Running is a very popular exercise activity for those who want to keep in shape and either lose weight or keep it off. It is also a competition sport in various races, such as track meets, relay races and cross-country running. At the same time people often run if they are in a rush to reach a destination because running is much faster than walking.
The lower part of the body dominates in the process of running and the legs alternate in different strides, which have three phases – support, drive and recovery. When your foot hits the ground, support and rive occur and recovery happens when you lift one foot to put the other to the ground. Thus, you always have one leg in support and drive and the other in recovery.
You can gain many health benefits from engaging in running on a regular basis. These include:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Improved bone health
- Improved mood
- Better peace of mind
This is one of the best forms of exercise because of the many calories that you burn as compared to walking and other exercises. Running helps the arteries of the heart retain their elasticity and it lowers your blood pressure. It helps to keep the bones strong because you are less likely to experience bone and muscle loss than those who do not exercise in this manner. Many people who work in stressful situations say that running helps them to get rid of the stressed feeling so that they are happier at home and at work.
You do have to do warm up exercises before you start running and do cool down exercises when you finish. If you are a beginner and haven’t been running in quite some time, you should take it easy when you start. Try a short distance for a few days. If you start off by running a long distance, you will definitely have sore muscles the next day and probably find it very painful to move. Slow and steady is the best way to get started and you can increase your distance and speed as you get used to it.
You need to wear comfortable clothing so that you won’t cause any injuries to yourself with the clothing chafing your skin because it is too tight. Even though you have to dress for the weather, you have to realize that you will be sweating so even if it is cold outside, you shouldn’t wrap yourself up too warmly. Your footwear is of utmost importance because you need running shoes that are not only comfortable, but ones that will provide support for your feet and ankles.
When running a good technique to use is to lean forward so that your centre of mass always lands on the centre of your foot. This keeps you from landing on your heel and makes it easier for you to use the spring mechanism of your foot. There are many injuries associated with running due to the high impact it places on the bones and joints of the lower body. Runner’s knee or knee pain is quite common as are pulled leg muscles, shin splints twisted ankles, Achilles tendinitis and stress fractures.