Running is one of the most natural forms of exercise. Our ancestors did it, hunting, gathering and honing their bodies for survival. Most athletes use it to warm up before their preferred sport. And as exercises go, it's low maintenance - all you need is a place to run, really. You don't need specialised training, fancy equipment or machines, a specific time, or a hulking trainer. Your body will instinctively figure out how to do it right.
Running is also safe for all ages as all you're doing is carrying your body weight. As we run, the body releases hormones and endorphins that make you feel good and enjoy the exercise. The happy feeling continues long after the exercise, which is why most runners report that they feel their tensions released though the day.
A good run works out the large thigh muscles, utilising tremendous energy and making your metabolism surge. This encourages your body to burn fat faster and tone muscles and build strength. It helps pear-shaped bodies get back into more even proportions. Its benefits extend far beyond muscles - running keeps osteoporosis at bay as it improves the body's weight on the bones - retarding calcium depletion.
People who run regularly destress naturally, report fewer ailments as they build immunity and have a better digestive system. Most regular runners find they can eat more without gaining weight because of their improved metabolism.
If you plan to run, incorporate this into your diet:
1 Protein-rich sprouts like moong, chana and other beans.
2 Boiled beans.
3 Peanuts (they offer natural protein and oil, which help skin and hair).
4 Soya, tofu and soya flour, especially if you get little or no meat in your diet.
5 Green and yellow vegetables for those essential vitamins and enzymes.
6 Complex carbohydrates like vegetable dalia, oats and brown rice.
7 Minimal oil.
8 Lots of water to keep you going, as running can be quite draining.
|Pick the right shoes|
|1. Try them on at the end of the day as your feet swell as the hours wear on.|
2. They shouldn't be too tight. Laced up (untied), you should be able to slide your foot out.
3. Your toes should be able to wiggle comfortably.
4. Take a quick jog around the store to check if the shoe's arch matches yours comfortably.
From HT Brunch, December 15
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