of running, it is advice not to run excessively especially beyond your capabilities (medically). Consult with your doctor and a trainer to pace you based on your medical report. An excessive dose of running may be counterproductive.
Photo Credit: Runners world