Running is over rated

Its official!! Running is over rated and just don’t bother with it!! As the Christmas mince pies settle firmly on our hips and the January giving up alcohol, bread, and anything else we enjoy comes to a thankful end can all breathe a sigh of relief. However, February is a long way off any signs of warmth, and just getting changed for exercise seems a lot of work!

Desperate minds turn to the thought of cardio vascular exercise: running or jogging to be precise. Surely this is a sure fire way to get rid of the excess pounds and tighten up some of those muscles that had too long a holiday over Christmas? Panic ensues and out come the running shoes!

Sadly I was slightly joking when I said, “don’t bother with it” but on a serious note, a wise word of caution. I have seen many an enthusiast in my years of training people who dug out their old trainers and took to the streets, with all the commitment of an Olympian.

But did you know that if you are not a practiced runner, there is a strong chance that your support structures, ie ankles, knees and hips, will take more of a pounding than they are ready for, resulting in a trip to the physio rather than a shopping trip for a new bikini!!

If you have fond memories of running and think you might like to run again, remember these 3 easy tips:

1) Build gradually starting with just 10-20 minutes 3 x per week
2) Choose a soft surface to run on such as grass or woodland
3) Get new trainers!!! Your gait, ( foot strike) may well have changed in the last few years and poor footwear is a very common mistake in injuries

Of course,

It is worth remembering that on average after 8 weeks your weight loss will start to plateau, and may even creep up again! Steady state running (or same pace jogging) increases adrenal and oxidative stress, over a long period of time, both of which can lead to weight gain.

If you really want the benefits of a toned slim body then resistance work coupled with interval type work will return you the most bang for your buck. Running can be a good support band to the main act!

You have one heart, 2 lungs, and 639 muscles in the body, once accustomed to running the main tax is on the heart and lungs! (your cardio vascular system) Resistance work plus cardio is the key to a healthy body!

If you really want to get fit, build strong structures and strengthen your ligaments and tendons for ultimate long term health and fitness then:

· Choose an exercise regime that provides a variety of weights, and cross directional movements
· A program that uses short bursts of anaerobic work with occasional longer runs
· Where possible find a fitness professional that can help you in your bid to regain your health and fitness
· Above all find an environment that you makes you laugh, and you enjoy whilst you get fi

Laursen, P. B. and D. G. Jenkins. 2002. The scientific basis for high-intensity interval training: optimising training programmes and maximising performance in highly trained endurance athletes. Sports Med. 32:53-73.

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