Everyone runner knows that warm-up is necessary to improve running performance.
In spite of this, runners usually tend to skip warm-up exercises to begin your workout. In such cases, benefits of warm-up exercises are overlooked and this may lead to injuries.
Doing warm-up exercises is crucial especially doing intensive exercise like long-distance running.
Before going for a run or before doing any physical activity you need to ease your muscles and joints by doing some warm-up exercises.
Benefits Of Warm-Up Exercises
Warm-up prepares your body to start intense workout like running. If you are going for an early run then warm-up helps you release your muscles and joints which gets static due to sleep. The muscles and joints get loose which helps you to move them freely with ease.
Following are the reasons why we recommend every runner not to miss warm-up exercises.
Increase In Body Temperature.
When you warm-up the blood starts flowing faster which leads to increase in body temperature. As the temperature goes up the oxygen is readily available to active muscles.
This increases the endurance of runners and helps them to run comfortably for longer distance.
Low Risk Of Injury.
Warming-up releases your muscles and joints which makes you move them freely without any pain.
It gently prepares your muscles for the workout by increasing the oxygen level in the blood.
Keeping the muscles warm-up will help you to prevent acute injuries like hamstring muscle strain and ankles sprains.
The increase in blood flow to active muscles increases the temperature of muscles which reduces the muscles stiffness and hence increase the flexibility.
The improved flexibility will make you a good runner, as flexibility helps you to stick to good form while running.
It also helps you to increase the range of motion of your muscles and joints.
A warm-up exercise should include all essential muscles. It should fasten your heart rate, this will help to increase the oxygen level in the body.
The amount of time you should warm-up depends on its intensity. We recommend that a moderate intensity warm-up should 10 minutes.
This is sufficient to activate your muscles and joints for having a great run.
But then the question arises what all types of warm-up exercises should we do? Basic push-ups, squats, crunches, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knees and some stretching can be a great warm-up.
Finding a perfect warm-up exercise is an individual decision. Every runner can find a perfect warm-up through experience and experimentations.
Try different types of warm-up exercise and decide which suits you best. Important part is one should not skip warm-up as it avoids risk of injuries.
Addition to this one can also develop his flexibility and joints movement by doing warm-up exercises.
We are aware of all the physical benefits of running and many people run or exercise to lose weight or develop muscles. Very few people focus on the psychological benefits of running and exercising.
The intension of most people behind exercising is to look attractive but no one talks about how running or exercising can benefit their mental health.
Many studies have proven that doing intensive physical activity increases blood flow in the body which helps to release chemical called endorphins which gives a feeling of well-being. Endorphins help runners to achieve runners high.
How Running And Exercising Enhances Your Mental Health?
Most people exercise for improving their body posture, hence very few are aware of how running or any intensive exercise will benefit their mental health.
The endorphins which are released in your body help you to light up your mood. But other than improving your mood running and exercise also improves your attitude and outlook towards life.
It brings that confidence in you and eliminates negative thoughts from your mind.
Let us dive deep into how running benefits your mental health.
Running Boosts Self Esteem.
Running Helps You Cope With Stress.
Running Improves Your Mood.
Preventing Cognitive Decline.
Helps To Overcome Depression And Anxiety.
Boosts Creative Thinking.
Running Boosts Self Esteem.
Running is one of those sports which boost your self-esteem. A runner builds self-esteem by regularly running and jogging and keep beating his own best.
If a runner dedicatedly commits to a plan and keep trying to improve their run by overcoming a mental obstacle then they boost their self-esteem.
Running consistently helps you to get better with every footstrike. A regular runner gets a real perception of fitness and by experiencing positive physical changes their self-esteem is boosted.
If you are training for a long-distance marathon, you set a goal. As you increase your capability to run that extra mile, you get the feeling of accomplishments which boost your self-esteem.
Stress can come due to many reasons like family, friends, work etc. Running gives you time to think or escape from the stress for a while.
Studies have proven that running is one of the best ways to deal with stress.
Running can control stress and enhances your ability to deal with stress and existing tension.
While running your body releases a chemical, called norepinephrine which helps you to moderate the brain’s response to stress.
Running Improves Your Mood
Running, jogging or any other intense exercise which increases blood flow in the body releases endorphins in your body which helps to reduce pain and you feel good.
Endorphins act as pain killers and it elevates your mood by reducing depression and anxiety.
Studies have found that a small 15-20 minutes jog or few aerobics exercises can help you to release endorphins which will uplift your mood.
Preventing Cognitive Decline
Running certainly doesn’t cure Alzheimer but it may boost the brain’s ability to memorise and minimises the chance of cognitive decline which starts at age 45.
While running or exercising, chemicals are produced in the brain which helps you to boost your memory and learning ability for a longer period.
Research has sown that running affects our brain positively. Runners are observed thinking clearly and memorising things faster.
Helps To Overcome Depression And Anxiety.
Running or aerobic exercises release chemical name endorphins which reduces the pain and makes you feel good.
This gives the dopamine hit and makes you feel happy.
Studies have shown that people doing regular exercise usually don’t get depressed or have an anxiety attack.
Chemicals released during and exercising helps you to keep your mind calm.
Even yoga and meditation is considered as one of the best ways to fight depression and anxiety by staying calm.
People who exercise regularly are more active and responsive than compared to people who don’t exercise.
Activeness in your body increases your productivity as you take quick decisions and you act quickly.
Boost Creative Thinking.
A short run to free your legs and body will boost your creative thinking.
If you are struggling to get that one brilliant idea then rather staring at your desktop you should try going for a short run/walk. A short run/walk will make you active and will boost your brain’s thinking ability.
Many creative people critically think while walking to come up with an amazing idea.
How Much Do I Need To Exercise To Improve My Mental Health?
After reading the above benefits of exercise on mental health, you most probably must be thinking of this question.
Well, the answer to this is simple. You don’t need to workout 2-3 hours a day like an athlete. You just have to exercise for 20-30 minutes to experience the benefits of exercise on mental health.
Whenever you feel depressed or stressed due to some reason, try going for walk or do basic 15 minutes cardio workout or stretch a bit to lift up your mood.
An individual who exercises for at least 15 minutes a day will always be more energetic and will have a healthy mind than who never removes time for exercise.
Studies have also proved that running 15 minutes a day reduces the chances of depression by 26 per cent. You just have to remove 15 minutes of your day to run. You can run anywhere you want, outdoor or even on a treadmill.
More than 1/4th of adults across the world do not get enough exercise. Therefore, you should first identify what type of exercise you love to do. It can be anything like running, cycling, aerobics workout or simply playing sports.
Then set a realistic goal and dedicatedly try to achieve it. Do not get stressed to achieve your fitness goal, take your time and stay consistent.
Here is a short video explanation
We all should be aware of how running and other aerobics exercises benefit our mental health.
This awareness has to be spread among all fitness enthusiast. Because the majority of people believe that exercise is for physical fitness.
These days traditional gyms sell this idea of physical fitness and ignore holistic fitness which also includes mental health.
So next time when you will plan your fitness plan, do consider how your exercises are positively affecting your mental health.
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Running outside versus running on a treadmill has always been a debatable topic among runners. Every individual runner has it’s own opinions on this debate and hence they have chosen their way to run.
But if you are still wondering where it is better to practice your runs and want to know about running outside versus running on a treadmill then lets dive deep into this debate to find out the pros and cons of running outside and running on a treadmill.
To get to the verdict lets first look at the pros and cons of running outside.
pros of Outdoor running.
Outdoor Running Burns More Calories.
Outdoor running needs more energy than running on a treadmill because outdoor running gives more muscle aviation as you have to land your feet on the ununiformed surface.
Outdoors running exposes you to different ground variations where you have to balance your body.
Continuous variations in aviation demand more energy which helps runners to burn more calories.
So if you are planning to start running to lose some weight than outdoor running would be of great help.
You Breathe Fresh Air.
Outdoor running is more natural and it allows you to breathe fresh air which is good for your health.
Runners find it more enjoyable as you are exposed to multiple experiences in various types of weather. Beginner runners running outdoors are more likely to do it again.
Research at the University Of Exeter has also proved that outdoors running improves your mood as well it is good for your mental health.
You are open to sunlight which provides you with Vitamin D.
You Are Better Trained For Marathon
All marathons are outdoors, hence outdoor running is more beneficial for you if you are training for a marathon.
Outdoor running trains you to run on the ununiformed ground level which help you on race day to run through different grounds and gives you the strength to face the aviation.
By outdoor running you are also trained to run in various weather conditions.
Race day is always full of surprises which are out of your control. A runner who trained for a marathon by running outdoors will be always ready for unexpected weather changes.
Even running coaches train their students outdoor for long distance marathons.
You cannot take turns on a treadmill, No matter how advanced treadmill you get, you cannot change directions on a treadmill.
This limits you to boost your lateral agility, which is important to strengthen you ankles.
Treadmill Is Boring.
In spite of being useful equipment for running, after some point of time running on a treadmill becomes boring.
As you are running on a treadmill you are not changing your location, you continuously have the same view.
Running outdoor gives you adventure which is completely missing on a treadmill.
You Can Still Get Injured.
While running on a treadmill you are running on the same kind of ground surface for a longer period.
Hence you may get injured due to overuse of specific muscles. That’s the reason treadmill is not recommended for long-distance running.
Well, it’s a personal opinion if you want to run on a treadmill or you want to run outdoor.
If your goal behind running is just to increase cardiovascular fitness then a treadmill is a great option for you. As you can run on a consistent speed and treadmill also helps you to track your speed and distance accurately.
But if you are planning to run a marathon then nothing can replace outdoor running. Through outdoor running, you are tested on all parameters.
You get used to weather changes, changes in ground and you also learn to overcome the mental obstacle.
Long-distance running seems overwhelming for a beginner marathon runner. After knowing about the distance it seems undoable task and runners start wondering how to run long-distance marathons.
Many runners join running groups in their locality to get tips for long-distance running. These groups help beginner runners to be physically and mentally fit for running long-distance running through proper training.
Before diving into the techniques and tips for running long-distance running let’s have a look at what is long-distance running.
What is long-distance running?
Long-distance running ranges from 3 km through 5km, 10 km, 20 km and up to the full marathon which is 42.1 km (26 miles and 385 yards).
Long-distance running also includes ultra marathons which are 50 km plus. You usually have to be eligible for participating in ultra marathons.
Marathon is considered as a physical activity but in reality, it also tests your mental ability while completing the distance. A runner needs to be mentally fit for long-distance running.
If you want to participate in long-distance running you need to have a proper training plan as you cannot get ready for marathons overnight.
Just like any other sports, there is a process to get ready for the race day. Through proper and committed training plan you will be aware of running techniques for long-distance running.
Here are some important tips which will help you to run long distance.
Tips for long-distance running.
First Be Mentally Ready.
Proper Hydration & Nutrition.
Proper Training Plan.
Keep Refuelling During Runs.
Pro tip: Do Not Compete With Others
First Be Mentally Ready.
If you have ever attempted to run a long-distance race then you may be aware of how your mental ability is also tested in long-distance running. While running a runner has to surpass numerous mental obstacle.
Before going for long-distance running, it’s better to be mentally prepared first. A runner should develop a mental approach before running long distance marathons.
Race day is always full of surprises, unexpected challenges come up which a mentally strong runner can only face it.
According to experts “learning to take the right approach during physical training is the first step towards building a strong mindset for long-distance running”
Don’t keep on thinking about the finishing line, just stay positive and try to go with the flow.
Keep on repeating some affirmations to keep yourself motivated. Like Yess! I can do this, keep going!
Proper Hydration And Nutrition
If you are having an amazing physical training but overlooking nutrition and hydration plan then you are missing on an important factor for a successful long run.
Nutrition and hydration are ignored my most runners in their preparation for long-distance running, and without them, you won’t have the appropriate amount of energy to complete long-distance running.
Long-distance running is the intense run where runner burns thousands of calories, hence a runner should focus on nutrition and hydration to sustain long-running without any injuries.
While running runners need a high amount of carbohydrates to maintain blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrates and protein intake are important for refuel and repair the muscles post-run.
Hydration is important for runners to enhance their running performance. Hydration avoids injuries, cramps, removes waste from your body and keeps you energetic during long-distance running.
Always remember, it’s not a sprint its a marathon! So pace yourself accordingly.
Marathon pace could differ from person to person depending upon one’s ability and experience in running.
Long-distance running is more about consistency than the speed. While running long-distance marathons a runner should have consistent pace throughout the distance. The increasing pace at early-stage and then crossing the finishing line with dead legs doesn’t make sense.
While training you should run 60-90 seconds slower than your planned race pace. This helps you to run in a better condition on race day.
HAVE A PROPER TRAINING PLAN
Training is the most crucial part to prepare for your first long-distance running. A proper training plan will make you physically and mentally fit for long-distance running.
There is an old saying that the more you sweat in training the less you bleed on the battlefield.
If you are a beginner runner who is not aware of long-distance running training, then you should join a running group in your locality.
This running group will improve your running technique and will motivate you to stay committed to the training plan.
A training plan helps you to boost your running performance in numerous ways. It also helps you to track your running progress. You will notice a gradual improvement in your endurance and ability to run long-distance races.
Majority of people think a marathon is just about running and you don’t need to have any proper training plan to complete it. Those who believe in this misconception have a tough time complete long-distance running and may face lots of injuries.
KEEP REFUELING YOURSELF
All the above-mentioned tips for long-distance running are pre-run tips, now let’s talk about the tip you need to remember on the Race Day.
Even if you followed all the above-mentioned long-distance running tips flawlessly, still race day will always surprise you.
Change in weather, sudden drop down in energy level, an unexpected injury, etc. are the challenges which are absolutely out of your control.
Hence, to withstand these challenges you need to keep on refuelling yourself during the run.
Long-distance running is an intense activity which demands a high amount of energy, runners need to keep refuelling their body for completing the distance.
Refuelling helps you with required nutrition and hydration which provides you with energy to boost your running performance.
Lack of refuelling during the runs will increase the chance of Hitting The Wall.
Hitting the wall is a term used in running when a runner goes out of carbohydrates which leads to decline in glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. This will lead to sudden fatigue and loss of energy.
You can carry some energy bars, nuts, energy gels, etc. to keep your energy level high to complete the long-distance running.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS
This is the most crucial tip for all the beginner runners out there. I have observed that few runners thrive hard to be better than their fellow runners.
Running is an individual sport and in running you just have to keep chasing the better version of yourself.
Trying to get better than others won’t help you to improve your running form or boost your running performance, it will only demotivate you when some other runner is performing well.
The best way to get better at running is staying committed to the training plan, believing in yourself and never give up!
First, always be mentally ready for long-distance running. Plan and train accordingly to boost your performance and to avoid injuries. Follow your training plan dedicatedly and focus on hydration and nutrition.
And always remember the most important tip for long-distance running NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS. You are an amazing runner just step out and practice!
Many beginner runners go out of breath while running. As a beginner, maybe you haven’t even thought of breathing techniques for runners. After all, who needs to know how to breathe, it’s easy and it comes naturally right?
Well not really. Runners need to be aware of breathing techniques which will help them to boost their running performance.
Initially, it may feel uncomfortable, but eventually, you will learn the technique and will naturally breathe efficiently. In fact, breathing techniques for runners, as well as for other athletes, will be beneficial in numerous ways.
“Initially, it may feel uncomfortable, but eventually, you will learn the technique and will breathe efficiently”
Do you do shallow breathing while running and feel tired? Most people do chest breathing which makes them out of breath soon. Chest breathing does not provide you with enough oxygen which you require while running. This leads you to get fatigued soon you start running.
Try belly breathing which is also known as diaphragmatic breathing.
What is Diaphragmatic Breathing?
Diaphragmatic breathing is when you inhale air till your belly and exhale it. It involves movement of your belly while breathing. It engages your diaphragm in the breathing process which helps you to intake more oxygen while running.
The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that is located at the base of the lungs. It is an important muscle while breathing efficiently. It opens up your chest and allows lungs to intake more oxygen.
This increase in intake of more oxygen help you to boost your running performance.
Breath through both your nose and mouth.
While running to intake more oxygen runners and to have proper breathing rhythm runners should breathe through their nose and mouth both.
Using any one to breathe while running won’t provide you with enough oxygen and hence you may go out of breath. The best way recommended is to use both.
Breathing with your nose and mouth will help you breathe easily and with the proper rhythm. Practice breathing through both during the day as we are mostly used to breathe with our nose.
This will also engage your diaphragm which will increase the intake of oxygen while running.
Breath work exercise to improve breathing technique.
To improve your breathing you can try this breath work exercise which will help you while running.
Follow the below steps to practice this breathwork exercise:
Lie down on a flat surface on your back.
Keep one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest.
Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
Take deep breaths (up to 5 seconds) while doing this exercise.
Concentrate on your belly as it will keep on moving up and down.
This will give help you to get into the habit of diaphragmatic breathing, which will help you to increase your intake of oxygen and you will be able to run longer than usual.
Avoid shallow chest breathing while running and focus on belly breathing as it will increase the intake of oxygen it will help you to boost your running performance. Often the best breathing technique which is suitable for you will come naturally.
Running is considered as a solo sport and if you haven’t tried group running yet, you are missing the major fun of running. Running with a group running has so many benefits over running solo. If you haven’t experienced running with a group dive in to know everything about running with a group.
What is Group Running?
Group running is training for the marathon with other runners in your locality. These running groups are formed by gyms, fitness enthusiasts, experienced runners, etc. and anyone can join the group regardless of what level of runner you are.
Usually, there are no restrictions to join such groups unless you have any medical issues or had some severe injuries in the past.
The group consists of all kinds of runners from elite to beginners. Every group has a proper training plan which they follow by meeting several times a week. All runners help each other to improve their running form.
Even if you are a beginner runner you will always find a runner with the same capabilities as you in the group. There are sub-groups under the large group. These sub-groups are divided as per the running ability of the runners.
Group Running Guidelines
Well, there are some guidelines if you want to join the running group in your area. These guidelines do not apply to all groups, but if you want to have most out of running with a group then its better to adhere to these guidelines.
It’s better to leave your earphones at your home. One of the important motives of group running is to make friends while running.
Always be on or before time. This is the basic etiquette you need to follow because staying behind everyone is no fun and discipline will make you a good runner.
Always stay humble and try to help your co-runners. There may be some runners in the group who are not as good as you, so you need to help other runners.
Follow the traffic rules. Runners should run together and at one side of the road, so that vehicle traffic is not disturbed.
Be careful before spiting, blowing your nose, etc. Don’t spoil the morning of other runners.
Always communicate with your fellow runners. Even if you are an introvert try to start a conversation with runners. Because you all are sharing the same love for the run, so it will be fun to share some knowledge about running.
Benefits of Running With a Group
Get to Socialize
When you start running with a group, running becomes a group sport. You get a chance to interact with people who share a common interests. Many have found spouse, friends, etc in their running group.
Many runners travel for international marathons with friends they have made in their running groups.
Many running groups organize their internal marathon or other running events which makes creates a strong bond among the members of the group.
Great Source of Motivation
Running with a group becomes a great motivational factor. It’s hard to motivate yourself to train consistently for marathons if you are running solo (if you can motivate yourself then that’s cherry on the cake).
Group running motivates you to push yourself harder. While running, your fellow runners keep you motivated. Daily you will have the excitement in you to run with your runner friends.
It is always safe to run with a group than running an individual. Runners sometimes run early morning on an empty street which may generate fear in runners minds. In group running you always have the company of your fellow runners.
There is a less chance of getting lost as everyone stays together throughout the route and even if you take a wrong turn, your fellow runners are always there to guide you.
Learn From Others
This is the number one rule of a group running that you have to learn from better runners and help those who are not better than you. There is a pearl of collective wisdom in every running group which motivates every runner to share the knowledge of running with each other.
As you start running with running groups you will gradually see improvement in your running form, endurance, technique, etc. Runners love to talk about running while running.
Sometimes when the weather is not good then running solo feels little boring right?
Well, it’s difficult to get bored while running with a group. As you run with a group you discover new routes and there are always fellow runners to chat while running which always keeps your mood up for running.
In nutshell running with a group will benefit you in multiple ways. It will certainly make you a better runner and will give you exposure to more techniques of running. I will surely recommend you to join any running group in your city/locality and enjoy the experience.
Do you run with any group? If yes please let us know the name and the city in the comments so that others who are searching for running groups will find it easy to join the group.
What is mobility training and do I need to do it? If you think so, then you are just like me and many aspiring athletes. Even during my marathon training just like a usual runner I used to focus more on my running posture, speed and distance. And on days when I don’t use to run, my focus used to be on strength training and a bit of stretching.
So let first understand…
What is Mobility Training?
Mobility training improves your ability to move single or multiple joints through its range of motion. This enables your limbs to move in its full range of motions. Which eliminates the chances of injuries and imbalance. It improves your body posture while doing various types of exercise. Having a proper body balance avoids various injuries and also improves your athletic performance.
Mobility VS Flexibility
Well just to avoid confusion, mobility training and flexibility training are two different workouts. Unlike mobility flexibility is ability to lengthen your muscle or muscle groups passively through range of motion. Both are crucial for better performance.
Benefits of Including Mobility Training in your Regular Workouts
Mobility exercise will give you calm feeling and will reduce stress.
It opens up your joints and muscles which gets stiff due to strength and endurance training.
Mobility exercise are generally low intensity exercise, which will give your body a break from usual intensive workout.
These mobility workouts can also be done as warm up or cool down exercise while your regular intensive workouts.
Sometimes your regular workout seems boring to you? Well incorporating this mobility exercise will bring a change and motivate you.
Regularly doing mobility exercise will improve the movement of your body for long term.
It reduces back pain, shoulder pain, joint pain etc.
How often should you train mobility?
If you want to achieve best results, mobility exercise should be done on regular basis. it should be included in you strength and speed training plans.
Overactive muscles can adversely affect your muscles movements and may lead to injuries if not lengthened periodically, especially during high intensive workouts like aerobics training.
If you want to have maximum benefit of mobility training, experts recommend to train for at least 5-6 days per week for 5 – 10 minutes each day. Primarily focusing on muscles which are tight.
Muscles which are more often tight are as follows. You need to always prirotize following muscles for better athletic performance.
Latissimus Dorsi (Large back muscle)
Mobility Training is equally important as strength and endurance training. Every athlete should focus on mobility to boost their performance. Let me know in the comment section what are your thoughts on mobility training.
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It is rightly said that sports do not build character, they reveal it. This is because sports not only have numerous health benefits but also it helps to build the overall personality of an individual. When you start playing sports it improves your attitude and character which will help you while facing other challenges in your life.
Let’s have a look at how sports builds character and how it can help you to be a better individual.
How Sports improve your health?
Sports being a physical activity certainly has various health benefits for all age groups. Sports improve your cardiovascular system which is essential to improve your heart. A healthy heart pumps good blood. Sports activities are also good for maintaining your sugar levels.
Research has shown that people indulged in sports frequently have a low risk of high blood pressure. Indulging in high-intensity sports improves your aerobic fitness which leads to optimum utilization of oxygen by lungs.
You can easily spot the difference between an ordinary person and a sportsperson. People who play have an athletic body and a good body posture. Overall development takes place in their body which results in holistic fitness.
Playing sports improves your muscular strength and endurance which leads to better flexibility and strong joints which won’t cause you problems after your 40’s.
Sportsmen are considered to be fit for a longer period compared to those who build their bodies by lifting heavyweights in the gym.
Above mentioned are some of the benefits of sports for your physical health but do you think sports have a positive impact on your mental health as well?
The main reason why sports are the most different way to achieve fitness is that unlike any other traditional approach sports consists of emotions. It doesn’t matter with whom you are playing, whether it’s your friends, family, etc. you always play with passion and emotions.
Hence, sports certainly have a positive impact on your mental health and personality too. When you play any sports you are mentally indulged in the game as well. You think and make strategies to win the game.
The major advantage of playing sports is and this one is my favorite, it’s that it teaches you to accept failure. This will also help you to face other challenges in your life.
Studies have proven that when you play sports it builds team management and leadership qualities. Students who participate in sports are more likely to build a leadership mindset in the workplace.
The decision-making skills are tested and improved when you participate in sports. While playing any game you need to plan and make strategies and also need to implement those strategies instantly to win the game.
Sports have so many other physical, mental, emotional advantages. If you are the one who indulges in sports regularly then it’s great to keep continuing and let us know in comments what motivates you to be a sports enthusiast.
These days benefits of sleeping have been underestimated a lot. Very few consider sleep as an important factor for staying fit. Reason being is that in our day to day schedule we prioritize our work and other responsibilities in such a way that our sleep patterns are usually disturbed.
It is totally understandable that each one of us have different responsibilities or some unexpected work pops up and we have to work till late night to meet our deadlines. But specifically in younger generation this isn’t the case. Misconception has been created that sleep is for weak. In younger generation staying up late till night by scrolling social media accounts or binge watching a favorite show on Netflix is considered cool. Staying up late has become part of our schedule and that’s what we should stop.
Early to bed and early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy and wise.
– Benjamin Franklin
The above saying is so true yet usually ignored. Our sleeping patterns certainly has influence on our mind as well as on our body. Having sufficient sleep cannot be ignored if you want to have a healthy lifestyle.
So lets first highlight the importance of Sleep.
Sufficient sleep has positive impact on your mind as well as on your body.
Positive influence on Mind
A sufficient sleep is essential for healthy mind. It reduces the stress hormone which are generated due to our hectic lifestyle. The brain functionality improves due to sleep, it improves creative thinking, memory and decision making skills. Research have shown lack of sleep is also major reason behind depression and anxiety.
When we sleep our brain is completely active specially when we are in deep sleep, that is the period we get vivid dreams. This stage of sleep is called REM (Rapid Eye Movement)
If you are going to have a brainstorming session for ideation and conceptualization where you have to think creatively, a better sleep would boost your performance.
Positive Influence on Body
Have you ever thought why all athletes are so particular regarding their sleeping patterns. Sleep has many essential benefits on your body and also improves your athletic performance. Sleeping is also considered as best recovery for you muscles whenever you have intensive workout. Sleeping is the integral part of recovery and it also improves athletic performance and gives competitive success.
Athletes find it difficult to meet minimum requirement of sleep due to stress, travel etc. An athlete goes through intensive physical workout which leads to excessive use of muscles and tissues. Research have proven that the recovery of muscles and tissue takes place when body is at complete rest.
If you are an athlete or aspiring to become one, then you should be aware of how exactly sleep will boost your athletic performance. Click here to find out how sleep will improvise your athletic performance.
For spreading the awareness of sleep, back in 2018 India’s fitness Icon and my inspiration for barefoot running Milind Soman came up with a brilliant idea, a 7 hour marathon everyday… it seems overwhelming right? How can you run for seven hours daily…but what he actually meant was he will sleep for 7 hours daily. Motive was to spread awareness of sleep as he rightly said in an interview that sleep is an important pillar for a healthy lifestyle.
Well he came up with this idea 2 years back but its never too late to start such a good habit which is so beneficial for your body. Let me know in comment section what do you think about this idea of sleeping 7 hours daily.
I hope you are not reading this article by staying up late at night. :p
I think most of the runners have faced this question at least once in their lifetime. It is because non-runners usually feel that running is too challenging or boring. Or maybe they are having that mental barrier that they cannot run long distance or maybe they believe in some myths like running is bad for joints or running makes you skinny etc.
As a runner, we all know that running is much more than fitness and weight loss. There are so many physical as well as emotional advantages behind running regularly.
So if you are having a question that why runners run or why should I start running then stay tuned, you have clicked on the right article!
So the following are a few reasons which motivate most of the runners to run or below are the points which will motivate you to start running!
Good for the heart
Beat Your Best!
Reduces depression, anxiety
Overcoming mental obstacle.
Improves body posture
Bonus: Improves self-esteem
Good for the heart: A runner has a healthy heart. Most of the doctors or cardiologist recommend their patients to go for a walk or short run. Running has positive impact on the heart of runners. Runners have lower resting pulse rate which results in higher amount of oxygen intake. Echocardiographic studies shows that distant runners have a healthy heart compared to sedentary people. The runners heart also pumps blood at higher rate compared to normal people. This is called an “Athlete Heart”. Athlete Heart once was considered abnormal, but now is considered as efficient organ. Running being an highly aerobic activity it has positive impact on cardiovascular system. So once you start running, your heart will start living a healthy life.
Improving Immunity: When your start running boosting immunity is certainly not the priority, but running being an aerobic workout it eventually helps to increase your immunity system. Just like running, other intensive workouts also boost your immunity system. When you run or do intensive workouts your body releases white blood cells which are crucial to boost your immunity system. While running your body temperature rises which helps you to fight various infections in your body. So during this Covid-19 times we have been well aware of importance of immune system and so there’s another motivation to run and stay healthy during this pandemic.
Better Sleep: There is no valid research to support this point but I personally have experienced this. When you have a good long run, that night you will really have a good sleep. The reason behind this is when you run or do some intensive exercise it increases the amount of slow wave sleep which means deep sleep. A research have stated that running reduces insomnia symptoms. It takes lots of energy and lots of calories are burned in process of running as it is known as aerobic exercise, which results to have a good sleep. The increase in body temperature while running and later on after cool down when temperature drops the runner may feel sleepy.
Beat Your Best: Running is an individual sport, and the only way to get better at it is getting better than yourself. As we all know that running is a pure test of physical as well as mental strength. If you have to get good at running there are no shortcuts, each day you have to try to get better version of yourself. Each day you have to try to run a bit more than what you ran yesterday. Even for marathons you have to keep improving day by day and eventually you will be physically and mentally ready for completing that dream marathon!. Specially for beginner runners its strongly recommended to not to compare themselves with elite runners because being good at running is a long-term process. So practicing and being consistent is the only way forward.
Reduces Depression & Anxiety: Running improves your mood and it also has positive impact to reduce depression and anxiety. Runners have more connections between the frontal-parietal network and other areas of brain this leads to positive influence on attitude. While running some neurochemicals are released in the body. These neurochemicals are known as endorphins. Endorphins are released in brain which helps runners to reduce pain and boost pleasure, resulting in feeling of well being. In addition to relieving daily stress endorphins also leads to burst of well being and just a general sense of happiness.
Overcoming Mental Obstacle: Running is not just physically challenging but also mentally challenging. A runner is also tested mentally when he has to complete a certain distance. Numerous thoughts rush into the mind of a runner when he is running. Multiple negative thoughts start running into a runners mind. Especially if you are a beginner then you will certainly start doubting yourself. A true runner has to overcome those thoughts and be focused on running, he/she has to stay determined and keep on chanting some positive lines while completing a marathon.
A runner can chant following sentences, these are the ones which i use personally.
Yes, come on you can do this!
If they can finish it, why can’t I?
You just have to keep motivating yourself to run that extra mile!
When ever you mind tells you to stop, just take a deep breath and take control over your mind and keep going towards finishing line.
Runners High: A experienced runner can tell you that sometimes it happens sometimes it doesn’t. So how exactly do you get runners high?
Well there is no exact way to get runners high, but first lets understand what exactly runners high means…
Runners high is a natural feeling of reduced stress and reduced ability to perceive pain. When you hit runners high the pain and tiredness drastically reduces and you get a feeling of happiness and fulfillment.
Did you guessed when do we get runners high? Exactly as mentioned above we get it through endorphins. It improves your mood and motivates you to cover that extra mile.
Improves Body Posture: As mentioned earlier running improves you mood but it also has positive influence on your body. A runners body goes through many changes, running makes his/her body more fit and lean. Running increases the percentage of lean muscles and reduces body fat substantially. It also increases your metabolism, which leads to improved bone density and overall development in health. Important point to remember for long distance runners is that running with weight training will help to increase your muscles.
Bonus- Builds Self-esteem: Running can also boost your self-esteem, when a beginner runner trains for a marathon he has to practice with full dedication and once the runner finishes his dream run, he/she will start to appreciate how far they have come. Any beginner runner feels a marathon is an unachievable task but as a runner’s body get develop he/she will start having a positive attitude and will appreciate the efforts. The confidence which you will gain will have positive influence on your personal as well as professional life. A runner will start taking challenges which he/she would have not taken otherwise.
A feeling which you get when you reach that finishing line cannot be expressed in words. I would really recommend you to train for a certain distance and experience that feeling by reaching that finishing line by yourself.
So, why you run…? Let me know in the comment section, what is your reason that keeps you motivated and if you are a beginner then which of the above reason will motivate you to run your first mile.