Getting into a regular running routine is by far one of the best ways to stay in shape. After all, running on a regular basis is a wonderful form of cardiovascular exercise, which will not only keep you in shape, but will also improve your heart health in the process. Before you jump into a running routine, however, there are some things you should know that can help you to ensure that you get the most out of your runs and reap the most health benefits that you can. Here are some preventative measures you can take before and after runs to help you reach your goals in the long term.
Keep Track of Your Pulse
You need to give your body time to adjust to running on a regular basis; otherwise, you could actually harm your body and cause it unnecessary stress. To make sure you are not overdoing your new running routine, get into the habit of checking your pulse each morning when you wake up. If your heart rate per minute is still 10 beats above the previous day’s, it may actually be better to skip your run for the day and go on a walk instead. Continue your running routine only after your pulse has returned to normal to avoid putting too much stress on your heart.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Speaking of sleep, be sure you are getting plenty of it. Sleep is extremely important to your overall health as it is, but this is especially true when you take up a running routine. After a run, you need to give your body plenty of time to rest and re-energize. Otherwise, you may find yourself feeling lethargic and will not be able to get the most out of your run the following day. Eight hours of sleep is ideal, but you should know your body well enough to know how much you need to feel fully energized the next day. During times when you are doing a lot of running, try to get an extra hour of sleep each night.
Get Enough Fluids
It is important that you stay hydrated, as sweating out fluids is common while running. At the same time, you need to know when it drink fluids so as to avoid cramping. In general, it is ideal to drink sugar-free liquids about fifteen minutes or more before your run. Anything less than fifteen minutes can result in cramping, especially if you drink a large volume of liquid in a short period of time. Keep yourself hydrated as needed while running by taking small swigs of water, but only if necessary.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Eating foods high in protein before a run is a great way to give your body the energy you need to get through your run successfully. Try not to eat any closer to three hours before your run, but do not run on a completely empty stomach either. After your run, you should eat foods that are high in carbohydrates, as this will help to replenish your body’s nutrients and give you the strength that you need to power through the rest of your day. Avoid foods that are very high in sugar before or after a run.
As you can see, there are many steps you can follow to get the most out of your new running routine and use it to your advantage. From there, you can begin to enjoy all kinds of great health benefits in the short term and long run as well.
About Author – Emin Andre is an avid runner and a physician assistant for SC Physician Group, an Urgent Care in Glendale CA. His passion for running and staying healthy is the ultimate driving force to his commitment to continue running and staying in shape. His best mile time is 5 minutes and 54 seconds.