Don’t stop at Just Running – How and Why to Cross Train

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Sep 132016
 

Cross training is very important, for several reasons:

It can improve your running – If you’ve been running for a long time, you know that it’s easy to plateau after awhile. Cross training with other types of activity can improve your speed, your form, and your endurance. You’ll be surprised at what this can do for you!

It can help you avoid injury – If all you do is run, it’s so easy to overtrain the same muscle groups over and over, which can lead to injuries. Running long distances without ever trying other forms of exercise is a great way to get injured, even if you stretch diligently and eat right. Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent this with just a little cross training.

It can help you become more fit overall – Along with preventing injury, cross training is important because you need to work the whole body. Running honestly doesn’t do a great job of that. A variety of activities mean that your whole body gets a great workout, and you become stronger and fitter than with running alone.

 

Types of cross training: Any physical activity other than your main sport (running) counts as cross training. Here are some great suggestions for activities you can try.

Cycling – get on that bike! This is a great alternative to running, and a good way to get exercise into a busy day, if you’re close enough to school or work for a bike commute!

Weight lifting – Many runners who have started lifting now swear by it. It will revolutionize your running. You’ll become stronger, faster, and leaner than you ever imagined, if you’ve stuck with just running until now. Many people at the gym are happy to show you the basics, and most gyms offer an introductory deal on personal training – so don’t be intimidated by those weights – girls or guys!

Swimming  – who doesn’t love a good swim! Give those running muscles a break and get in the pool. If it’s too cold to swim outdoors where you live, many gyms and local rec centers offer terrific indoor pools.

Bodyweight training – Good old push ups, squats, and other calisthenics are great for upping your running game. Quick, easy, and free, these exercises require no special equipment. Check online for an almost unlimited number of suggestions, and get back to the basics!

Sports – Take a tennis lesson, join your company softball team, look for a local soccer or volleyball league, go kayaking with your buddies, or play some football in the yard with the kids! Check out an indoor trampoline park, or try your hand at rock climbing! Sure, there’s running involved in most of these activities, but you’ll work more major muscle groups, plus they are just plain FUN!

 

For some ideas to get started – enjoy the video below!

What to Eat Before and After Your Run

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Jul 102016
 

Whether you are running for fun or you just want to burn some few calories, eating the right type of food before and after a run can be the difference between staying healthy and living wrong. Running, just like any other type of exercise requires sufficient energy before and after.
Having a good meal before a run will provide your body with sufficient energy to see you through the running period. On the other hand, eating something good after a run will help in restoring your depleted body energy. Whether you are planning to eat before or after a run, the following are some of the best type foods you should always consider beforehand.
Foods to Eat Before a Run
Grab an Apple
Apples unlike other types of fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which are essential in providing your body with sufficient energy. The crunchy apple juice, on the other hand, helps in keeping your body hydrated during the run.
Walnuts
These heaven-sent seeds contain high levels of starch and fiber. Once ingested, they function by keeping your body stuffed. Unlike grains which may make your stomach cramp, walnuts usually keep you satisfied. Apart from this, walnuts also provide maximum energy required for your running activities.
Smoothies
Always grab a cup of smoothie before you hit the road or the gym. A cup of smoothies blended using the right type of fruits and mixed with the right blend of yogurt has been shown to contain high levels of energy. Your body highly requires this type of energy and power.
Oatmeal
According to nutritional facts, a single cup of well-cooked oatmeal contains up to 158 calories. Calories, as we all know, are significant suppliers of energy in the body. Taking a plate of these grains will gradually provide your body with the required amount of energy to sustain you during the run. Oatmeal contains no traces of fat hence making it an ideal grain for exercise purposes.
What to Eat after a Run
Grab a Steak of Salmon
Salmon contains proteins and nutrients which have been shown to reduce inflammation and increase joint support. Taking a good chunk of salmon and a mixture of fruits and veggies after a run will mediate joint movement and reduce inflammation especially to starters.
Chocolate Milk
A cup of chocolate milk is a great drink especially to people who don’t like eating something heavy after a jog. Chocolate milk contains optimum levels of carbohydrates and protein which are essential in providing your body with sufficient energy. Almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk are also great alternatives.
Bagel with Peanut Butter
This mixture brings together the combination of carbohydrates and proteins all in one place. After a run, your body requires sufficient energy to sustain the metabolism process. Peanut butter is rich in protein and fiber while bagel comes equipped with sufficient amount of carbohydrates.
Fruit Juice and Fruit Salad
Fruit juice contains a significant amount of energy in the form of glucose which is highly needed by the body especially after a run. Mixing a glass of your favorite juice blend with some veggie salads will surely restore your energy back to normal.

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Barefoot Running: Healthy or Hype?

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Jul 032016
 

One of the hottest trends amongst runners is the idea that barefoot running is a healthier, more natural and preferable way to run than that of running utilizing the modern running shoe. If you’ve decided to give barefoot running a go, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind in order to prevent injury and reap the rewards that a barefoot running style can provide.

One would think that in this day and age, barefoot running would be a thing of the past but actually, it is slowly making a comeback. More runners realize the benefits of running barefoot vs. running with high shoes. Modern running shoes have a feel as you walk on springs. They are comfortable, soft, and feel they give you support you need while running. But feelings can be deceptive. A research study has shown that running shoes increase the strain on the foot, the knee, and the hip joints while compared to running barefoot. Researchers attribute this to the typical design of running shoes.

Barefoot running is becoming an option for injured runners or runners with chronic injuries as they realize that can run again. Most ailments are caused from the shock our feet have to absorb every time the heel hits the ground, which leads to chronic pain and injuries. The benefits of barefoot running are also derived from moving from a heel-first strike that then get’s rolled over to the toe for pushing off for another stride, to a more shuffling gait on the balls of your feet that utilizes the natural spring action of your arch; resulting in reduced impact on the body’s joints and muscles.

Barefoot running puts the pressure on the ball of the foot where it was meant to be as exposed to the heel where a majority of runners land when wearing shoes. The ball of the foot was meant to be used as a natural shock absorber. Try it yourself. Run barefoot for a few yards and see if you land on your heels. Chances are you won’t. In many countries, barefoot running is still the norm. Studies show that barefoot running is associated with lower instances of ankle sprains and strains, knee injuries and a lower instance of chronic lower leg injury including shin splints.

Running is a wonderful sport, but it requires healthy feet and a healthy musculoskeletal system. By running in modern, soft cushioned running shoes, most runners lose their natural foot function and natural running technique. Barefoot running does not have those risks because it does not go against the natural strike of the foot. Wearing a shoe does go against the natural strike of the foot as the foot strikes the ground at the heel while the barefoot strike hits the ground at the ball of the foot.

Barefoot running is something that each personal must decide if it is right for them or not as it does have its pros and its cons. Special toe shoes can protect the foot while running barefoot. If someone is interested in barefoot running, it is best that they consult with their podiatrist to get the best possible information relating to the issue. This type of running could prove to be very beneficial in the long run.

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Avoiding Injury

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Jun 242016
 

Running has many benefits to the human body, it not only makes us physically fit but it also enhances our general health. However, a research conducted at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada revealed that about half of all runners usually get some form of injury at some point. The study went on to say that about half of those injuries can be avoided just by preparing better and listening to your body. In this article, we are going to give you tips on how to prevent common running injuries.

1. Eat a well-balanced diet and always stay hydrated

Do you know that the food you eat has a direct effect on how you perform when training? Various studies have revealed that one of the main cause of injures is poor diet. Most runners don’t embrace healthy diet a factor that makes their immune system weak. A person who has a weak immune system is vulnerable and can easily get an injury when running. It is therefore very important to ensure that you diet comprises of healthy meals that will boost your overall body strength as well as the immune system. You should also avoid heat exhaustion and dehydration by constantly hydrating yourself.

2. Increase your mileage gradually

If you force your body to do what it is not used to, you will be putting it at risk of getting an injury. You need to prepare your body gradually so that it can be able to handle workout stress. This means that your training should start small then progress as your body gradually adapts. Your progression should not be a steady increase in intensity and volume. Instead, it should be a staircase progression with period of reduced intensity and volume at certain times. To prevent getting a running injury, ensure that your training is gradual.

3. Wear the correct type of running shoes

Many athletes usually get an injury because of wearing the wrong type of shoes. Running shoes are made differently depending on style of running and foot type. You need to buy running shoes that conforms to the structure of your foot as well as the degree of pronation. A store that has specialized in selling athletic foot wear can actually help you find the right shoe to suit your running purpose.

4. Improve and maintain your flexibility

Flexibility is very important for runners. You need to be flexible enough to prevent yourself from getting an injury. You therefore need to perform stretching exercises on a daily basis to improve and maintain your flexibility. Stretching should be done on all joints and should not be done in a hurry. It is also very important to ensure that you include other exercises such as skipping, knee drills, bounding as well as circles. These exercises will help improve your flexibility, a factor that will prevent injuries besides improving your performance.

5. Get evaluated by a running expert

You also need to get evaluated by a running expert on regular basis in order to know if you are doing the right thing. A running expert is well trained and can easily detect your running flaws better that you. An expert will also give you tips on how to correct those flaws to ensure that you don’t get an injury.

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Running Shoes — Where to Begin

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Jun 212016
 

Are you an athlete or interested in running? You should feel comfortable immediately after putting on your best running shoes and maintain the same feeling after running for some miles. The way you feel in your shoes is usually determined by your foot shape and running style. In case you are a regular runner, quality shoes should endure 500-400, miles, which is approximately three or four months. Furthermore, if the midsoles or outsoles of your shoes are worn or compressed, you should buy new best running shoes.

Categories of running shoes

The decision to purchase running shoes demands that you know the category that you need. Here at the most common categories of shoes you can choose from:

• Cross-training shoes-Your cross-fit workout, gym sessions and any balance activities will be more enjoyable if you buy this type of shoes. These activities need more ground contact than the normal thick platform sole preferences.

• Trail-running shoes-If you usually run off road where the routes have obstacles such as mud, rocks, and roots then this is your type of shoes. They have aggressive tread enhancements for reliable solid traction as well as fortified to give you underfoot protection, balance and stability.

• Road-running shoes-There make is awesome on pavements and occasionally on slightly irregular surfaces. The best running shoes are flexible and light. They protect your feet as you occasionally land on the hard and even surface.

Types of best Running Shoes

The type of your shoes can have a great influence on your training sessions. The following are great shoes for you:

• Stability shoes-All of you who experience mild to moderate form of evaporation. Your midsole are reinforced as you exercise.

• Neutral shoes-They are good for mild pronators. However, they are what you need if you supinate. Medial support and shock absorption is what these shoes do best.

• Minimalist shoes-The shoes are light weight thus offering flex and cushion.

• Barefoot shoes-This kind of best running shoes protect your bare feet from hazardous objects on the track. They have a zero drop design.

•Motion control shoes-The best running shoes can be categorized in this manner. They have stiffer heels.

Features of quality running shoes

As you go shopping for your best running shoes, please have a look at the following features:

Uppers

You are advised to look for uppers with the following characteristics:

• You can choose synthetic leather material. It is derived from polyester and nylon and you will love it is durable, abrasion resistance and supple. The material is more breathable, dries quickly and is lighter than normal leather.

• Thermoplastic urethane-Stability and durability are enhanced by this feature.

• Nylon and nylon mesh-This boosts breathability and reduces weight of your best running shoes.

• Waterproof membrane-It allows your feet to breathe and protect water from entering them.

Midsoles

This is a stability and cushioning layer between the outsole and uppers. They should have:

• Ethylene vinyl acetate. EVA is what you should look for in your best running shoes.

• Posts have firmer EVA

• TPU or nylon plates

• Shanks for midsole stiffening

Outsoles

Rugged rubber is the material that makes most quality running shoes. Your feet are thus effectively cushioned.

Heel-to-Toe Drop

This represents the variation between height of your toe and that of your heel. It affects how the feet strike the surface. Furthermore, Heel Counter and Torsion Bar should be considered. They are vital features.

 

 

Why Running?

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Jun 172016
 

Running is not that fun the first few times you do it, especially if it is not your routine. You probably know somebody who does some morning runs and you wonder why they put themselves through so much trouble. You may assume that walking is just as healthy as running but this could not be further from the truth. Running has way more benefits than simply walking. Many people walk, few run. The question however is, why choose running?

1.Running is exercise- There are numerous methods of exercising but the best thing about running is that it does not require equipment. Only your two legs and a field and you become as one who spends a fortune in the gym

2.It is simple exercise- You do not need a trainer to teach you how to run. Running is not a skill that you are taught in a fitness class. It is so simple even a 5 year old can do it.

3.Stay alert and sharp- People who exercise and run are always sharp at work or in school. There is something about sweating a little that leaves your brain alert and attentive. Try running before doing any day activities and watch your concentration span rise.

4.It is a rewarding Sport- Running is not only a form of exercise but a sport. You may find out that running is in your blood and end up in the Olympics. How do you think Usain Bolt found out that he could run? He simply ran. If you don’t enter the Olympics, participating in this sport as a team also has numerous benefits like understanding team work.

5.Lose weight and maintain- Whether you want to lose some weight or maintain your weight, running will prove very resourceful in achieving your desired goal. Running is proven method to burn a lot of kilo-joules.

6.Strong bones- Running is a weight bearing exercise. These are exercises that help you build strong bones because you do it with your whole body. If you feel you need stronger bones, accompany running with eating a lot of iron and you might become the next Man of steel.

7.Relieves stress- When you feel you are under pressure and have a lot of stress one simple solution is to run. Running will half solve your problems. This is because your body will dispel excess hormone and energy and will leave you in a more sober mood to solve your problems.

8.Prevent Disease- They say prevention is better than cure. A lot of the modern day diseases can actually be prevented by this form of exercise. Diseases like stroke, breast cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure can be prevented if you run. Running will help your arteries retain their elasticity and will strengthen your heart.

9.Makes you live longer- Numerous studies show that exercising will make you live longer. If you want to enjoy this earth longer, you better start running. Running will keep all your organs healthy and you will age slowly.

There are many more benefits of running. If you want to sleep tight and live stress free, running is your ticket in. It’s very simple and does not even require that you dip into your pocket. Choose running today and make it a habit.

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