To the number of people who are passionate about running is increasing every day - we can see more and more runners on the streets and treadmills. Many started out with light runs and are now training to complete their first five-kilometer race.
Interest in running is clearly growing - and this is confirmed by the growing number of groups that come together in parks to run together.
In this article we tried to answer all the questions about running and consider both the pros and cons of this cardio workout.
Pros of running
Although we know that any issue is best viewed from all sides, we are always in favor of fixing attention on the positive aspects. If we talk about running, then there are many positive aspects.
Here are five positive aspects of running that we found.
1. Strengthens the cardiovascular system
The number one reason many people engage in this type of physical activity is because they want to improve cardiovascular health. And rightfully so: running does improve heart health.
Running strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system in general, increases your VO2 max.
2. Burns calories
It's not a secret that running is a good exercise to burn calories. Whether you want to lose weight, Maintain your figure, or just want to find an activity that helps you maintain a certain percentage of body fat, then running is the sport that can help you achieve these goals.
3. Strengthens the joints
Much has been written and talked about injuries and how they can be prevented, especially when it comes to running. But did you know that as long as you run in the right running shoes that provide proper landing and cushioning, running will actually help strengthen your bones and joints?
For newcomers to the sport, it is important to increase your distance and running activity gradually, week after week, If you put too much stress on your body, the possibility of injury becomes more likely. However, if you increase the load gradually and run in good, carefully selected running shoes, running can significantly improve the health of your joints.
4. Works on the lower body
It happens by itself. If you're looking for a lower-body workout that includes cardio, start running - if you haven't run uphill yet, then you are missing out on a lot! The day after running uphill, you will feel how actively your legs worked - delayed muscle pain syndrome will not keep you waiting.
Core activation is important for proper running technique, which means running affects the upper body as well. And if you do hand exercises while running on hilly terrain, you get a full body workout.
5. Reduces stress
If you haven't started running yet, then this reason deserves to start.
Endorphins are released during exercise, They are known to improve mood and help cope with stress. In addition, while running, you get personal space, the opportunity to ponder a question or reflect. You can think about your long-term plans or plans for the day ahead - whatever it is, running is the perfect time to think and make decisions.
Cons of running
While we don't like focusing on the cons, it's worth looking at the issue from different angles. At the end of the day, we want to know if running is actually good for us.
Although running strengthens the body, this sport is very prone to get injured.
If you are new to running, then even if you have previously done cardio training - cycling or swimming, and you are in good shape, it would be good to follow the beginner program.
Running is a high-impact sport, so to reduce the risk of injury, we need to take care of our joints from the first days of training.
Split shins (pain in the front of the lower leg), sprained hip flexors, and sore knees are common traumatic effects seen among runners.
If you are not ready for additional strength training in the gym or at home, we recommend that you choose another type of cardio workout, with less stress.
2. Body imbalance
It is known that running can lead to muscle imbalance, and yet this fact cannot be a good reason to stop running. The legs do a lot of movement while running, unlike the upper body, and the upper body does not undergo the same load, which can lead to imbalances, especially if you skip workouts aimed at strengthening the upper.
The core muscles are a very important mechanism involved in running. This is why it is highly recommended to train the upper body to improve running and prevent muscle imbalances.
How to love running?
Remember how easy it was to run as a child? We enjoyed running. Now, most likely, you hate this activity. Why it happened?
The main reason people stop running is because they stop enjoying the activity.
Meanwhile, running is a very healthy exercise. And yet, even knowing this, you are not eager to go for a run, are you?
Regardless of the reason that caused you to stop running, with the simple and effective methods outlined in this article, you can enjoy this cardio workout again.
1. Find what inspires you
The first thing you should do is motivate yourself. Look to others to be inspired by their accomplishments and set new goals for yourself. Then set a goal for yourself: run your first five kilometers, ten kilometers, half marathon, or full marathon.
Get closer to your goal by completing some intermediate steps, or simply remind yourself regularly why you want to achieve this goal. Inspiration often leads to action. A good goal can be exactly the push you need to enjoy running again.
2. Accept the fact that running is difficult (sometimes)
Sometimes the best way to enjoy doing something is to stop trying to do it. Take it as it is! When you acknowledge that running is hard for you (and stop forcing yourself to see running as an easy exercise), then you can finally relax and truly enjoy your run.
Keep in mind that whatever you resist will be constantly present in your life. Therefore, if you do not completely admit that you are experiencing difficulties (and this is normal), then you may find it difficult to solve the problem.
Remember, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Taking such challenges makes us better.
3. Run more often
This is the harsh reality: 99% of difficult tasks are easier if you just do them more often. The more you run, the more your body will adapt to running and the more you will achieve it.
Of course, no one wants to sweat and gasp as soon as they leave the house. Thus, the less painful we can make this process for ourselves, the better. How do you do it? The only way is to go for a run 3-4 times a week.
You need to run more. This will not only lead to less pain after training, but will also allow you to experience all the best moments of running.
4. Run slower
Running doesn't always mean speed. In training, you don't need to run faster or perform better than last time. Set goals for inspiration, but don't run to the point of exhaustion.
If today you make a grueling run, then tomorrow you may not have the desire to run. So keep your balance - don't run too much, too fast.
One of the reasons you might not like running may be your fast running speed. So try to slow down.
5. Listen to audio while you run
Remember that while you run, you can listen to anything - music, podcasts, audio for language learning ... you can talk on the phone with a friend.
A poll by World Runner's found that 61% of runners listen to something while running. Why not join them? They do it for a specific reason - it is enjoyable and rewarding, even outside of a run.
Although, of course, jogging with headphones does not suit everyone. Some people feel that when they listen to music or an audiobook, they lose concentration or cannot enjoy running as much as they should. Therefore, choose a convenient option for yourself.
6. Reward yourself after your run
Looking forward to returning home from your run? Then determine for yourself the reward that will be waiting for you at home.
Jogging should not be associated only with pain and sweat, after which you can enjoy something pleasant.
Who said you can't eat pizza or large portions of dessert after a run? In the same poll of runners, 18% of respondents said they ate pizza after running. So lie down, have a delicious drink, and make yourself a pizza or banana ice cream . You deserve it!
7. Run in a group
Running with Same-minded people is a proven and effective way to motivate.
It's not just that many people on the day of the marathon are often superior to themselves. The reason for this is adrenaline, focus on one's own action and of course the fact that thousands of other people are also running alongside. It's a competition, and it spurs you on to better results.
With a running partner, the situation is slightly different. You can chat, joke and laugh. You have common interests (at least one), and this unites and supports.
45% of people prefer to run in a group rather than alone. So if that suits you, reach out to your friends and find yourself company. Running together is more fun!
8. Think positively
Finally, remember that while running can be challenging, it can also be incredibly enjoyable at the same time. Visualize yourself running a marathon. See yourself in your best shape, fastest, most successful.
Remind yourself how good you are after recovery. Memorize any feeling you have when you achieve a result. Memorize the feeling of freedom, concentration, or any other positive feeling you get while running.
Your positive thoughts, just like the post-workout reward, help your brain develop a positive association with running. If you fall asleep thinking about the pleasant moments associated with running, then most likely, when you wake up, you will want to go to workout.
Change the phrase "I cannot do this" to "Yes, I can do this!" Then you will immediately get out of bed
Running is not an easy workout, but it should not be too hard for you, you should not go for a run through force. Just reconsider your attitude towards running, get rid of negative habits. Motivate yourself, find a source of inspiration and have fun with your workout.
What are you waiting for? Put on your sneakers ...