On Your Marks. Get Set. Go!

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Cardio exercises are very important not only when trying to lose weight, but also to improve heart health, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Running is one of the best forms of cardio because you barely need any equipment, and you burn major calories.

Benefits of running:
Running strengthens the bones and muscles, and reduces susceptibility to some diseases like osteoporosis (bone loss), diabetes, and hypertension. Running also helps to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and maximize the lungs’ potential. Apparently, people who quit smoking can gain tremendous use of their lungs through running. So if you’ve just given up smoking, it may be time to get a running buddy!

If you’re a worrier, here’s something interesting. The hormones released during your run, and the sense of accomplishment that comes after each run helps to reduce the physical effect of stress on the body.

For those looking to burn fat or simply maintain your current weight as you grow older, running might be the key for you. Because running requires a lot of energy, it also burns a lot of calories, which is necessary to lose or maintain weight.

As a runner, you quickly learn the best posture to reap the most benefits out of your run. Developing a better posture helps to increase the control you have over your body, which is needed for other exercises, and to prevent ‘old-age’ ailments like back and neck pain.

Best running shoes:
To prevent hurting our knees and ankles, researchers have stated that we need to land on the balls of our feet when we run. As this does not come naturally with all types of shoes, our shoes do affect how we run. Because our bodies have been created to automatically land on the balls of the foot when running on bare feet to reduce pressure to our knees and ankles, some new shoes have been developed that allow an individual to feel as though he/she is running on bare feet. So when you pick your running shoes, it may help to pick something that makes your feet feel light and closer to the ground. When your foot feels heavy or senses too much of a heel, you tend to land on your heels.

Statistics of calories burned:
Don’t run once and forget to run for another few weeks. Consistency is the key to staying fit and healthy. As it is difficult to statistically rate all the benefits of running, below is a benchmark of the statistics of calories lost based on a 75 kg (a 165 pound) person. If you weigh less, you’ll probably burn fewer calories in the same amount of time, and conversely, if you weigh more, you’ll probably burn more. Please clickhereto calculate the approximate amount of calories burned for your specific weight and speed.

How to Prevent Injury:
Yes, although there are substantial benefits to running, there is also the possibility of injury. As we talked about earlier, it is very important to be cognizant of the shoes we wear to run. But shoes are not the only factor to consider. The running surface is very important as well. Concrete is one of the worst surfaces to run on for extended periods because of its texture. Concrete does not absorb shock from the runner’s feet, so it transfers it back to the knees and ankles. Better surfaces are the treadmill, the road (tar), and even the beach (sand).

Another important factor to consider is the speed of increase. See the topic “Pace yourself before you break yourself.” Sometimes, we judge our progress by the number on the treadmill or by another person’s speed, but it is necessary to listen to our own bodies. Gradually increase your speed over a period of time rather than expect to run much faster immediately. Additionally, note that some days your body may perform better or worse than other days. On a day you feel like your body is pushing back, realize that that may not be the day to rapidly increase your average speed.

Do you have any other running tips? Please share them with us.

Suzanne Brume

Suzanne Brume

Suzanne Brume is a fitness enthusiast (or as fondly referred to by family, a gym addict) who has resolved to bringing awareness to living a healthy lifestyle. Her mantra? You can only live life to the fullest if you’re determined to live it well. On 360nobs.com check out her column: Bringing Fit Back and to check out where she started from visit eightsandweights.blogspot.com.

3 comments

  1. Hi Suzanne,

    Good stuff, and just to add something…

    Salsa dancing is well known for its ability to relieve stress and help participants maintain a high level of physical fitness. Unlike having to go to the gym that many see as a chore, salsa dancing serves as a fun and easy form of cardio exercise. The end result is increased stamina and overall physical fitness. Dancing involves the entire body, so the heart gets an excellent cardiovascular workout, while the muscles of the arms, legs, thighs are toned in a number of movements. Further the physical nature of dancing helps release toxins and can lead to a reduced heart rate over time.

    Studies show that during a 90-minute organized dance class, a person lands on the same leg about 200 times! Each impact is about 10 times your body weight, and dancing can burn more calories per hour than riding a bike or swimming. A body weight of a 150-pound person can burn up to 420+ calories per hour!

    Regards,

    Charles “Salsa Nerd”
    TLDC

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