Many of us have been working from home these past few months and it’s not strange to have put on some extra weight during this time. If you’re feeling the need to get fit and healthy again, you may want to take up running once outdoor activities are safe to resume in your area. Running is one of the best ways to shed off those extra kilos and at the same time keeping your body fit and improving your stamina. But even a seemingly simple activity like running requires some thought and care. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you start:
1. Do not overeat before running
Avoid eating a big and heavy meal before you go for a run. When we start running, our blood flow is directed towards the skeletal muscles that help in running, whereas the blood flow to the digestive system is reduced. This causes the digestive process to slow down. So, if you eat a large and heavy meal before running, it won?t get digested properly and you might end up getting symptoms like cramping and side stitches.
If you are running early in the morning, you can run an hour with an empty stomach. If you are running later in the day, allow at least one to two hours to pass after eating a meal before you go for a run.
2. Maintain your hydration
You must keep sipping water throughout the day to remain well hydrated. Do not drink lots of water before heading out for a run though, as it will make you feel uncomfortable with a sloshing stomach. If you’re running for long, you stop every 15-20 minutes and have a few sips of water. A person should consume at least two litres of water throughout the day.
Runners must avoid caffeinated drinks as they can increase the heart rate. Sugary drinks should also be avoided as they only give a temporary surge of energy which droops down pretty fast.
3. Stretch before running
Stretching is the most important step that must precede running or doing any form of exercise. We have always been taught static stretching right from school, which involves stretching while standing in the same spot. However, studies indicate that static stretching does lengthen the muscles but also triggers a protective reflex action that prevents overstretching of the muscles. This can make the muscles stiff.
This is why most trainers suggest a dynamic warmup, stretching the muscles through a wide range of motions that simulate the running movement, helps in a better lubrication of joints before running.
4. Good pair of shoes
Just how for cooking an amazing meal you need all the ingredients; to take up running, you need a good pair of running shoes. You don?t have to buy the most expensive pair of shoes but the ones which fit you snugly and do not let you slip or slide. Running shoes help the foot to strike the ground in such a way that it reduces the impact that travels up your leg when you run. They also protect your feet from painful blisters.
5. Maintain consistency
If you want to build endurance, you need to keep going. Running three to four times a week initially is a good start. This will build your muscular and cardiovascular strength and endurance. You may take a rest or a break in case of an injury or illness but avoid going too long without running.
For more information, read our article on Running.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
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