Tag Archives: running

Putting your feet first!

If you consider yourself a regular runner then you may have found it difficult to avoid the current trend of “barefoot running” equipment. You may have even invested in the latest pair of Vibram FiveFinger barefoot trainers already, finding that they work really well with your running style and that you’re seeing true results.

However, there are many runners out there that haven’t taken the plunge just yet for various reasons. Some people are questioning the comfort, whilst others feel that the style doesn’t quite suit them. It may be a good idea for you to consider some alternatives.

Barefoot vs Traditional

Barefoot running” has quickly established itself as the alternative “correct” way of running, with people ditching their standard running trainers in favour of traditional running trainers. However, some runners find the appeal of running barefoot a little discomforting, with all the dirt and blisters you’re expected to get with using such trainers.

Past medical research believed that runners taking part in long distances were better off wearing supportive, cushioned trainers which encourage the feet to land heel first. Newer research has demonstrated how striking the floor forefoot first (or the ball of your foot) for a more fluid movement allows the runner to cover longer distances quickly, with a decreased chance of injury.

It seems that runner’s around the world like the appeal of barefoot running, but aren’t too happy with the comfort of current models available. Current manufacturers seem to have answered this calling in the best manner, by offering a new generation of running trainer that appear to fill the gap. A running shoe which works with the natural movement of your legs, whilst providing the sensation of running bare foot with a more substantial sole.

Some current “barefoot trainers” simply feel like thick plastic socks – This new generation of trainers offer more protection without inhibiting the wearer’s running style.

As with any fitness equipment, don’t think you can just jump into any new model and expect comfort and results. Running with barefoot style trainers requires significantly stronger lower legs. In order to avoid any long term injury, be sure to break yourself into them slowly – I’m sure bruised ankles don’t appeal to anyone!

 

We’ll be doing a large review feature on some of the best running trainers available on the market next week – Be sure to check back when you have a moment.

Time to go for a Walk

For good cardio, the immediate thing that springs to mind is jogging around the block or jumping on the rowing machine for 30 minutes. Not everyone enjoys running for a variety of different reasons, including fitness itself and the strain on the back and joints.

A great alternative, not practised by enough people is in fact walking. Incorporating a walking routine into your working week could contribute towards numerous health benefits, whilst giving you a perfect chance to get out and take in some fresh air – It’s time to walk yourself fit people!

The following walking beginners guide is provided to you by the Healthy Hideout:

  • Why should I walk? – It’s a great alternative to running first and foremost. According to the Walking Organisation (UK), walking offers various aerobic benefits when walking at a constant pace of around 4mph. It’s also a lot less stressing on the back and joints. Remember it’s free too – Anyone can do it, and there’s no limit to how many people can do it together.
  • Is walking for you? – As mentioned above, walking is a low-impact,  low intensity exercise designed to help restore balance and energy. It helps to build endurance and stamina whilst giving you a chance to get out of the house.  Even a well paced 10-minute walk around the park can help to improve fitness.
  • Your heart will thank you – Walking gets the heart pumping faster which helps to strength the muscle. This helps to lower your overall blood pressure, reducing the risk of coronary disease and strokes.
  • Good for the legs – When compared with running, walking works to build all the muscles in the leg – not just the calves and thighs. As there is no “strike” motion with walking, the stress on the joints and knees is drastically reduced. With walking you may “strike” with 1 – 1.5 times your own body weight, unlike running which can be 3 – 4 times your own body weight.
  • It’s a think tank – An unbeatable combination of natural light combined with physical outdoor exercise helps to release “feel-good” chemicals into the blood stream. Whether you walk in a city park or head out to the country side, walking will help clear your mind and sleep better too.
  • Calorie crusher – Fitness walking or “speed walking” as it’s commonly known will burn approximately 200 calories every 30 minutes. To help put this into perspective, this applies to a 65kg person walking at around 4 mph.
  • Great physical benefits – According to the World Health Organisation, “A walker loses weight, lowers cholestoreol and reduces conditions associated with hypertension. Walking can help with slowing the ageing process, maintaining physical balance and flexibility and increasing stamina” – You can’t really argue with these benefits?
  • Strengthen your bones – As walking is classed as a weight bearing exercise, it will help to develop bone strength, whilst helping against the development of osteoporosis.

10 ways to kick start your day! (Part 2)

Following on from our previous article that looked at 5 ways to kick start your day, the following 5 ways are other great ways to maintain a healthy everyday lifestyle. With these 10 ways to kick start your day, you shouldn’t find yourself struggling towards the end of the morning – You’ll be powering through each working day before you know it!

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top 5 five ways to kick start your day (part 2):

A burst of fresh air! – When we wake up in the morning, your body will be recovering from a state of rest. Oxygen levels will be fairly low, so head straight for your curtains open the windows wide. Even if it’s cold and murky outside, you’ll find that a burst of fresh air will awaken your senses quicker than expected.

Take deep breaths – As you wake up, lying in bed looking at the ceiling, take long deep breaths. Inhale slowly and exhale in the same manner, filling your lungs with fresh oxygen. Breath in through the nose for 4 seconds using the lower abdomen, before exhaling for 8 seconds through the mouth. This will help rid the lungs of any stale air taken throughout the evening.

Drink Peppermint tea –  Drinking peppermint tea is not just to be associated with alleviating an unsettled stomach. Peppermint tea can help to optimise brain function whilst helping with nerve function too.

Sun Salutations –  If you practice yoga on a daily basis, you’ll find that a few rounds of sun salutations are a great way of waking the body, improving circulation and sharpening the mind. If you don’t practice yoga, try stretching your body whilst inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling through the mouth – a truly invigorating experience.

Exercise – Exercising first thing in the morning is certainly the best time to exercise. Once you’ve woken up and had a healthy balanced breakfast, head to the gym for a workout or perhaps go for a jog around the block. The experience alone will wake you right up, ready for the day ahead.

 

Running tips – Keeping to the beat!

Some of us find motivating our bodies for exercise a little difficult – Why not encourage yourself during your next workout by incorporating a little fun. Music in particular! According to a new study published by the Brunel University of London, listening to the right music during exercise can have a positive effect on your performance and mood.

Take a look at some of the Healthy Hideout’s reasons why you should be playing your favorite tunes the next time you decide to jog around the block:

  • Lower your perception of exhaustion – You’re distracting your brain from the activity you’re actually doing, so you’ll be less inclined to think about being tired and stopping.
  • Heighten cardiovascular benefits – Music with a steady beat helps with the natural rhythm of breathing, resulting in a great amount of oxygen to where you really need it.
  • Extended workout time – You’ll be encouraged to workout for longer because you’re having fun – Longer workouts equal greater benefits.

During exercise, our brains will work hard to find external motivation to keep interested – If you can provide this through the form of music you’re less inclined to become bored too quickly. Brunel’s team of researchers found that music around 120 – 150 beats per minute offered the perfect exercise tempo, resulting in your workout being at least 20% more effective. Lead researcher Dr Kargeorghis says that because “maintaining a synchronous movement during the onset of fatigue requires more attention” our bodies tend to focus less on how tired we are, and more towards continuing an effective workout.

What tunes do you listen to during your workout? If you are based in the south of England then why not check out the Great South Run?!

 

 

Top 10 Healthy Heart exercises

Keeping your heart healthy should be at the top of your priority list each and everyday. But with our busy modern day lifestyles and hectic agendas, finding the time to work our tickers can sometimes prove difficult. The following exercise suggestions are great ways of working the heart, but be sure to not overdo it – You want to be feeling up for doing exercise the next day too!

Jogging makes for a great heart workout!

Jogging makes for a great heart workout!

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top 10 healthy heart exercises;

  1. Surge walking – The next time you’re out for your daily brisk trot around the block, try incorporating short sharp surges into your route. By doing this, not does your body burn more calories, you’ll be conditioning yourself for walking at a faster pace for comfortably.
  2. Spring clean every week – The effort that we take to give our homes that annuals spring clean each year, should be applied to every house tidy up we do. Go for the energetic clean! Don’t stick to just one floor at a time, make use of your homes stairs. They’re the best calorie burner after all!
  3. The Stairs Game – Although this may not appeal to those with a busy schedule, set yourself the task of climbing a set of stairs every time you see them. It’s a free and easy way of getting an intensive burst of exercises each day
  4. Go Swimming – A great scientific fact to remember – Water is 800 times denser than air. Even moving around in water with your head above the surface is an intensive workout for the body. Try starting with treading water, gradually moving yourself into a set of lengths and routines.
  5. It’s time to Dance – Dancing burns an average of 500 calories per hour, using muscles you don’t normally exercise in the process. Some experts say that patients who regularly dance at a club or with friends have healthier hearts than those who don’t.
  6. Run for the hills! – Walking, jogging or even riding a bike up a hill introduces the great resistance of gravity. Tackle some hills once or twice a week and be sure to lean forwards when walking to engage different types of muscles.
  7. Follow the fittest – When exercising with friends who are fitter or faster than you, you’re forced out of your comfort zone.  This helps you to develop your fitness levels quicker, whilst working out with someone else ensures you actually keep to a regular routine.
  8. The Great Outdoors – When walking on tougher terrains such as grass fields and rugged dirt track, your body works more muscles when compared to walking on pavement. Country walks are often prettier on the eye as well, so why not get out of the city this weekend?
  9. Pre-programmed – If you already utilise electronic exercise equipment at your gym or at home, try to introduce yourself to the programs that have “inclined” routines. This will work your body and improve the strength of your heart.
  10. Time for Sports – Make it your target this year to introduce a new physically active hobby. Casual sports such as tennis, badminton, swimming and even cycling force the heart to work intensively. They’re also a great way to catch up with friends and socialise throughout the working week.

What exercises do you incorporate into your weekly routine? Here at the Healthy Hideout, we’d love to hear any suggestions you have for great heart intensive ideas. Get in touch!