Running To Stay Fit When You Can’t Access The Gym

Running is considered to be somewhat of a miracle drug. Its benefits extend beyond its use as exercise. As cardio, it will help to improve your cardiovascular health, burn calories and help you build muscle.

Running creates a lean body. The leaner your body is, the more calories you will burn during the day.  Some of the benefits of running include:

  1. Improved cardiovascular health – running can be used to increase heart rate and improve cardiovascular health.
  2.  Improved bone health – running helps to build stronger bones and provide a better foundation for supporting your growing body. It will also strengthen your knee and help you keep osteoarthritis at bay.
  3. Mood enhancement – running boosts serotonin levels, which in turn will help you feel more positive and optimistic overall as well as helping you deal with stress easier.
  4. Energy boost – running helps to release endorphins, this is why it’s so similar to an addiction in that it makes you feel better about yourself after a run. It also increases the metabolism by a few degrees higher after a run than at other times of the day (as can be seen with many sports).
  5. Weight-loss – because running burns calories and helps to build lean muscle it can help you lose weight.

At Topbets South Africa you can find tips about what you should do when running. These are some of the guidelines for proper running technique that will help prevent injury and develop a leaner body:

Follow a schedule:

By following a schedule and sticking with it, you will be more likely to see results than by not following one at all. Having a schedule will also help keep you motivated throughout your running process by rewarding yourself as you meet certain goals along the way.

Make sure to get the most out of your workout by varying your terrain and routes as well as listening to music while running. If possible, add some light weight training into your schedule as well.

Run with optimal form:

Running with poor form can lead to injury. Proper form involves using a forefoot and mid-foot strike. A forefoot strike allows your foot to roll in front of your body, while the mid-foot strike allows you to hit the ground with the middle of your foot. 

Keep your head up:

Looking up at the horizon or slightly forward of where you are going will keep your head from bobbing up and down while you run. This is important because this causes fatigue and hurts your efficiency.

Maintain a stable body:

Having a stable body will make you more efficient. You will be able to transition from each foot strike more easily because you won’t have to use as much energy to keep your body balanced.

 Trust your alignment:

When running you should always be aligned and following proper form. Too many runners don’t run with proper form and they end up over-striding or putting too much weight on one leg causing them to move in an unstable manner. If you are unsure about the correct form, talk to a physical therapist or doctor about it.

Warm up:

Warming up is important because it helps prepare your muscles and joints to handle the impact of running. Also, warming up will help you avoid injuries such as muscle strains and tightness which can occur if you do not warm up properly before running.

A good warm up would include stretching, jogging and dynamic stretching.

Calf raises may also help to improve your form. They are the best way to tone calves because they are performed at slower speeds than stepping or jogging while still mimicking the movements of actual walking or running stride. These movements help improve muscle tone as well as strengthen tendons and ligaments. This will cause you to become more limber and in turn, able to walk and run with greater ease.

Gain control:

When you first start out you will begin by building a base. To do this you should increase your running time slowly and at a comfortable pace. In order to build a strong foundation, this will take some time. You should also be able to walk fairly easily when done running. If you can’t walk without being in pain then your running may be too intense for you to sustain long-term.

When it comes to speed, consistency is important. It takes time to work up to speed so don’t feel bad about taking it easy at first and slowly improving everything as time goes on. You should start off every workout at a slow pace and gradually build up from there as your body allows. 

Fast forward:

After you’ve built up to running for 15 minutes at a time you may do as well to run a little faster. You can do this by either increasing how fast you go or adding intervals into your run where you go as fast as possible for about 5 seconds then slow back down again. This will help improve your ability to move faster and give you more endurance.

Speed it up:

You can also increase your pace by doing intervals of “sprints” where you run as fast as possible for about 15-20 seconds and then slow back down again. This will improve your endurance and be good training

Get the right equipment:

A good pair of sneakers is necessary for running. Your feet will take a lot of impact and will definitely be uncomfortable in poorly fitted shoes. You’ll want to have the right type of shoe for what you’re doing so that you don’t injure yourself.

You may also want to get a good sports bra or compression shirt to help hold your breasts in place while running, if this is something that bothers you constantly.

Stretch:

After you run it’s important to stretch out your muscles so they don’t become too tight and cause further injury. If it’s impossible or inconvenient for you to do this immediately after running then try to do it at least once a day when possible on non-workout days.

The Pundits

Founded by Ryan Wallace & Keegan Kruger, The Pundits is a South African Sport Blog & Podcast that brings braai-time banter to our readers and viewers online.

We share sport news, banter and products across various online channels including our live sports podcast on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

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The Pundits

Founded by Ryan Wallace & Keegan Kruger, The Pundits is a South African Sport Blog & Podcast that brings braai-time banter to our readers and viewers online.

We share sport news, banter and products across various online channels including our live sports podcast on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

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