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Nutrition & Weight Management Advice

 

 

3 Back and Hip Exercises for Runners

 

A healthy back is as important to your running as fit legs. "If your back muscles aren't strong, they'll tend to fatigue faster, taking energy away from other muscles, and change your stride, which can lead to injury," says Lynn Millar, Ph.D., professor of physical therapy at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Here's a look at how each of your posterior muscles impacts your performance, and a few quick fixes that will help you run your best.

 

Lower Back

Key function: These muscles keep the body erect and help you rotate slightly with each running step, giving your hips and thighs more energy to push you forward. A weak lower back can put extra strain on the hamstrings, which can throw off your stride and cause injuries from the ankle to the hips, says Robert Gotlin, D.O., director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Quick fix: Back extensions: Lie down, press your pelvis into the floor and lift your head, chest, shoulders, and arms. Hold for five seconds, repeat 10 times.

Shoulders/Upper Back

Key function: Strong shoulders keep your upper body relaxed, work with the arms to propel you forward, and help you breathe efficiently.

"Proper spinal alignment optimizes the function of the lungs and diaphragm," says Pilates instructor Rebekah Rotstein.

Quick fix

                           : A   Planks: Rest on elbows and hold for 20 to 60 seconds, five to 10 times.

                             B   Side Planks: Balance on forearm, hold 20 to 60 seconds, five times each side.

 

With an ever increasing obese society, there has never been a better time to review the basics of safe and effective weight loss and healthy eating.

To loose 0.5kg of fat you need to be burning 3500kcal more than you are consuming. If you aim to loose 0.5 kg of fat per week, this equates to 500kcal per day.

This sounds a daunting challenge but is achievable by following some basic guidelines :-

  1. Set Short Term Goals - these should be SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timed e.g. In 8 weeks time, I will be 4kg's lighter and have dropped one dress size by eating sensibly and exercising 3 times per week.
  2. Keep a food diary - be honest and record everything - you are likely to be surprised at the amount of snacks you consume !
  3. Plan ahead and make sure you have healthy snacks readily available
  4. Get plenty of variety - boredom is quick to creep in if your diet is too restrictive
  5. Reduce the amount of 'bad' saturated and hydrogenated fat s (butter, cream, mayonnaise, visible fat on meat etc. Incorporate 'good' fats in your diet such as olive oil, nuts, oily fish.
  6. Limit your intake of processed food, sugary foods and alcohol
  7. Choose high fibre carbohydrates which help keep you feeling full for longer e.g. fruit, vegetables (at least 5 portions per day). Home made vegetable soup is a great option for lunch
  8. Drink plenty of water
  9. Make sure you are incorporating protein into your diet e.g. milk, fish, chicken, eggs, quorn.
  10. Eat little and often - this helps to keep blood sugar levels more constant, avoiding hunger. Make sure the snacks are healthy e.g. small handful of dried fruit & nuts or vegetable crudities and humous
  11. Increase activity and exercise - exercise with a friend, you are more likely to stick to your planned exercise if you have made arrangements.
  12. And finally enjoy your healthy lifestyle, you've earned it !

Benefits of Cardiovascular Training  

Cardiovascular training offers the greatest health benefits of all exercise modalities, especially when it is weight bearing (running and walking). If you regular participate in gentle cardiovascular training program's this can make your everyday tasks feel much easier. In time your cardiovascular system becomes efficient at delivering oxygen because  you get a greater number of capillaries forming in and around the type 1 & type 2a. This results in a greater delivery of oxygen. Because you get more oxygen delivered more efficient both during and after exercise you recover much quicker after activities. The more you carry on with this sort of training the more you will increase the stroke volume. This Is largely due to hypertrophy of the myocardium. In other words the heart will be able to eject more blood from the heart with each beat. Because the heart ejects more blood with each beat it doesn't need to beat as frequent at rest. This means that your resting heart goes down.
  

                   Guideline For Cardiovascular Fitness

 

 

Frequency

 

  3-5 times a week

 

Intensity

 

  55-90% of maximum heat rate (MHR) or heart rate reserve (HRR)

 

Time

 

  20-60 minutes of sustained activity

 

Type

 

  Sustained, rhythmic and large muscle group exercises like             running, cycling, rowing, swimming

 

  

               Guideline For Cardiovascular Health

 

Frequency

 

  5-7 times per week

 

Intensity

 

  50-70% of maximum heart rate  (MHR) or heart rate reserve (HRR)

 

Time

 

  30 min of accumulated activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more

 

Type

 

  Walking gardening, general daily physical activities

 

Physical activities is defined as any bodily movement that brings about a significant increase in energy expenditure such as cleaning the house, washing the car or mowing the law

 The Benefits Of Circuit Training

 
 Circuit training complements running and is an important aspect of training. The increased muscle power gained from circuit training gives runners a competitive edge. More muscle strength helps delay the muscular fatigue experienced by runners -- especially distance runners. Circuit training is beneficial for the novice as well as for the expert runner.The key to circuit training is that it enables you to hit all muscle groups and get your heart rate up in a short amount of time. It allows you to combine both an endurance and strength workout in an hour or less. It is especially effective if you are a marathon runner to give you the confidence you need to face the inevitable fatigue of running such a long distance.
Circuit training is designed to increase your strength and fitness level. It has a low injury rate and it involves creating a body balance, which reduces the chance of injury while running. By strengthening opposing muscles, such as the quadriceps and the hamstrings, you provide a good strength ratio, so that one muscle group does not bear the brunt of your running. It will also create an even left side-right side balance, which will also help prevent overuse of one muscle group and injury. As specific circuit training fitness improves your muscles (and heart ) will improve their lactate using function, providing you with more usable energy to perform more repetitions and circuits this will increase your calorie burning potential.
A well designed circuit will increase your CV ability, your strength, strength endurance, agility, fat burning potential and your sports performance
What are the body's ‘core’ muscles?
The ‘core’ refers to the centre of your body. Your abdominals, back, hips and upper legs are the body’s source of strength, power and balance. To build a strong core you need to exercise a variety of different muscles. The ‘core’ actually consists of many different muscles that stabilise the spine and pelvis.
Adding a Circuit Training session 2-4 times weekly will give a huge improvement to your body's core strength. Strengthening will help create a solid base of support for the entire body. This will help to:
Minimise the risk of common running injuries, such as plantarfaciatis, ITB pain, runner’s knee, and shin splints
Help maintain a better running posture
Improve balance and co-ordination
Improve running technique
 
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