• fineformphysio


You may recall my last article where I wrote about strength training at home. I must naively admit that I never believed we would still be in lockdown a month later. But here we are, homeschooling, unpredictable work situations and social isolation. We are all struggling in one way or another.

Over the last seven weeks I've found the biggest thing to help to reduce my stress is running. I haven't been a regular runner for around 5 years, and I forgot how great it makes me feel. It gets me out of the house for some much needed solitude after a long day of chaotic home schooling. If you've ever felt the desire to become a runner, why not take advantage of the downtime we have and give it a go.

My top 5 reasons for loving running

1 The calorie burn

Running uses the biggest muscles in your body, your legs and glutes. Not only is running a great lower body workout but these muscle groups need major energy to perform, leading to some serious calories burned.

2 It's free

The great outdoors is there for everyone, find a beautiful park or a strip along the Parramatta River.

3 Heart Health

Running is sure to increase your aerobic fitness. An improved cardiovascular system leads to a lower resting heart rate. This means your heart doesn't need to work as hard to pump blood around your body.

4 The runners high

Running increases levels of endorphins and endocannabinoids. These mood boosting hormones give a relaxed post run feeling, they reduce anxiety and increase calm.

5 It's great if you're time poor

I find that a 30 minute run burns the same amount of calories as an hour HIIT/cardio class. If you don't have a lot of time, even a quick 10 minute run is great to get the blood pumping, clear your head and release those mood boosting hormones.

My top 5 tips on how to get started

  1. There are lots of great running programs online such as the couch to 5k. The basic premise of these programs is to add some short running intervals into your walk, then over time increase the running interval and reduce the walking interval. Week 1: Walk for 2 minutes, run for 30 seconds. Week 2: Walk for 2 minutes, run for 45 seconds. Week 3: Walk for 90 seconds, run for 45 seconds And so on until you find you are able to run consistently, you can play around with the numbers that suit you.

  2. Use a running app to track your distance, route and time. I use Map My Run by Under Armour.

  3. It's not a race, you don't want to burn yourself out. Slow your pace down to start with. Once your cardio fitness improves you can easily start working on increasing your speed.

  4. Check your form. You want to be light on your feet, with a slight bounce. A running style that is like a loud stomp uses up a lot of energy causing fatigue to set in early on in your run. Again, slow down your pace to work on your form.

  5. Your legs will be sore at first, make sure you have adequate rest days between runs. Injuries can happen, especially early on when you are using muscles that are weak and unfamiliar to the new load. Don't push through pain with the hope it will improve with time. It's likely something simple causing the pain, the earlier you get treatment from your physio the better.

Next month I'll be talking about the best exercises to strengthen your back and improve rounded shoulders.

In the meantime, if you are keen to get started on resistance training, you are welcome to message me to arrange a free trial training session. I am available to come to you or can train in a park in Ryde and surrounding areas.

Sarah Hanna Fitness

M: 0405 417 388

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