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Beach Running For Beginners

If running seems like such an enjoyable exercise, imagine running along the beach with the sound with the waves joining your every stride. Sounds enticing, right? Yes, more than just having a picturesque view while getting fit, beach running has other benefits that might encourage you to try the workout.

Although beach running may appear as a carefree activity, it is not as simple as it appears to be. Proper preparation is necessary to ensure safety while running on the beach. Make sure that you’re ready before going beach running because injuries may result from lack of knowledge on the exercise.

One of the most important matters to consider prior to going to the beach is wearing sunscreen. Ensure that you have adequate protection from the sun since sand reflects rays. Also, be extra careful in choosing the right beach, look for beaches with even surfaces you can run on. Running on sloping, uneven sands can lead to injuries. In choosing a beach, you must also consider cleanliness of the shore–especially if you’re planning to run barefoot. On the other hand, if you’re planning to wear shoes, select a pair you’re most comfortable at and make certain that it fits you well because it is inevitable for sand to get in your shoes. Put on a pair of socks that can protect your feet from sand as well.

Once you’re ready to go beach running, there are some important precautions to keep in mind to minimize the risks of getting injured.

First, especially for beginners, prefer running on wet, firmer sand rather than dry, loose ones. Wet sand is softer than pavement and asphalt so you can still enjoy getting less impact from running. It’s more advisable to start running on wet sand and once you get the hang of it, transition to running on dry sand. Running on soft, loose sand may take some time getting used to since loose sand is too soft to step on and will make your feet sink into it. Thus, running on dry sand without accurate preparation may lead to injuries.

Another important thing to remember is to not expect your speed to be the same as what you have on pavements. Keep in mind that beach running requires more effort because your feet sinks to the sand—and as a result, they have to work twice as hard to propel you forward with every step. Therefore, it will affect your pace. Don’t beat yourself up by trying to achieve the same speed you have on road running too soon. Although beach running may decrease your speed, it works on increasing your leg power and endurance instead.

So, what makes beach running special aside from the breathtaking background? There are some other perks to beach running than the view.

Running on beach burns more calories than running on pavements; because extra effort is necessary for beach running, it can burn more calories than running on hard surfaces. A study published on “European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology” in 1992 revealed that beach running (or walking) burns around 30% more calories than road running.

You can exercise without the worry of abusing your joints. Sand, even wet or dry is softer than roads, pavements, asphalts, or any other concrete surfaces that’s why it has less impact on joints.

 Just like running on pavements, beach running is an excellent means of relieving stress. Additionally, the beautiful view can add to production of happy thoughts.

You can hit two birds with one stone with beach running. You get to enjoy getting fit and at the same time, have a pleasurable experience the ambiance of just being in the beach brings.

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Running: Rewards and Risks

Running is one the most popular forms of aerobic and cardiovascular exercise because of its convenience and accessibility. People of all ages turn to running as their chosen type of workout not only because of its availability but also because of the many benefits running provides.

Regular running can strengthen the heart and lungs. It gets the blood pumping and helps enhance lung function. According to research from Life Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, risks of getting heart disease can be reduced by running for even just an hour a week.

Another benefit of running is that it helps get rid of excess fats and helps you have a fitter figure as it helps in burning calories and losing weight.

Endorphins are also released during strenuous running. Running is proven to relieve stress and treat depression as well as other psychological disorders.

Running makes your makes your bones stronger. When you run, your body feels the stress from bending and carrying your body weight. Therefore, it reacts by increasing bone density to strengthen the bones to avoid injury.

Many benefits can be gained from running. However, as the saying goes, “Too much of something is bad”. Although there are many pros from running, there are also some cons from involving in this workout—especially when you take it too far. Long-distance running or participating in marathons has its risks, too.

Exposure to injuries is one of the most common risks of running. Minor injuries and pains such as calluses, foot blisters and muscle cramps are just some of the cons of everyday running. In addition, foot injuries also commonly occur due to wearing improper footwear. Other injuries include ankle sprain, shin splints, and muscle tears.

Overuse muscle injuries also root from running too much. Muscle soreness and inflammation is usually one of the results of excessive running. This condition can lead to serious muscle damage if ignored.

Risk of getting skin cancer due to prolonged exposure to the sun for a long time is also possible. Runners have a higher chance of getting Melanoma, one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer, because of UV exposure.

While it’s true that running can lower the risk of getting heart diseases, it may not be applicable to runners who have a family history of heart ailments. This is especially true for runners who push themselves too hard and do too much too soon. A research conducted in Copenhagen City Heart Study revealed that runners who jog slowly or on an average speed for an hour or two three days a week have a higher risk of surviving. However, runners who try to run more frequently or longer than two and a half hours have a higher risk of mortality.

There will always be pros and cons when engaging in vigorous physical workout like running. Nonetheless, running can still be good for the health if it is done with precaution and moderation. Set limits on what your body can handle.

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The Best Energy Supplements For Runners

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Supplements are a multi-billion pound industry unfortunately when there is money to be made there will be less than honest people trying to get in on the action. Supplements are particularly prone to this as often their effects are not immediately obvious or may take months before you can see the effects. There have been a number of high profile cases where people who are in a position of power have abused it by recommending supplements that have very little if any scientific evidence that prove that they work.This is not to say that all supplements are bad, when used in the right way and using the correct supplements they can certainly give you a boost in performance.

This article will be looking at supplements that can help the recovery process after a training session or a particularly grueling race. Runner’s World have suggested that you should aim to refuel the body as soon as 60 minutes after completing your training to start the recovery process. This number is an ok guideline although in certain circumstances such as having two training sessions or races in one day you should probably aim to refuel even faster. If on the other hand you don’t have an active day planned then there is no real time constraint.

There are a number of supplements from which to choose from.

Energy Gels

Energy gels are comprised of simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple sugars are quickly absorbed and will provide your body with energy faster whilst the complex carbohydrates are slower releasing. If you are taking part in a long race or training session then these are ideal for taking during. These are not really necessary before running if you have had time to eat a proper meal.

Energy Bars

Energy bars should contain a good distribution of carbohydrates, fats and protein. These are great for a snack at any time but I personally pack them in my kit bag so that I can eat them on the way home from a workout. They are great to hold you over until your next meal.

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks contain sugar and salts to help replenish your body of lost electrolytes. These are only really necessary for long training sessions or marathons since your body should have enough glycogen stores for shorter sessions. Of course it won’t hurt if you want to take them but plain water is fine in most cases.

Glutamine

Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid which can aid in your recovery and help repair muscle tissue. If are a meat eater you should be consuming more than enough glutamine. Glutamine tends to only be beneficial to people suffering from clinical levels of stress on their body such as burn victims. It is hard to establish just how much stress your body is under in a training session although glutamine supplementation might be beneficial to long distance runners due to the increased stress on their body.

Saving Money On Your Supplement Purchases With Discount Code Vouchers

The costs of supplements can certainly build up and so you should not only pick which supplements you choose to take carefully but also be sure to always be looking out for special deals and promos. I personally like the brands Bulk Powders and GoNutrition. You can find discount code vouchers for Go Nutrition here and for Bulk Powders, here. You can also find referral codes when registering to save a little bit extra. Spending a bit of time shopping around for a discount can save you enough money to get those awesome running shoes you’ve been eyeing.

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4 Common Foot Injuries That Runners Suffer From

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As you can imagine, feet are very important to a runner and for the most part we have our ups and downs with our feet. We have all had our fair share of blisters brought about by the repetitive pounding from training and races. This is normal, there are more serious types of foot pain such as tendonitis and stress fractures that we should pay closer attention to.

Most runners have a love-hate relationship with their feet. Because runners’ feet endure the brunt of the repetitive pounding of the sport, black or missing toenails, blisters and callouses can result from a long run or race. But there are more sinister ways that foot pain can stop runners in their tracks: stress fractures, tendonitis and soreness that isn’t “normal.”

Plantar Fasciitis

Most runners have heard of the plantar fascia tendon. This tendon is located on the bottom of your foot and runs lengthwise. If you have ever experienced a sharp pain in this area this is most likely Plantar fasciitis.

In order to treat this injury you need to pinpoint what is causing it. You also need to make sure that your running footwear provides sufficient support and you may need to look into getting an insert or orthotic.

If you are particularly susceptible to this injury you should stretch your feet. You can use either a tennis ball or frozen golf ball to roll the affected area.

Stress Fracture

Stress fractures most commonly occur in the metatarsals although can happen in many of the bones in your feet. They usually occur during a phase of increased training volume and intensity. If you are unlucky they can also be caused by a freak incident like miss-stepping in to a pothole or rock.

If you are unfortunate enough to have a stress fracture, I am sorry to say that you are going to have to take a break from running. You can do some cross training. The one bit of good news is that once it is healed, unlike tendonitis, the problem should be solved for good.

Extensor Tendonitis

Tendons are present in your shin and run down the top of your feet before they break up into each toe. Their job is to aid in the movement of your feet as well as straight and pull your toes. These tendons can become inflamed, the symptoms of this are somewhat similar to a stress fracture which can make diagnosis difficult.

Causes of this are varied and might be due to improper footwear, imbalanced calf muscles or a tight Achilles tendon. For treatment you should try icing the tendon, this should bring down the inflammation. You should work on strengthening and stretching your calf muscles. Again, footwear might be a problem in that they don’t provide enough support so lo
ok into getting an insert.

Adductor and Abductor Hallucis

These are muscles in your feet, the adductor hallucis is on the top and the abductor hallucis along the arch of your foot. If you are having problems with either of these muscles it is most likely being caused by insufficient arch support and is most common if you have bunions.

In order to treat this condition you will need to do stretches and strengthening exercises. Some useful stretches include toe pulls and a seated toe stretch. For strengthening exercises try some toe pulls using resistance bands and arch raises.

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Precautionary Measures You Should Take When Running In High Temperatures

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Running or any physically taxing places stress on the body. When you further add hot weather this places even more stress on the body and makes it even harder for it to operate as it should.

The body will take steps to cool itself down and maintain its ideal temperature. The body does this by sending extra blood to circulate closer to the skin thus allowing more heat to be dispersed. This means that there is now less blood being passed through the muscles which will lead to an increased heart rate. These measures taken by the body leaves it at a higher risk of heat illness.

Of course the best way to avoid this is not to run when it’s too hot but here are some signs you should look out for:

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps most commonly occur in the calves, quads and abs. They are painful muscle contractions.

Heat Exhaustion

Your body temperature can reach temperatures as high as 104 degrees when you are suffering from heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness, clammy skin, nausea, headaches, vomiting, fainting and dizzy spells.

Heat Stroke

Your body temperature can reach temperatures in excess of 104 degrees when you are suffering from heat strokes. Symptoms include your body being hot to touch despite their being a lack of perspiration. It is critical that heat stroke is treated, if it isn’t it can lead to brain damage and in extreme cases death.

The best way to combat these potential effects is to be prepared and to avoid them in the first place. Here are our tips on staying safe when running in hot weather.

Be Prepared For the Running Conditions

You should find out what the temperature is so that you can adjust your workout if need be. You can do this by reducing the volume or changing the route of your run so that you can run in the shade .Alternatively you can change the schedule of your run so that you run in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. It is certainly not advisable to run in the early afternoon which is the hottest part of the day. Don’t be afraid of cancelling a workout session if it does get too hot, safety should always come first.

Stay Hydrated As Much As Possible

Running in hot weather increases the risk of dehydration. If you become dehydrated this will increase the risk of heat illnesses. Consider using a sports drink instead of just water so that you can also replace electrolytes that are lost in sweat. A sports drinks also contains things such as potassium, chloride and sodium.

Dress Appropriately For Hot Weather

Don’t wear dark colours and try to wear a cap that can shield you from the sun. Stick with light colours and breathable materials.

Take It Slow

As mentioned before safety comes first so don’t be afraid of cancelling a workout session. You can even consider taking your session indoors and running on a treadmill. It’s certainly not ideal but it will be much more comfortable running in an air conditioned gym than in a “desert”.

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Should You Still Run If You Have A Hangover

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We have all been there, heading down to the pub after works for happy hour in order to have a drink or two and unwind. Before you know it you have had a few too many and you are waking up the next day dehydrated and a killer headache. Should you still head out for your run or should you stay indoors and take some painkiller tablets?

According to Dr. Robert Ziltzer, you should go ahead with your run and there is no reason not to.

You can’t expect to be at your physical peak so don’t expect to be running any PRs, the effects of alcohol will still be in your system and it will slow you down. It has been shown the consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in one night can affect your body and mind for up to three days afterwards. This is going to depend quite a bit on your own individual tolerances but you get the idea.

Other studies have shown that consuming large amounts of alcohol has the ability to reduce your performance by up to 11.4%.

A solid running session where you sweat could be the best thing for getting over that hangover. Having the blood pumping through your system could help remove the toxins from your body faster. Before you do so it is important to make sure that you are sufficiently hydrated. If you attempt to run before you have sufficiently replenished your electrolytes which are sapped by alcohol could just end up making you feel even worse than before.

A great alternative to water in this situation is a sports drink or coconut water. They are both excellent ways to replenish lost electrolytes. Make sure your urine is clear or a light yellow color before starting your run. This will ensure you are adequately hydrated.

Getting in a solid breakfast can do a whole world of good and can make you feel a lot better. You can try some fruit, oatmeal and other healthy type foods to provide long lasting energy. It may not be advisable to drink coffee due to caffeine’s dehydrating effects. Whilst a fry up does taste good it doesn’t cure your hangover so if you eat one do so because you want to and not because of a myth.

Whilst we have already established it’s ok to go for a run it doesn’t mean it’s the right time to be pushing yourself hard. We already know that we are not in the best of shape and our performance will suffer so trying to push yourself harder may make your hangover even worse. This is a time for an easier, slower paced run. If you did have a hard paced run planned originally you are just going to have to reschedule it for next time.