Running is the king of fitness but you need to make sure you run properly to avoid injuries. Many experts consider exercise as the closest thing to a miracle drug. According to researchers, if you run even 10 minutes a day, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Running is a high impact exercise, and you don’t need to run for hours every day. Many experts believe that the human body has evolved to be fast runners with a high level of endurance. So it’s not a shocker to know that running has several benefits to our bodies and brain.
An exercise physiologist has mentioned that frequent running increases the resting heart rate of the human body. Hence runners have half the chance of dying from heart disease.
Running is easily accessible. You can do it anywhere and costs nothing. It is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. Among many benefits, running helps build body strength and burn calories.
When you run, you feel good, that’s because the brain begins to pump a powerful chemical called endorphins. You begin to feel positive soon after a run, all thanks to endorphin.
Studies have shown that runners are at low risk to suffer from osteoarthritis as compared to walkers. Surprising, isn’t it? Every time you run, you put pressure on your cartilage and bones, causing them to come back stronger.
Your legs are the biggest muscle in your body, and running can benefit all your muscles: hamstrings, calves, quads, thighs, and your gluteus maximus. Many leg workouts in one!
Running at a moderate pace every day for just 10 min will benefit your body –
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Lower cardiovascular diseases
- Reduces neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- It lowers the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
The best part about running is that you don’t have to do it for many hours in a day. A minimum of 2.5 hours a week or 30 minutes a day at a moderate pace will improve the ability to concentrate, mood, and sleep.
Running is apt for people who are always traveling, busy schedules, and don’t have the time to work out. You can still run, and that’s the beauty of it. Your work out should be something that you enjoy doing.
I enjoy running. Whenever I need a break from my stressful schedule, I take a run –break. Running gives me time to get away from the hustle and bustle and think on my own, in peace.
I find myself feeling positive, insightful, and refreshed. I found out there’s not much of a learning curve in running like other physical activities such as yoga, cross-fit, Olympic lifting, and dance class, running is a natural motion something I did a lot as a kid. So I never had to overthink it. Just pulled up my socks, and I was off!
Running for only 2.5 hours a week can keep your body from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and stroke.
I am diabetic and over-weight. I tried all sorts of exercises but could not be consistent. A few months, I was regular, and then it eventually died a natural death. I somehow would find it very challenging to fit it in my schedule. But with running, I realized I enjoy doing it.
I don’t have to stress if I am doing it right; if the weights are too much, I have to find the right time slot or just hoping I don’t injure myself. Of course, I had to start slow and work my way up, but it’s worth it in the end. It takes time to see the results, and I have to be patient with myself. But I can see that my blood sugar levels are well controlled. I can’t say that I am size zero or lost a ton of weight, but I am losing weight gradually.
Running is a lifestyle change. The key is maintaining consistency. Many-a-times the climate outside doesn’t favor a run, and I don’t have a treadmill at home. I simply run in the house or merely jog in one place. That also works like a charm.
I believe that “who you are shouldn’t limit what you do.” Size should never matter. Despite all the advertisements I’ve noticed runners come in all shapes and sizes. You could have gained those extra pounds due to some underlying medical condition, and it doesn’t matter.
It’s never too late to start running. It is a great initiative that will help you stay fit, boost your confidence, and get in shape. With all this said, I know that running can get challenging for the plus-sized.
Top Tips to Avoid Injuries While Running
Carrying all that extra body weight can weigh you down faster than the lean runner. Sometimes it can get very frustrating. But don’t get discouraged easily. Look at it as a journey towards achieving better health. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your goal-
- Consult your doctor: If you’re a new runner, keep your doctor in the loop. But if you are overweight and have a medical condition or prior injuries, this is a crucial step; you need to share your plans and goals and have your doctor access it.
- Get the right gear: A good shoe will keep you comfortable while you run. All you wanted to do is go for a run but instead returned with a foot ache. A plus-sized runner needs a shoe with excellent arch support, thick sole, and extra cushioning. The right pair of footwear is essential. I also recommend using a knee guard to give your knee that additional support while you run. Using compression tights will provide you with added comfort and help prevent soreness of the legs. Use an anti-chafe cream on the areas of your body where the skin rubs together. Wear clothes that keep away the moisture and prevent excessive sweating from causing discomfort.
- Start small: Avoid trying to do too much too soon. If you’re a beginner or returning to workout after 5-6 months, you need to start walking. Walk every day. The key is being consistent.
- Warm up’s: Working out cold muscles is never a good idea. Warming up the body’s core temperature is essential. Warm-ups help the blood flow to the muscles, but it also prepares you mentally for the workout ahead.
- Smart workout routine: 10-15 years ago, you could run with high energy and speed. Today it may not be the same. You need to get realistic about your goals, focus on what you can do and not what you could do. Gradually increase your speed. Too much too soon could be the reason for an injury.
- Eating a balanced diet and hydrating: I realized that all the hard work I put in my workout is of no use if I didn’t follow a healthy diet. Try to consume carbohydrates; they add energy to your workout and replenish glycogen stored and help you recover the next day. We recommend working with a nutritionist.
- Add strength training to your workout: If you want to avoid injuries, you must focus on strengthening your body. Strengthening your core muscles will not wear your body down quickly.
- Listen to your body: Your body will always communicate with you. You must understand when to back out. You need to look for signals – if your body is sore for over 48 hours, you feel exhausted, or your calves ache, its time to take a break from your routine. Your body might just need to rest and recover. Take those rest days as your body makes a recovery.
All of us want to live long, but the quality of life you live is essential. We tend to invest in expensive electronics, our partners, children, and everything else around us. But many times, we forget to invest in ourselves. All the money earned and saved to spend on the hospital bill is not worth it. If you’re looking at investing in yourself, today is a good day to begin. Just a few minutes of running every day will help you live a long and healthy life. I would say there is no guarantee on life, but as long as you live, I believe it should be healthy.
Along with running pay close attention to your diet, what you eat, will show on your body. As a mother, I would always end up eating the leftovers of my kids. Then I realized I have a dustbin in the house; I don’t have to be one.
Over the years, I’ve learned one thing – you could go to the best of gyms, have the best instructors and dieticians, but to move forward, you need discipline. Discipline is the key to your success. All I ever wanted is to walk into any shop and buy what I like (because the stuff I like I could never find it in my size).
But now I realized it’s not only about the exterior. It’s how you feel within. I could be a couple of sizes smaller than my current size but have high sugar levels, feeling of negativity, and have high-stress levels. Where is the quality of life?
Running has helped me overcome a lot of internal ailment that I’ve fought for years. I have a positive mindset; no stress levels and blood sugar levels are low.
Running helps me feel confident about myself. My energy levels are high all day. I encourage you to begin investing in yourself. Though running has proven to be helpful to many, it doesn’t guarantee the maintenance.
Many people tend to give in to their cravings and treat themselves to unhealthy food. The increase in appetite may cause you to eat those extra calories. You must stick to the diet plan. Keep in mind that even the professional runners stay injury-free by scheduling cross-training days and rest days.
If you’re not sure how often you need to exercise and if it is safe for you to start running I suggest you speak with a doctor. Your doctor will recommend a fitness program that’s appropriate for your fitness level and age.
Thank you for stopping by. Stay the course and remember,” What seems hard now will someday be your warm-up!”