Feeling reluctant to head out for a run? It’s understandable at this time of year when it’s cold and wet, and staying in with a box set and a cuppa is much more appealing! So, we’ve spoken with our experts for their tops tips on why we should slip on our gym shoes and hit the ground running like celebrities such as Heidi Klum, Ellie Goulding and Reece Witherspoon….
1. Run into more Vitamin D
Heading out for a run is a great way to make the most of the little sunshine we get, and boost our Vitamin D levels the natural way! ‘Bright daylight entering your eyes triggers serotonin production. Even on an overcast day, natural daylight is much brighter than artificial light indoors. Do what you can to maximise your natural light exposure, such as going for a run outside, to help boost those vitamin D levels,’ explains Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com the online shopping destination for health & wellbeing.
‘To boost your vitamin D levels even further, especially with the dark evenings drawing in you can also try a supplement such as, Once A Day Sunshine D (£5.24, qnutrapharma.com),’ adds Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.
2. Challenge yourself
‘Whether your running shoes have barely been touched, or you’re already a pro, setting yourself a running challenge is a great way to help keep you motivated, and up your overall fitness level. Running in a half or even a full marathon, as a long-term target, is a great way to make sure you stay on track with your fitness regime. Most areas offer “park runs” which are usually only about 3 miles. They are a great way to challenge yourself and try to increase your speed each week plus they’re great fun!’ says Shona.
3. Feel energised
‘To feel refreshed and revitalised do energy forming exercises, such as running in the morning,’ explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, www.marilynglenville.com. Although it may seem like a struggle to find the motivation to go for a run when you are feeling sluggish and low on fuel, it helps to release mood-enhancing endorphins.
4. Support your joints
‘Switching between the treadmill to pounding the pavements can be harsh on our joints, but running allows you to mix up your exercise surfaces. For example, by running on soft surfaces such as grass it can help to protect your body, whilst making your legs stronger and promoting good bone health. Cross-country running is a great way to get fit without suffering from joint problems. Always make sure you wear good quality running shoes, which offer proper support,’ explains Shona.
5. Get toned… For free!
‘Running is one of the best ways to tone your lower body because it helps diminish fat, whilst building muscle and another perk it is that it’s free! No gym subscription needed. If you want to shed some pounds, it’s crucial to also be maintaining a healthy diet but running is a great method to help keep the weight off in the long run, by preserving muscle and losing fat.
‘Although, if you’re concerned that you’re regularly running and eating healthily but the scales aren’t budging, don’t stress! Even if you appear to be staying the same weight (or in some cases actually gaining a few pounds) muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue, so it takes up less space. So, even if you can’t see an improvement on the scales other body measurements will change, such as waist circumference and the shape of your butt! Try interval training for quicker fitness levels. It may be harder but it’s over quicker,’ says Shona.
Top 3 products to prepare your tootises for putting them through their paces
- The ultimate treat for sore feet
Plantar Fasciitis, or runners heel, accounts for 8% of all running injuries and can often be triggered by a rapid increase in running miles. In some cases, Plantar Fasciitis can force runners out of action for months and if left untreated, your damaged ligament may never heal. If you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, stretching, resting and using Carnation Pediroller (www.firstaidfast.co.uk, £9.99) can help to relieve soreness and massage your tired feet.
- Soothe your skin
Runner’s feet take quite the beating with all the repetitive pounding, sweating, and muscle exertion. To help your feet feel more relaxed and loved gently massage in long strokes towards the heels with What Skin Needs Cracked Skin Cream (£12.99, whatskinneeds.co.uk). This cream is beneficial for smoothing out rough skin on the heel and also promotes elasticity on this area of the foot, leaving the skin feeling fresher and smoother.
- Add a touch of silver to your work out
If you are running off road or along muddy trails, having good foot hygiene will reduce your risk of contracting fungal infections. Wash your feet thoroughly after every run and wear socks that have been designed to reduce bacterial growth. Carnation Silver Sock (www.firstaidfast.co.uk, £12) contains pure silver and helps to eliminate the growth of odour causing bacteria.