How to Get Active: Routines & Running Supplements
In today’s health conscious world supplements for running and other fitness goals are growing in popularity. In addition to that, there are a vast list of options, workouts and techniques that are all designed to achieve and maintain a healthy body.
Because of lack of energy, time or motivation, people commonly look to other means to capitalize on their body’s potential, all in the goal of losing weight or being more fit. Fad exercises with pricey accompanying equipment are plentiful for those searching for the perfect fitness tool, but do we really need a closet full of failed gym equipment?
The fact is, running is an easy solution to both lose weight and to get a more healthy body. However, not everyone is equipped for starting off with running. Sedentary jobs that keep one chained to a desk are common and more and more people find it difficult to even find a way to incorporate an easy routine such as running into their lifestyle.
If you are hoping for a better you, that won’t be enough. There are options and you can attain your fitness goals. The best way to do this is to start with the basics, incorporate a routine that will be maintainable and to begin at an exercise level that matches your body. From there, consider adding supplements for running into your diet so that even if you are not in quite the right shape for running now, you will be. As you begin a routine you will also be encouraging your body to perform at pique levels through natural ways.
First, let’s take a look at one of the easiest ways to get in shape. You don’t need anything other than a decent pair of shoes, a bit of patience and a proper form…
Running: A Great Way to Get in Shape
One of the best fitness methods comes naturally to us. In fact, we are essentially built to do it and if you are willing to do it outdoors, no equipment other than a good pair of shoes is needed! Running is a fantastic way to fine tune the health of your body and the benefits are numerous. Even if you have no experience running you can ease into it and build up the endurance needed to make running part of your healthy lifestyle.
What are You Running For?
Take a look at some of these amazing benefits of running and see if you can get your motivation flowing!
What benefits could you use from this list?
- Burns calories and fat
- Combats depression
- Help to maintain a healthy weight
- Promotes improved cardiovascular health
- Promotes healthy lungs
- Stimulates a sense of well being
- Strengthens bones
- Strengthen muscles
We all know that running is good for our health, but those are a lot of specifics! By incorporating a running routine, you too can start to see some of these pluses in your own life. When combined with running supplements, you can increase the chances of your body getting the maximum effort as well.
More Benefits of Running
Distance running is great at conditioning your body to endure a heightened state of activity over an extended length of time. As you are running your heart is pumping faster, your breathing more rapidly and your blood is flowing at a faster pace but it is not pushed to the limit. Rather it is maintained at a bearable level which overtime increases the health of your heart, lungs and circulation tremendously. This really pumps up your overall health and strengthens you.
Running is an amazing way to combat depression as well. It provides an increase of energy and floods the brain with endorphins. You will naturally feel very alert and happy if you run regularly. This is a secret every regular runner knows and one you should get in on as well!
Humans: Built to Run
One of the things that makes us uniquely human is bipedal walking. Although there are other animals that are capable of bipedal walking or standing upright such as apes or kangaroos, there are none that do so exclusively nor are there any that are built for it as we are. Humans are incredibly agile. Not only can we walk on two feet, we can balance our body weight on one foot or the very tips of our toes, we move with a grace and precision that our primate relatives cannot begin to match. Why did we develop this way? Scientific research offers some potential insight into the hows and whys our unique stature developed.
It is thought that at some point our distant progenitors came out of the trees and made their way into the open grasslands of the savannas. Standing upright allowed them to see over the tops of the grass and look into the distance for possible dangers and opportunities around them.
As we moved out and extended our territories we gained access to new food sources and developed new ways of obtaining them. We became hunter/gatherers which required roaming over long distances and into varying sorts of terrain. Walking upright allowed us to navigate these new areas while keeping our heads up high and capable of scanning our environments from top to bottom.
An animal on all fours tends to see things at ground level. They are not well equipped to see movement in the treetops or things positioned higher up, perhaps waiting for a chance to strike. Thus walking upright became something that gave us a great advantage for gathering and environmental awareness but what about running?
Animals Run Faster – We Run Longer
We all know that a dog or cat can run faster than us. Frankly most animals can. So if you're a hunter gatherer and your only weapon is a handheld spear, what do you do? You may try to sneak up on an animal but that’s pretty tricky. You may get one opportunity to strike with your spear but then what? This is when distance running comes into play.
Original hunters would run after their prey knowing that their prey would tire eventually and have to slow down or stop. It could take a great deal of time but if we could maintain a steady pace we could keep up enough not to lose the animal and eventually overtake it. So we might not be able to run faster than other animals but we can run longer and outlast them.
Humans today aren’t nearly as active and bodies can’t do what they once could for the average person. Keeping yourself in shape requires constant movement and effort. While your body may be designed to run, you may want to consider running supplements to make sure that you get the most out of your work out.
Ever notice how your dog our cat pants when they are hot? They never get coated in sweat. Sweat is something we have developed to keep us cool while being involved in prolonged physical activities such as running. Without it we could not distance run.
Because hydration is so important, it was one of the main focuses on areas to work on when training professionals were trying to get athletes into peak condition. One of the first major running supplements was actually introduced by the University of Florida worked with a team to find out why players were responding so poorly to heat and those kinds of sicknesses.
It was found that carbohydrates and electrolytes were lost during intense exercise and sweat but were not being replaced through normal nutrition.
Thus, Gatorade was born!
This was one of the first major introductions of professional athletes showing proven winning strategies while increasing hydration and utilizing other supplements for running and exercise.
Gluteus Maximus: The Running Muscle
Our bottoms are wonderful things. They give us a natural cushion and seem to be perfect for sitting on and relaxing. However the reality is sitting for extended times is actually damaging to our Gluteus Maximus and can cause muscle atrophy. So it really isn’t made just to sit on.
If we examine the muscles of our body one thing that stands out is the size and strength of our Gluteus Maximus muscle, however it is not easily activated. It functions at a very minimal level when we walk. In fact, it is only fully engaged and working hard when we are running. This highly adapted aspect of our physiology seems to be specially evolved for running.
- Can outlast other animals
- Incredible agility and balance
- Gluteus Maximus enables running
- Muscles and tendons adapted to run
- Sweat allows us to run distances without stopping
Ready! Set! Go!
Now that you know a bit of history and not only why running is so efficient to help you lose weight, it is your turn to get started. First, create a routine that you can stick to. Understand that you can increase over time but especially those with health problems, it is important to talk to your primary care provider if you have any health conditions that could prevent you from over exerting yourself. Additionally, talk with them about possible supplements for running that can give you a more secure start to your new fitness goals.
Every routine will be different. There are a number of things that can affect how often you should begin exercising including:
- Current Health
If you find it difficult to get started, you are not alone. Remember, the most important step is to just get out there and do it! You deserve a healthier you and you’ll be happier with yourself for it. As you prepare your running routine, consider a few of the following risks and common problems that people face. Try to plan ahead for obvious challenges so that you don’t get discouraged.
Running is a healthy natural human activity. As we have discussed the benefits are many but what are the risks? There are some health concerns associated with running because it is a high impact activity. This means that running puts additional stress on your muscles and joints.
Every time your foot contacts the ground it creates an impact wave that resonates back into your body. Overtime this can cause excess wear on the bones and joints. However a good deal of this can be avoided or minimized with healthy practices. If you do not understand or incorporate healthy running practices or techniques, the chances of having an injury increase greatly.
Things that increase injury risk of running
- Bad shoes
- Improper form
- Failing to prepare
- Pushing yourself beyond your limits
- Nutritional deficiencies
Make sure that you have a good pair of running shoes that fit properly before you decide to take up distance running. Do your homework and try them out! A good pair of shoes will help absorb the impact wave of running and will protect the tendons in your feet. Do not overlook the importance of proper footwear!
In order to run properly and minimize risks it is important to understand the importance of good running form. Increased cadence, making sure your heel doesn’t strike the ground, having good posture and a healthy range of motion are all vital to proper running. If you do not have a good range of lower body motion for example, it can put extra strain on your musculo-skeletal system and increases the chance of injury. Letting the heel of your foot strike the ground increases impact damage and can cause injuries or fractures.
Failing to prepare
This ties nicely into improper form which is the result of failing to prepare. Being prepared means having the right equipment, understanding and practicing good form and knowing that at least part of good form comes from stretching and preparing the body for running. Stretching is very important because it wakes the muscles up and floods them with oxygen rich blood. If you incorporate supplements for running into your diet, it is important to not just rely on them alone. While they can also help your body get more oxygen, running supplements should be used in conjunction with proper stretching. This activates your muscles and prepares them for activity, which also can make your supplements for running more effective. Failing to do warm up exercises and stretches will increase your risk of injuries related to running.
Pushing yourself beyond your limits
Of all the mistakes we make this seems to be the one we fall for the easiest. After all, exercise is hard work that offers the greatest rewards to the most dedicated right? No pain no gain, is a common motto meant to carry us past our endurance thresholds. However, pushing your body past its endurance levels is the number one cause of exercise related injuries.
The truth is, slow and steady wins the race. Be kind to yourself and understand that it takes time to ease into a healthy routine. Start out with an running routine that is manageable for you. If you're very new at running, make your starting goal one lap around a standard track. You might not even be able to make it at first but that's ok! Don’t push yourself. Just do what you can do and add incremental distance as you progress.
Overtime you will build up endurance and that one lap will turn into 4 laps and even more. Push yourself too soon however, and you may find yourself suffering from muscle pain and injuries that make running impossible. The time needed to recover puts you back at square one, barely making that first lap. By pushing yourself too hard you actually hinder your progress.
Supplements: Let Them Help You
So now that you know what the risks of running are and what steps we can take to avoid them. Is there anything else we can do to assist us in being fit to run so that we can run for fitness? There definitely is. There are supplements we can incorporate into our daily lives that will augment the health benefits of running.
Many of the things on our list of supplements can be obtained naturally in the food you prepare but even the most vigilant of health practitioners find it difficult to get the daily amounts of vitamins, proteins and supplements they need. Therefore adding supplements to your daily routine is a great way to help ensure you are getting everything you need in order to be prepared for physical activity.
Supplements for Running: Your Options
The vitamins and minerals supplements on our list help in different ways. Some strengthen bones, help cardiovascular function and help maintain muscle health. By addressing the health needs of your body both internally and externally you will make sure all your health needs are being attended to.
Some of the common choices for those seeking out running supplements are:
- Fish Oil
- Vitamin D
- Whey Protein
Each of these supplements for running can help you in different areas. You may find that it takes some time before they kick in. For this reason, it is good to begin incorporating them into your routine as soon as you can. Read on to find out more details about some of the most popular supplements for running.
Calcium is well known for its bone strengthening properties. It is something we begin to have deficiencies in as we age and like vitamin D, not having enough can lead to age related disorders like osteoporosis which results in fragile brittle bones. Having strong bones is important to runners because it lowers the risk of bone injury and fractures related to running. Therefore taking calcium supplements both strengthen your bones and lower the risk of injury from running.
Fish oil rich in Omega-3 fatty acids help lower cholesterol on triglyceride production of the liver. It also is a natural anti-inflammatory which is important for runners who can be at risk of inflammation as a result of the stress put on the body from running. Minimizing inflammation helps prevent 2ndary injuries.
Iron is a very important supplement for any runner to maintain at healthy levels. Low blood iron can cause fatigue, lack of energy and a sluggish overall state of being. More alarmingly, many runners may dismiss the symptoms of Iron deficiency as being a symptom of lack of sleep or over exertion. It is important to test your iron levels and supplement your iron intake if you suspect you may be iron deficient. This is especially true for female runners who are at greater risk of developing Iron deficiencies than their male counterparts.
You can get Iron naturally from eating Red meats and green vegetables naturally rich in Iron. If this is not enough however, you can also obtain iron in pill form both over the counter or in prescription strength directly from your physician.
Much like calcium Vitamin D is vital to healthy bone mass and strength. In fact, if you are calcium deficient it is important to take Vitamin D as well because Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium by your body. Vitamin D can only be obtained from three sources. The sun, a few specific foods such as fish, or in supplemental form. Therefore it is one of the most beneficial supplements to take because it is likely that, unless you spend a good deal of time outdoors in direct sunlight, you are probably deficient in. it is particularly important for runners who need healthy bone mass and strength in order to run healthily.
Whey protein is an excellent source of beneficial amino acids which both fuel the muscles and help protect them from inflammation and injury. It also helps speed up the process of healing muscle injuries. This is a wonderful benefit for a runner whose muscles are in constant motion, continually stretching and contracting. Whey Protein is a dairy byproduct so if you are lactose intolerant make sure you find a brand that is lactose free.
Don’t be afraid! It’s natural!!
Running is a wonderful way to increase your health. It pumps out endorphins which create that runner's high, a euphoric state and has multiple health benefits. Like all exercises, there are risks involved but those risks can be minimized with proper understanding and practices.
The benefits of this kind of exercise can be maximized by the usage of health supplements for running which help to ensure your body is primed and ready for the rigors of running so don’t fear it! Your body was made to run! Make your routine, choose your running supplements and talk to your doctor about getting started.