Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips.
With the warmer weather and longer days, many people feel inspired to start running outdoors. The health benefits of breaking a sweat include busting stress, boosting energy and improved mood with the endorphin release; aka runners high. Running can help keep your heart healthy, boost your immune system and help accelerate weight loss. Depending on your personal goals and starting point, going full speed isn’t the most effective route to good health. Like any program, you want to start off slow and allow your body to get stronger with each session rather than full throttle till you hit the wall and quit. I recommend adding a run three days per week into a cross training program that includes, stair climbing, walking and biking to prevent increased risk of injuries like runner’s knee, hamstring strains, and shin splits which plague even the most consistent runners.
Regular cardio, at any speed, is part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether you choose a walking or running program, both will reduce risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and improved better cardiovascular health. Running isn’t for everyone, and going full-speed might increase injury risk. Runners are a frequently injured group. Some statistics put runners’ annual injury rate as high as 66 percent! Adding a simple 20 min strength-training program to your running routine two days per week will help improve your structural fitness, which is the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to support you and stay healthy while running.
Adding a weight vest or hitting some hills to a power walk is a great way to increase the intensity of a walking program while maintaining a slower pace with less impact on hips, knees and joints that may be sensitive.
The bottom line is, listen to your body. Push it to a safe limit and reward it with adequate rest to recover. Your body is a result of the choices you make, running slowly isn’t weakness, quitting is. So mix it up, walk and run to keep it fun!
For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at email@example.com. And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness
*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.