Eat a banana before and after a run. It's full of carbs, antioxidants, vitamin B6, and potassium. Before and as you run, munch on a whole grain, nutty energy bar or just pop in a handful of potassium- and iron-rich raisins. Mix 2 tbsps cereals with 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 tsp honey before a run. Or eat a whole baked beetroot. Drink enough water, about 5–12 ounces every 15 mins during the run. But don't overhydrate yourself.
Running makes the knee cartilage thicker and bones mineral-dense to help you withstand age-related wear and tear. It also keeps muscles active for longer and reduces fatigue. Running promotes blood cell growth and neurons in cancer patients with radiation injuries. It boosts memory and, by triggering the release of serotonin, which elevates one's mood, it keeps stress from escalating to depression.
Running makes you a better learner by generating neurons in the brain. It sharpens memory and delays age-related memory loss by releasing a protein that helps produce brain cells critical for memory. Run during your work hours, and you'll be more productive, thanks to a better reflex, better focus, and more creativity. It won't just lower stress and lift your mood, it'll also make you more expressive and humorous.
Running puts pressure on the bottom of the foot, or the plantar area, depending on the running surface. As excessive pressure can cause injuries, begin with a low-impact surface like grass, which offers a lower maximum plantar pressure than those offered by asphalt or concrete. You could also try synthetic track. But if you're running at a moderate pace, choose any surface and don't stick to one for life.
Long-distance running doesn't stress the knee joints greatly or hike the risk of osteoarthritis (OA) as it involves longer strides and a short ground contact. In fact, running over 1.2 miles a day lowers the risk by 15 percent, by reducing weight and fortifying the muscles, joints, and cartilages. But accompanied by factors like poor running form, injuries, OA genes, or osteoporosis, it may raise your risk.
Running even 30 mins prior to sex boosts testosterone and libido and enables faster and intense orgasms in both men and women. While it betters sexual function in men and even cures erectile dysfunction with a healthy blood flow, it makes women more sensitive to touch. Running also gives you a good body that fuels your self-confidence and desirability. Just don't go overboard and tire yourself out.
Late afternoon or early evening is the best time to run as your BP, core body temperature, levels of certain hormones, joint flexibility, energy, and lung function all peak around this time and enhance your performance. The body is not primed for a morning run, but if you have health issues like high BP or depression, morning runs help more. Having said that, if you're comfortable with whatever time you run, stick to it. Don't upset your body's rhythm by changing the time.
As cotton clothing causes chafing and blisters, try light, sweat-proof, and comfy technical fabrics, like nylon, for maximum mobility and to regulate your body temp. as per the weather. Compression gear boosts blood flow, reduces lactic acid buildup and muscle ache, and hastens recovery. But as both of these have a high chemical content and retain bad odor, go natural with bamboo or wood pulp.
Some studies have found that running on an empty stomach helps burn fat faster. When glycogen levels are low, the body produces enzymes that break down fat into free-flowing fatty acids that can be used for producing energy. On the flip side, the body may break down muscle tissue instead of fat. You may also get exhausted faster. Net-net, it might be best to run with some fuel in the tank.
There is evidence to suggest that running may have been instrumental in making us quintessentially human. It is not surprising therefore, that as the ill-effects of our modern sedentary lifestyle add up, we turn to that most natural of human activities - running. Running is cost-effective, and can be done solo, anywhere. It burns calories, tones muscles, reduces stress, improves sleep and heals the body.
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