The reasons to go running don't necessarily coming flooding to us when we're cosy inside. Let us give you a helping hand to get you moving.
Reasons to go running might just fill you with dread, more than motivating you to move towards the door. But, we really just need that little push and the results are more than worth it.
There are plenty of advantages to going running. Of course, we all heard the health benefits like fat burning and advancing your fitness, but then there are the ones that we all forget about when the sofa looks beyond comfortable. Running is good for stress, so, if you’ve had a particularly busy day at work, picking up your running shoes could just be the best thing you’ve done all day. Running is also great for discovering your local area, for those of us who barely manage to leave the office in the sunlight.
Finally, we’ve all been fooled into thinking that the feel-good benefits of running are a myth. Well, it’s not, as celebrity personal trainer Matt Roberts explains. Read on for the ultimate reasons to go running.
If you want to jog, but find you get out of breath quickly, personal trainer Jamie Baird recommends walking for four minutes and jogging for one, then repeating five times. ‘As you get fitter, aim to run for longer each time.’
‘People think jogging is not for them but it’s the simplest method of exercise that burns the highest amount of calories,’ says celebrity personal trainer Matt Roberts (Mattroberts.co.uk), whose clients include Naomi Campbell.
‘Running outdoors can burn 30-40% more calories than in the gym as you fight wind resistance and tackle hilly terrain,’ says Roberts. ‘It also has the greatest feel-good factor.’ With the right shoes and clothing, even rainy days can feel invigorating.
Roberts recommends always thinking about your route in detail ahead of the run: how long it should take, which part is going to be hard, the bit that’s a little easier, and where you’ll need to push yourself. ‘Know your strategy before you run to give yourself focus,’ he says. ‘That way you can go for it 100%.’
Running at a consistent pace will help shed fat faster. Time your steps to the beat of the music you’re listening to, going for fewer beats per stride to speed up. ‘Your breathing can also help,’ says Roberts. ‘Breathe in for three or four strides, then out for three or four.’
Change the terrain and speed. Running outdoors can burn up to 40% more calories than in the gym as you tackle hilly terrain ‘Some days use hills, some days run flat and long, and some days short and fast,’ advises Roberts, who warns not to do the same route more than twice a week. ‘Mentally, you’ll get less fatigued, and your body will get fitter by adapting.’
Leaning slightly forward will help you run more effectively. ‘Stand in a neutral position and don’t hunch up,’ advises Roberts. ‘Keep your core strong by tightening your abdominals and squeezing your buttocks, and focus ahead.’
‘Drop your shoulders and keep your arms relaxed as you move them backwards and forwards,’ instructs Roberts. ‘Pumping them will give you more power in the legs.’
Heidi Klum’s trainer David Kirsch says that swinging your arms will ‘get the body’s lymphatic system pumping, helping eliminate toxins’.
You should have a quiet stride. ‘If your feet are slapping the floor, you’re landing too flat, which can be hard on the knees,’ explains Roberts. ‘The heel goes first, but only just leading, before you naturally roll on to the balls of the feet. This will make you go faster – landing completely on the heel will slow you down.’