Are You Running Right?

BRAND’S® Article - Are you running right?

Running is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise that’s easy to pick up and requires little equipment. It improves both heart and lung function, strengthens muscles, builds sturdy bones and helps to burn off excess calories.

Whether you’re a beginner or an avid runner, it’s important to listen to your body and gear up properly so as to avoid injury and minimise the stress on your joints. Follow the running tips below to get on the right track.

Start slow, go easy

The body is designed to adapt to the rigors of running. But this adaptation takes time. If you push yourself over the limit before your body is ready, the results can be dreadful – a knee injury for example, that forces you to stop training just when you’ve finally built up some momentum.

To properly ease yourself into a routine, start with runs no longer than 20 to 30 minutes and work in 10 to 15-minute increments and a faster pace as you go along. Take note to also allow for recovery time as it’s a crucial period when muscles heal and become stronger.

Pick the right pair

Because running is a high-impact sport, cushioning and comfort in a pair of runners are top priorities. Running shoes are designed to provide cushioning for forward motion as well as motion control. Investing in a proper pair of running shoes can help to lower the risk of injury.

Practise good technique

Although running styles vary by individual, there are some good practices to adopt. Keep your breathing rhythmic and consistent. Utilise short strides with your legs bent beneath your body rather than fully extended on impact. Maintain an upright posture. And find a comfortable running cadence, which is the amount of steps you take per minute. A high cadence means each foot spends less time in contact with the ground supporting your weight, helping to reduce strain.

Always warm up and cool down

Warm-ups generate body heat, lubricate the joints and increase blood flow to the muscles and joints. Dynamic warm-ups work best before a run – brisk walk for two to five minutes followed by a 10-minute jog. Exercises such as lunges, skipping and high-knees help to loosen and activate your muscles.

Cooling down aims to bring down your heart rate steadily, and involves walking, slow jogging and dynamic stretching exercises such as butt kicks and jumping jacks. It prevents the pooling of blood in the body’s extremities, which can cause dizziness or fainting. Stretching after a workout when your muscles are more elastic and pliable, increases joint mobility and eases joint tension.

Feed your body right

What you put in your body before and after a run is more important than you think. You can base your diet on the length and intensity of your workout, the workout conditions and your nutritional status. As a general guide, stay properly hydrated and eat foods such as salmon, cherries, kale, bananas, oatmeal and whole-grain pasta. These food items work as great running fuel, as they provide the body with proteins, vitamins, healthy fats and quality carbohydrates. Before exercising or running, drink a bottle of BRAND’S Ca’ya with Habbatus Sauda and Ginseng to provide a longer lasting energy boost that your body needs for better endurance and stamina build-up regardless of whether you are a short or long distance runner.

*Crowley DC, et al. Safety and efficacy of undenatured type II collagen in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. International Journal of Medica Science. 2009; 6(6): 312-321.

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