It’s Sunday morning, and you’re ready to put on your favorite running shoes and go for a distance. Just a couple of tips before you go – we have plenty of ideas to make your running and jogging routine even better, actually turning routine into a rewarding and pleasant habit.
Image Credit: illawarramercury.com.au
So you still skip stretching?
Say hello to cramps and pain, if you still believe warming up is for dummies. It’s almost strange to repeat it again, as every exercise instruction has it, but warming up is an essential part of any exercising session, be it running, swimming or whatever else (even gardening!).
Before you set out on another running journey, stretch your hamstrings, calves, glutes and quads (there are plenty of exercises for them on the Internet) – it will help you prevent the consequences of stepping outside unprepared. Don’t start at your full speed. Instead, gradually quicken your pace, with walking being the first stage of your acceleration. Next up: jogging. It’s only when you have jogged for a little bit, alternating it with walking every 30 seconds, that you can start running. By doing so, you will help your body optimize blood flow, and warm your muscles and loosen them. You will notice that running gets easier and more pleasant if preceded by a warm-up!
However, it’s not enough just to warm up. Another aspect, which is no less important, is cooling down. When you’ve reached the finishing line (even if it’s imaginary), don’t stop – walk for some more time and stretch afterwards. Such an approach can help you reduce the symptoms which often follow running, such as nausea, cramping, etc.
Now that we have taken a look at how to make your running sessions safer and easier to bear, let’s get to another problem.
Motivation is as important as proper running technique. If you lack motivation, you will not benefit much, and running will be an activity you’ll dread. Running is capable of making you feel better, but motivation is one of the keys to regular exercising. Here are a couple of things you can do to get (or stay) motivated.
Installing a special app designed to keep record of your running sessions can benefit you a lot. First, it can track your course, distance and time, so you’ll be able to compare your results and do your best to improve them. It’s difficult to reach new heights if you don’t know how good your previous performance was, isn’t it? So find an app to your liking and install it; some of them even enable you to share routes with others, and choosing different routes every time you run is a good way to make sessions even more interesting.
You can also opt for a smart band which can monitor your heart rate so that you can be sure it’s within the appropriate range.
Sounds of music
If there are only Bach and Tchaikovsky masterpieces on your playlist, it’s a good reason to envy you. However, in order to run more effectively, more energizing music is required (though you may also be inspired by classical music, why not?). Find a dozen of songs that make you want to move – appropriate rhythmic music can provide you with extra motivation and energy.
Running tips for better performance
Running fast can result in that very cramp that you dread. Here’s a trick which can help you alleviate the symptom: depending on what side of your body is being attacked by the cramp, inhale deeply when your foot on the side with the cramp touches the asphalt, and exhale when your foot on the opposite side does the same. There’s no need to take quick breaths – just tune your breathing and stepping in such a way so that inhaling and exhaling correspond to the above mentioned pattern. This trick can help you get rid of the cramp.
Another advice is to breathe with your belly, as breathing with your chest requires more energy and provides you with less oxygen.
So next time you decide it’s time for running, be prepared and enjoy your session!
Exercise Boosts Mood in Depressed Patients; Study Notes Quick Gains in Vigor, Well-Being – News.utexas.edu
15 Running Tips You Need to Know – NHS.uk
Running Exercise Strengthens the Intervertebral Disc – Nature.com