I’m not a huge fan of running! I know that sounds weird to say as a fitness professional so let me start over again, I’m not a fan of running for most people. I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 15 years and I have competed as a figure competitor for 5 years. I’ve been single digit body fat in the past and I maintain about 13-14% body fat year round without running.
I’ve watched numerous people injure themselves from running, and then they continue to run with bad knees, hips, ankles, shins, and make current injuries worse. No one could ever get me to understand runner’s high because I believe in a healthy body, if one thing is off in the body’s chain it’s a guarantee something else is going to go wrong.
I run recreationally or to clear my head and that’s what makes it enjoyable for me. There is a chip trail in Manhattan Beach, CA that I love and The Bridal Path in Central Park, NY that I enjoy as well. I choose these two areas to run in because the paths do not have concrete which is totally forgiving on your joints and the scenery is amazing!
Now is running the best way to lose weight, I would say no! If you are overweight or a person that does not workout frequently, you should start out with exercises that are less strenuous on your joints and muscles like the bike, the elliptical, or walking the treadmill without holding on, on an incline. I’m a big fan of interval training on the cardio equipment I mentioned and weight training to lose weight. Building muscle burns fat and helps with your bone density. If you are going to run regardless of what I say and believe please make sure you follow my tips on running.
I strongly suggest the following:
- Foam roll prior to running – Self Myofascial Release is effective, inexpensive, and convenient way to both reduce adhesion and scar tissue accumulation. It makes the muscle more pliable and ready for movement. It must be done on a regular basis to truly fell the benefits of it, but once you start you will see a noticeable difference in your movement and performance.
- Do Dynamic Warm ups – Dynamic warm ups are like stretching while moving. Mimicking the movements you will be doing in a dynamic fashion over static stretching is way more beneficial. When you run you are challenging your muscles, bones, and joints, which static stretching doesn’t do, so save that for the end.
- Start out slow – “Slow and steady wins the race”. You may not be in a race but take your time and figure out what you natural pace is. Once you figure that out slowly start to compete with yourself and challenge your time every couple of weeks.
- Listen to your breathing – Control your breathing, you control your run. The body and the muscles need oxygen to perform. Without getting into the science of it just focus on taking deep breathes, and get oxygen into your lungs as well as good exhales. Your body is a machine it will know what to do with all that oxygen.
Besides running there are lots of additional ways to lose weight, which I will be blogging about so stay tuned.
A true fact about running you will increase you cardiac capacity and you will burn a lot of calories which is ultimately what you want. But what good is all of that, if you haven’t taken the time to get yourself strong enough to run. I was once told by one of my coaches in the past “if you can’t squat your bodyweight you shouldn’t run.” That statement makes sense because running is a plyometric, meaning you are suspended in air when you run and when you come down your joints and muscles needs to be able to absorb that impact. You can make your own decisions about what works best for you, but my mission is to educate people about health and fitness. So, I hope the information I have given you helps you in some way to make healthier choices.