Running is not only a way to engage in physical activity, to lose a few unnecessary pounds or to maintain form – it is also a way of spending free time, lifestyle and a set of many factors that have a beneficial effect on our body.
The beginnings of running fashion go back to the seventies, when in the period of great socio-economic changes in the United States, it turned out that there is money in sport. So, sponsors, clothing and sports companies, special sports shoes, nutrients and gadgets started to appear.
At the turn of the millennium, along with economic growth, there were problems with overweight, hypertension, stress, long sitting at work and driving a car. People needed traffic, and because running does not require extra costs outside of good footwear – it became very popular, it could be called a hobby or a way of life.
Nowadays there are a lot of running events in different countries. In addition to the classic marathons and half marathons, field racing (so-called traile), orienteering and adventure racing have developed, an integral part of which is running.
Real benefits from running
Running has a significant effect on our body:
- improves the flexibility, length and trophics of muscles and other soft tissues,
- affects the joints: improves the shape of joint surfaces and calms down bones and prevents osteoporosis,
- teaches the appropriate adjustment of the breathing mode to the effort, which increases the life capacity of the lungs, improves the activity, elasticity and elasticity of the lung tissue and the strength of the respiratory muscles. The chest is also shaped,
- prevents constipation and improves and accelerates metabolism,
- improves circulation; the heart volume is growing, the blood pressure is lowered and the circulatory system gets used to making a long effort, which at the later age prevents circulatory failure or coronary heart disease,
- It improves our efficiency, i.e. the ability to perform physical exercise without disturbing homeostasis and fatigue symptoms. Running is an aerobic (or aerobic) sport, so if we undertake a physical effort lasting longer than 15 minutes, we gain energy by oxidizing the high energy compounds contained in the muscle cells before the metabolism of the uptake, transport and resorption functions of oxygen and energy substrates takes place through the work of the muscle cell .
- strengthens the muscles of our body, also the muscles of the spine. It is heavily used while running; keeps the posture upright and lifts the head, so the muscles surrounding it must work efficiently. A strong muscular spine corset reduces the risk of discopathy, degenerative changes and scoliosis. However, if your spine starts to hurt, it is worth to start running on soft ground, thanks to which its axis will not be exposed to injuries. However, it is best to do rest for a while, gives you real pleasure, of course after some time, because before the body gets used to new activity and effort, long weeks and months pass, until this activity becomes something common in our lives.
Running and slimming
Regular running is a recipe for a slim and modeled figure. Weight reduction is the goal of the vast majority of people who start their running adventure every year. Theoretically, after a month of systematic training, we should be 5 kg lighter. However, if this is not the case, we probably exercise too short (only after 30 minutes we start to burn fat), we have an inadequate diet (with a poorly balanced, drastic or high-protein diet the body begins to defend itself against destruction and the yo effect may appear in a short time -jo), the intensity of the run is too small (usually we slow down the pace or go for a quick walk if you are breathless, but to burn fat you need to reach and maintain the right heart rate).
Running reduces or eliminates the presence of cellulite, or orange peel, which is deposited on the thighs, hips, knees, buttocks and even arms. It is characterized by an abnormal distribution of adipose tissue in the subcutaneous tissue due to the growth of estrogen in the body. Its formation is influenced by a sedentary lifestyle and an inadequate diet. Therefore, let’s help yourself with running. During the run, all muscle groups work, we dehydrate our body, accelerate fat burning and improve circulation. If we do it 45 minutes each day, we will see the effects very quickly. Not only will we lose unwanted orange peel, but we will also lose unnecessary pounds.
Running recommendations for the runner
What should you do to make jogging a real, healthy pleasure for us? Here are some tips:
- it is worth to buy a heart rate monitor to control your heart rate and see improvement in your condition, in other words, how the pulse evens out and how your body gets used to the effort you make,
- you can organize a running companion, which additionally motivates, especially on a bad weather day or when we simply do not want to,
- if we started to run systematically and our “occasional activity” gained a training character, it is worth gradually increasing the distance covered. Of course, we must remember that the number of miles traveled during the week allows us to effectively regenerate. Otherwise fatigue will build up and training will be ineffective. The key to success is to find the perfect balance between the intensity (number of miles) and regeneration. So it should be done carefully and increase the distance slowly and gradually,
- after each cross-country training, you need to find time to rest, so that the work done by us is not wasted. After each intense run, you need to sleep well and eat well. Sleep regenerates the body best. There are great naps after hard training. It is also worth remembering to supplement carbohydrates. All you need is a banana or a simple roll, not necessarily special nutrients,
- you should run on soft terrain, because thanks to that we put less strain on joints and muscles, so we protect ourselves against injuries. Besides, there is nothing more pleasant than running in a park or forest, in silence, in the open air and away from civilization,
- you have to drink – during long runs, after each workout and between them. Keeping a well-hydrated body is the foundation,
- watch out for injuries; you have to run on the appropriate ground, stock up on comfortable running shoes and look under your feet. If anything happens to us (muscle strain, sprain or overload pain), unfortunately you need to rest and heal the injury. Health is our priority. If we spend a lot of money on good shoes, sports clothing or gadgets, then do not spare for a good physiotherapist and doctor.
Warm-up and stretching of muscles
Before any physical activity should be prepared the motor system to take physical effort. Warm-up is an inseparable element of training; proper preparation of the bone and muscle system protects us against injuries and increases our efficiency during training.
During warm-up before running you need to carefully work out all joints and muscles working during running. We start from stretching the ankles, knees and hip joints, then shoulder joints and individual spine sections, because our whole body works during running. Then we can start preparing the muscles. Muscle stretching is a very important element of the warm-up; relaxes, improves elasticity, length and strength of soft tissues, improves the flexibility of our body and improves blood circulation. It should be done before and during and after training.
In running, we stretch five basic muscle groups in the lower limbs:
- calf muscles (ankle flexors) – we do one leg forward, we bend the knee and lean on it with our hands, the leg in the back is straight – we press it in the ground, hold it for 5 seconds and rest,
- isch muscles (rectifiers of the hip joint) – we extend the straight leg forward slightly, we lean on the thigh with our hands, straighten the ankle and move the toes at each other, hold for 5 seconds and rest,
- gluteus and pearly muscle (hip abductors) – we sit with our knees bent, one leg lift and put the ankle in the front on the opposite knee, put the hand on the knee – press the knee and hand at the same time, hold it for 5 seconds and rest,
- quadriceps (rectifier of the knee) – we stand straight, grab the hand behind the ankle and pull it to the buttock, hold for 5 seconds and rest,
- iliac-lumbar muscle (hip flexor) – one leg we make a forward step to bend the knee firmly and lower the pelvis to its height, lean on the knee with the hands, the second leg is straight back, the knee rests lightly on the ground, then we fall down with the body forward, simultaneously straightening the hip joint, hold for 5 seconds and rest.
Picture Credit: petterijokela