Friday, December 14, 2012

Fitness Fridays: Things to Remember When Running

If you are anything like me, running to stay fit is a chore.  For me, it's not as fun and liberating as swimming is and I have to think about what I'm doing.  Call me uncoordinated, but at least I'm honest. However, not to be confused, I have learned to love running. This is a simple guide for those who would like to run the right way. And yes, there is a right and wrong way to every physical activity. 

1. Stretch. Stretching increases range of motion and flexibility. Hold a stretch long enough to feel a slight pull.  An example of stretching techniques, is to position yourself with feet aligned with shoulder length, bend down slowly, and touch your toes without bending your knees. Other positions can be applied by shifting weight from one side to the other and sitting with legs spread in front and reaching as far as possible by propelling upper body forward.
2. Affirm yourself. Tell yourself before your run I AM LIMITLESS, I AM POWERFUL, and MY BODY IS AMAZING JUST THE WAY IT IS.  Say it 3 times (along with whatever your goal is for the day), smile, crank up the tunes, and run like you meant everything you said.  Keep the messages tucked away in your thoughts to remind you when you feel like giving up.
3. H2O.  Make sure you drink plenty of water before, after, and during your run to constantly replenish the fluid lost.  It's very important to stay hydrated to prevent fatigue. When you are not giving your body enough water, its ability to recover decreases. The American Council on Exercise recommends 18 ounces 30 minutes prior to and 8 ounces every 10-20 minutes during the run.
4. Shoes. Purchase quality running shoes with arch support and flexibility.  For comfort, they should fit properly and for this I would suggest having it accurately sized by a shoe specialist. The soles of your shoes should be according to the terrain and how frequently you run. Your bones and joints should be taken care of just as much as your exterior and you must remember that a huge part of the body's framework is dependant on the legs and feet.
5. Apps.  Nike Running and Training Club iPhone apps help with tracking progress so you don't have to.  Both also are customizable to fit your goal needs.  The weekly analysis on Nike Training Club keeps track of what you've done.  Nike Run allows you to record a map of your trails and records the pace, distance, and time it takes to complete your run, as well as an audio reminder every mile conquered.
6. Don't stop.  If your goal is to run 3 miles, don't stop until 3.1.  You'll feel so much more accomplished if you just continue without letting your mind trick you into believing you are tired.  The moment you feel that you are, run harder!

7. Cool Down. Finally, you've made it to your destination. Take a few more steps, deep controlled breaths, then repeat some of the stretch movements you practiced in the beginning.  The run is over and now you know everything you said about yourself was true. Congratulations!
Happy Fitness!!!
Chymere Anais


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