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Saturday, June 10, 2017

15 Running / Fitness Tips I Have Learned

I wanted to take the time to write down some running and fitness tips that I have learned over the years that I have been doing it.

Let me lead by saying I am not a medical professional and hold no medical certifications.  However, I do have the experience of someone that is getting older and is taking the journey to getting in shape after NOT being in shape for a long time, prior.  I assume that many of you might fit into that category, and that is the point I created this blog in the first place....not as a certified fitness book worm and not directing you to try a specific product  Even the products I put on as affiliate sales I PERSONALLY like...and when I lose interest in them or see something better, I stop promoting them, such as Fitbit.  And, that can be my first point....

1.  Fitbit - I initially got my Fitbit as part of my HSA health savings account insurance plan with IBM, when I worked there.  Before I get into the Fitbit, let me caution you to examine your HSA plans.  I picked that plan to save money on my insurance, monthly, and save my own money toward it.  The problem is that they kinda hid the fact that the PER PERSON deductable for such a plan was 6000 dollars, so when my daughter had Pneumonia, I ended up paying 6000 dollars before the plan paid ANYTHING, so it wasn't a great idea.

Now, Fitbit.  Since I had the Fitbit, I felt I should integrate it into my fitness plan.  So, I wore it walking and running, and DOES list the calories you burned all day, as well as distance, and you can get all KINDS of designer bands for it and etc.  HOWEVER, I have learned you can do the SAME THING with Samsung Health app installed on your phone, which takes very little battery or data use...and it's FREE.  So, I pulled that from my promotion.  Just get Samsung Health, which has goal achievement awards and tracks many other things, too.

2.  Build your way up.  When I began running, I used Couch to 5K to begin, which would give you an interval training system of having you walk, run, walk, etc.  As time goes on, the walking periods become less and running more and builds you up to running distances.

3.  EAT - One mistake I see a lot of people making and that I made myself at times is to not eat enough.  You feel FAT after all, and you are trying to lose it, so you make the decision that less food is better.  The problem is that if you are not eating, you are STARVING your body of not only the energy to function but to burn fat (through a low metabolism).  Maybe don't have ice cream, but you need energy and, therefore, need to eat to lose weight.

4.  Hydrate - This is especially true in summer months.  It gets really hot out there, and you are not going to get fat by drinking water.  Doing so may, actually, help you run faster and further.

5.  Take vitamins - This can be any vitamins, but you are sweating out your nutrients, so you need to put more back into you.

6.  Salt Water - When I was growing up, we used to take salt pills to help you retain your water.  You may not have salt tablets, but having salt water is not a bad idea, for the same reasons you just heard.   You are sweating out your water in your body.  When you immediately drink down more, it goes right out of you (you probably noticed).  You need salt to retain it.

7.  Don't Run every day.  I know it is tempting.  I fall victim to it from time to time, also.  You see people out there posting that they ran their daily 5 mile run or etc.  That's great, if you are THAT into shape or that YOUNG.  For people like us that are not 20, pushing yourself in runs, daily, can result in injury on muscles and tendons that are not ready for that.

8.  Yoga -  About a year ago, I started alternating my runs with Yoga and leg lifts.  At the time, I was coming from the past where I had been conditioned to think..YOGA?  That is just stretching and won't burn calories.  Now, there is many yoga moves that WILL burn calories, but, as a runner, I can tell you that there is GREAT benefit to "just stretching" for your run days.  After I started doing it, I noticed I had faster run times and less soreness for days, after.  I, also, have integrated leg lifts into it that builds up the muscles that PUSH you into your runs.

9.  Do at least a few non virtual 5K runs.  I have been at about 6 or 7 5K runs, and I tell you....there is nothing better to inspire you, as  a runner.  You find yourself surrounded by others that share the same interest in fitness....also, you tend to run faster in that than on your own.

10.  However, do NOT run too fast at the start.  I have seen many people make this mistake.  The run goes off and they start running full speed.  I just get into a pace that I am used to running and let them pass me by.  Within a half mile or so, you will find yourself passing those that have burned out and are now walking.  It is tempting to try to keep up with the fastest runners, and many feel like they are failing to let others by; however, remember that these people have been doing a lot of runs and many are YOUNG.  By your age range, you will find yourself in a better spot to just run at a pace with which you can finish.

11.  Give yourself time for losing the may go up.  Every time that I kick into faster running period, after winter has passed, I get depressed, because I feel like I am getting FATTER, and the weight goes UP.  Well, there are two reasons for this.  One is that, as everyone says, muscles weigh more than fat, and you are building muscles.  This will increase your metabolism, and you will burn fat faster, all the time...even when being still.  The second reason for it, I think, is where the fat goes.  Now....this is not scientific, and I may be wrong, but I notice that my leg muscles become very hard when I am running, as well as but and back and etc.  However, I noticed my abdomen looks bigger.  As I said, I may be wrong, but if the fat is being pushed to where it would be excreted, wouldn't that cause it to collect in the abdomen?  Regardless, I can only tell you that I noticed in my OWN exercising that as I ran the fat seemed to collect there, before it began reducing there, at which time the weight dropped, as well.

12.  Do something every day.  This is the counter to the don't run every day point, above.  While you should not run every day to avoid injury, I have noticed fat drop if I simply committed to just do SOMETHING every day, even if only leg lifts or yoga.

13.  Amazon Prime Music - If you are using Spotify as your running playlist and are paying 10 dollars a month to do it (or more) and are also a Prime Member, already, you are wasting money.  As a Amazon Prime member, you have access to 2 million songs FREE using the Amazon Music app, which lets you download songs to your phone without buying them and create playlists and more, just like Spotify, and honestly I think it sounds better quality.  If you don't have Amazon Prime, you can get just the trial of the music and try that app at the banner link, below.  As I said, I only promote what I believe in, and I believe in Amazon music.

14.  Have a BEER or a BURGER.  Here is where I will differ from your doctor, who loves to tell you to not have coffee or fat or alcohol.  Yeah...that WOULD be the BEST course of action for your body's health.  However, I believe in LIVING life, and I think most runners think the same, as you will find free BEER at the end of a lot of 5K runs, now.  Yes, you are putting it back on, after burning it off, but you BURNED IT OFF.  You earned a little diet cheat here or there.

15.  Make runner friends, online.  Over time, I have realized that social media "friends" have evolved into people that you have on your list due to their having gone to the same school or job or have the same last name or relatives, and these people are, actually, the least "friendly" of anyone on your list.  As such, I have reconfigured my social media accounts to those that share the same interests that I have, and runner/Fitness/Yoga people are among the best in the world.  They are optimistic and believe in change...but, more than that, they are the people who actually DO something about it.  It is easy to have a new year resolution or say, "I wish," but these people are experienced enough to know nothing changes, unless you do something about it.  That kind of inspiration can change your entire future and help you become the person you want to be.

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