Everyday you can guarantee that you’ll go by someone jogging along a path, earphones plugged in, their feet pounding away at the pavement.
But what is the deal with running and why are so many people doing it nowadays?
With more than 2 million people in England running at least once a week, we assess why it has become so popular and what you can do to improve.
Why do people run?
There is one good reason, it can be fun! Well, it’s fun when you know how to do it properly and get the most out of your session. It isn’t easy though, in fact most people find it an effort to get up and go on those cold early mornings, but the pay off is worth it.
People have different goals in mind when it comes to running. Some want to lose a few extra pounds or just get fit, whereas others want to run away from the stress of everyday life, boost their energy or even do it as a pastime.
It doesn’t cost as much as a gym membership, you only need your gear and maybe a friend if you don’t want to be lonely. It has benefits as well, such as keeping your heart healthy, improving your mood, staving off sickness and aiding in weight loss.
What’s better: running or walking?
Walking does have a few of the same benefits that running provides, you just don’t burn as many calories walking as you do running, which is why it’s so popular. You can burn up to 2.5 times more calories running than you do walking. If that isn’t incentive enough to get on those running shoes, then what is?
Runners also have a better chance at maintaining their BMI and waist circumference. It may help regulate appetite hormones to help you stop snacking more than you should.
Walking doesn’t put stress on the body as much as running does and decreases the risk for injuries like runner’s knee, hamstring strains and shin splints. To make up for not running, you can walk with a weighted vest to increase the intensity of the workouts.
Whether you walk or run it will lower the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and improved better cardiovascular health.
Do you run correctly?
To lower the risk of injury you need to have the correct form when running. These things should help keep you understand what to do to maximize your run.
- Always look ahead to avoid accidents such as tripping and always be on the look out for other people and cars. Not only this, but your head weighs about 7-9 pounds and could pull your torso forward and down if you head does the same thing.
- You need to relax and let you upper body move freely with your hips. You’ll feel much more comfortable running if you don’t tense your shoulders.
- Always swing your arms to gain more speed, by either pumping them to propel you forward or let them swing at a 90-degree angle if you’re doing long distance.
- Always try to maintain a short and quick stride to avoid lengthening your stride as it could lead to over striding and will set you up for injury.
Beat the Boredom that comes with the territory
This can happen with any form of workout.
You do the same thing again and again, not only does this create boredom but it also means your body gets used to the workout and it plateaus.
To stop it from getting tedious switch things up and change the route that you run. A good idea is to have maybe four or five differents routes to switch between every time you head out of the house.
To battle the boredom create a playlist of songs that you love and will get you in an energetic mood. You’re more likely to keep going if you are listening to something that you enjoy.
Another option is to grab a friend and get them to join you to make it more interesting and have someone to help keep you motivated when you want to give up.
How to improve your running experience
Running an extra mile or shaving a few minutes off of your best time won’t drastically improve your run, but there are a few things you could do that will help.
Work on improving your glutes when you’re not running to avoid gaining injuries in these areas. We suggest squats, bridges and lunges to build strength in this area.
Always stretch before and after a run to make sure you don’t pull any muscles and avoid injuries.
Mix in some interval running, hills and threshold runs for the best results.
Get over the negatives
We know that the weather can change from one day to the next and it can be a big obstacle for any runner, which makes it all the more tempting to just miss your weekly run. There’s always the option to have a treadmill in your house for the days when you want to run but the weather looks like something out of a disaster movie.
Tiredness can strike at any time, especially when you’re not making sure you get enough hours of sleep. You should always make time to rest and not push yourself, as it could be dangerous.
When you don’t have to get up and go motivation on certain days it’s easy to just stay home. To get the motivation that you need you could try buying some funky running gear to make you look good, and feel good too.
Hopefully, after reading this article you’ll be more confident in your ability to get start or improve on your fitness journey.
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.