Tips To Follow For Optimal Post Run Maintenance

Running is a great way to kick start your metabolism and gain overall fitness, while also losing all those pesky pounds in an efficient and enjoyable way.

When you go for a run, you not only burn a lot of calories, but there are also many other side benefits as well. The first of these benefits is increased muscle mass and muscle toning.

Running really firms up your muscles, especially the muscle groups in your calves, thighs, back and abdomen. This gives you the coveted ‘washboard abs’ all for just going on a run for about an hour every day!

But while simply running in itself is good enough to get such good results, there are also a lot of tips and tricks which can maximize the effects of your exercise.

If you follow certain rituals and practices before you go for a run and after you come back from a run – also known as pre- run and post- run maintenance practices – then you are bound to get the ultimate results from your running!

This article in particular, we’ll deal with post- run maintenance strategies and tips on what to do post- going for a run, to gain the maximum effects from your workout!

Take time to cool down and stretch

This is the most basic of all post- workout maintenance tips, which unfortunately, still gets regularly ignored by the masses, with undesirable consequences.

There are three phases to the optimal cooling down practice after a running workout.

The first phase is the ‘cool down jog’. This is nothing more than simply slowing down your running speed to the point where the body metabolism has also slowed down to a more relaxed pace after the frantic calorie- burning workout it just received from your proper running.

Once you are down with the cooling down jog, you need to stretch. Cooling down signals your body that it is ready to be brought down to its resting metabolism from the intense workout it just received, but stretching is needed to ‘loosen’ your muscles.

Not stretching leads to tight and increased tone of the muscles all day, which not just leads to severe cramps but is also intensely painful in the long run, and reduces efficiency for the next running workout.

As such, cool down running and stretching are important steps to include in your post run maintenance regime!

Hot water compresses and baths for muscle relaxation

A hot soak in a warm tub of water isn’t a luxury every one can manage. But if it is something available to you, don’t fear to take advantage!

A warm water bath does wonders to relax and reduce cramped muscles like nothing else! Soaking of muscles after a good running work out in the hot water is a great post run maintenance practice to follow.

If having an actual bath is not possible, try opting for hot water bags and compression methods! That can reduce muscle soreness and increase your running efficiency to a great degree.

The eating and the drinking

No workout regime is complete without the proper diet and running is no different. After coming back from a running workout, never forget to eat high protein snacks like maybe a protein bar or a handful of nuts and fruits. This is greatly beneficial for building muscles and firming up muscle tone through running!

Another important thing to note is to drink more than enough water, all day long. In running, fluids are usually lost to a great degree. Replenishing this body water stock is essential to get the most out of your running!

Stretches To Keep You Good To Run

The main source of injuries while running is due to the increased muscle tone and the repetitiveness of the workout.

While running, over the period of the workout, your muscles get set into a fixed routine, causing increased tension and rigidity of those muscle groups over prolonged periods of time.

This is actually a good thing! These micro tears and increased muscle tension are what give you the fat burning and over time build up your muscle mass and give fitness to your legs, back, thighs and abdomen.

But all said and done, these repetitive movements lead to painful cramping and sprains due to running on the daily scale – which is the reason why runners have so many injuries related to their workout routine.

These painful cramps can be dealt with by having a good pre workout and post run stretching exercise routine.

Read on to know more about these warm-ups!

Dynamic stretching before the run

Before going out on your run, the best type of stretches to do are dynamic stretching exercises.

In this type of dynamic stretching, you are warming up your body for a rigorous workout, but also giving optimal stretching and working to every muscle group.

This ensures that all the muscles are equally warmed up and loosened, making your body more receptive for the running workout. Its best to do the dynamic stretching for about twenty minutes before setting out on your run!

Post run stretching

Here, you need to concentrate on working out the tension from all the muscle groups which underwent the most strain during your run!

Your ankles, calves, thighs, hips, back and abdomen muscle groups are the ones that undergo the most strain and tension while running. Stretches that concentrate on these areas is the best routine to adapt for your post run stretching!

The Best Diet For Running

Running uses up a lot of calories. You may nod and say that it is the point of running, especially in cases where the runner is following the regime to burn fat and lose weight.

Studies show that a solid hour of running at a steady pace can help a person lose as much as seven hundred calories! And that is not even counting the calories they may be losing if they are also supplementing their running regime with other workouts such as aerobics or swimming.

So all said and done, running is a very good way to lose weight and burn up those pesky calories. But, if you are burning a bunch of calories, you have to be careful with your diet.

No matter how hard you run, if you return and eat high fat, high calorie foods full of sugar and oils, then all that running will be of no use in helping you get back into shape.

Similarly, going on an extreme liquid diet is also dangerous while doing such high intensity workouts such as running. It leads to severe fatigue, loss of quality of life, mental and physical exhaustion, depression, eating disorders, internal health problems and a variety of other complications.

Thus, when it comes to running, following a good diet and eating the right food in the right quantities is very important. Since running burns up so much calories, the body keeps sending a constant stream of ‘I am hungry’ signals to your brain.

However, if you keep giving in to the temptation or orders from your brain to eat, you will be undoing all the hard work you put into your running regime.

So how to strike the right balance between your running and your diet, such that you are consuming only the bare necessary calories, while also leaving your meal feeling full and satisfied?

Read on to get some tips on the best diet to eat for a running exercise routine!

Eat real foods – it is better in the long run!

A common trend these days is turning to readily packaged and pre- processed meals in substitute for making actual food from healthy raw materials.

Even the so called ‘healthy eaters’ have highly processed foods. They consume energy drinks and nutrition bars and healthy smoothies and a variety of other such packaged foods, which all claim to give them exactly the amounts of nutrients they need.

And what the nutrition packages of food do not cover, people pop into their systems through vitamin pills and protein biscuits and calcium drinks – thus turning the whole process of healthy eating into an unhealthy route.

While this kind of diet does provide all the necessary nutrients, it also never provides satiation. Thus the person is left feeling empty and hungry over the long term, leading them to a variety of eating disorders or other metabolic complications.

There is no substitute for the organic and the natural. Instead of concentrating on packaged and highly fortified nutrient meals, start including raw materials and whipping up your own foods, knowledgably and intelligently.

This provides the best results on your running, as well as improving your overall health tremendously.

The best diet for overall body fitness during running

The thing about fruits and vegetables is that they are a complex system of nutrients which contain nearly everything your body needs all in one package.

While each fruit or vegetable is a rich source of one particular nutrient or another – for example, beet root is very rich in iron, necessary for healthy blood and carrot has a rich repository of vitamin A, which is good for vision and eye health. However, that is not the only nutrient they contain.

Each fruit and vegetable actually provides hundreds of beneficial nutrients and compounds, which are each unique and very important to body health.

The components such as starch, fibers, and even natural oils and fats and carbs, are all needed in certain required quantities for the body every day.

This complex array of every nutrient necessary can only be obtained by eating organic and natural diets.

Ensure that your daily diet is rich in colored fruits and vegetables, particularly starchy and fibrous foods, as well as whole grain meals and the good cholesterol that can be obtained from seeds and nuts.

Try to stagger out meals such that you are taking four to five quick meals a day instead of three heavy meals. In these quick meals, eat plenty of fruits, salads, yoghurts and milk.

This assures that your calorie intake is the bare minimum every day and you are losing a lot of weight, while also eating all the essential nutrients to keep you fit and strong to carry out your running workout to full potential.

Why nuts and seeds are the good fats

By nuts and seeds, you include not just the showy ones such as cashew nuts or almonds. It includes food items such as whole grains, beans and bean seeds, as well as many other types of underground nuts like peanuts or tree growing nuts like walnuts.

These fatty foods, while being rich in calories and fats, provide the good fats that are necessary for efficient functioning of the body. Further, they are also foods which are very rich in anti oxidants and thus help to keep your internal metabolism healthy and smooth, without any toxicity or oxidative stress reactions.

Thus eating a highly natural vegetable and fruit diet, with plenty of nuts and seeds, ensures that you lose the most weight while also gaining maximum fitness from your running!

How To Be a Motivated and Dedicated Runner

It is hard to be motivated about things which take effort and time, and running certainly fills both those strenuous categories and more, as far as workouts go!

There is no gain without pain, the common saying goes, and running is no different. Copious amounts of discipline, proper exercise protocols and regular training is needed to see the results of your running endeavors.

So how to keep yourself motivated to continue on this long, but ultimately satisfying and rewarding workout routine?

Read on to know some tips for keeping yourself motivated to become a dedicated runner!

Give yourself a fixed goal plan

The hardest part of starting any new workout is doing it consistently and in such a way that you continue making progress in your exercise routine.

To do that, a fixed goal plan is highly essential.

Having a well devised action plan lets you not only follow your goals on a weekly basis to keep making progress in a beneficial way, but also keeps you motivated in your running.

Further, on going through your goal plan, you get to ‘tick off’ on the targets and goals that you have already reached through your running workout, which is a great motivation to continue running!

So step number one: give yourself a good achievable goal plan with weekly targets that simultaneously push you to your running limits, while also giving you a sense of accomplishment!

Make running fun!

The second best way to keep yourself motivated for running is to make it a fun recreation activity, rather than an exercise or a chore!

There are many great apps and music systems that are aimed towards making exercises like running more fun. Or you can recruit one of your friends to also run with you every day, making the exercise a time for socialization and unwinding!

Keeping yourself motivated is important to achieve dedication in running!

Things To Do Before You Go For a Run

How many times have you gone for your running workout and found yourself unable to reach the pace and distance you wanted to cover – because you feel too wrung out very early?

There is a reason for this quick tiring – and that is due to improper pre- run warm up sessions.

Before you go for a run, there are some rituals and warm ups that can help to maximize your running potential. Read on to get some tips and tricks on the best practices to follow before you go for a run!

Mind your meals

Eating a heavy meal before any sort of rigorous workout is a huge no-no, and running is no different! If you’ve just had a large meal, stick out for three to four hours before you go for a run to avoid feeling bloated or sick or getting heartburn.

Also, if you are really hungry and absolutely need a quick bite before going for your run, then choose carefully for foods that the body can easily metabolize and absorb, to get the most energy out of your quick snack.

In this case, oils and any sort of heavy carbs are not advisable. Like in any other workout, running needs a certain discipline in the diet you eat, if you want to maximize the results that you get.

As such, for your quick meals before a run, eat foods that are rich in antioxidants and boost up your metabolism.

Fresh fruits and veggies are the best mini meal to have before a run. Fruit salads, veggie salads (minus the mayonnaise!) and dry fruits such as almonds, peanuts, dates, etc. are all great pre- run meals.

Or if you don’t have the time to be elaborate, just grab a banana or eat a few mouthfuls of peanut butter and dried fruits!

In these cases, the pre- run meal can actually be beneficial, for it boosts up your energy and enables you to go on for longer!

Drink plenty of water

Fluids are the first things you lose when you workout in any manner. Going on a run, you always find you sweat a lot, and you also go out of breath.

Drinking at least two to three cups of water in the half hour before going out for a run will help you to replenish your body oxygen store and also to prevent possible dehydration.

In fact, if you are planning to go on long runs, take a water bottle with you! There are handy waist belts available in the market which comes with nice compartments to carry the essentials like cell phones and water bottles. Fruit juices are also a great way to replenish your water and get some easily metabolizing energy.

Warm up and go slow

A common mistake done by beginners and inefficient runners is that they burn themselves out too quickly. Running is not a workout of high intensity training. In running, it is the longevity and endurance that plays a role in the effectiveness of the exercise.

As such, before beginning your running do some simple stretches and body loosening exercises. Your warm up should be just that – a simple warming up of the body for future exercises.

Do not do high intensity or rigorous exercises for your warm up. That will only result in wearing yourself out and not being able to run for longer later when you head out for your run.

Also, slowly increase your running speed. Start out at a brisk walk, then go on to a light jog, then to a fast jog and finally only after at least ten to fifteen minutes should you start your full- on running. This builds up your endurance and lets you go on for longer in your running!