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The beauty of running, compared to any other sport, is that people from all walks of life have the chance to enjoy it regardless of age, gender, or fitness level. Women in particular could easily reap the rewards of this fantastic sport as they usually experience greater gains in their bodily conditioning compared to men, not to mention that running proved to be very effective in losing weight, especially after pregnancy among other reasons.
Needless to say, running is cost effective and very flexible because you could practice it whenever your time allows. To ensure making the most out of your running while minimizing the chances of injuries, women need to pay attention to few yet essential guidelines that we will cover in detail in this article.
When you are new to running, we advise you to run for three minutes, followed by a one-minute-walk. You need to repeat this routine five times or more. Each week, gradually increase your running time. This way, you’re guaranteed to notice significant improvement in your fitness levels within few weeks. For more beginners tips, please refer to the following article: Top 10 Running Tips for Absolute Beginners
Essential Equipment: Running Shoes and Sports Bra
Great progress has been made in the running shoes industry in recent years. Unfortunately, most of these advances were more geared towards men’s shoes, using male bodies as models for the human bio-mechanics. This certainly explains why a considerable number of women still buy running shoes that are designed for men, especially because they have a much bigger selection. However, Running in men’s shoes has its side effects on your body.
She who never risk going beyond her limits should never complain about the mediocrity of her existence
There are three major differences between women’s bodies and men’s.
Due to the fact that women’s pelvises are broader than men’s, women’s feet tend to strike the ground differently, using more of their outside feet. As a result, women wear-out their shoes’ outer edges much quicker than men.
Women’s feet usually roll inward on impact more than men’s. Accordingly, Women’s running shoes are designed to compensate for this tendency. Men’s shoes, on the other hand, could emphasize the rolling and, as a result, lead to injury.
Women weigh less than men averagely speaking, but the cushions on men’s shoes are mainly designed for people who weigh at least one hundred and fifty pounds. If you weigh less than this, your weight wouldn’t be enough for the cushion to absorb much of the impact while you run. So, in spite of your limited selection options, go for women’s running shoes.
You wouldn’t run in any old pair shoes; the same certainly applies to your bra. An excellent sports bra is indispensable for any serious runner. The breasts need to be held firmly in order to minimise the uncomfortable bouncing. Moreover, studies have shown that breast bouncing results in stretching the “Coopers ligament”, the only ligament that prevents breast sagging and once stretched it is irrecoverable! So, better safe than sorry.
Yes You Can Run While Pregnant! But…
Women who experience the joy of running wonder if it’s possible to run during pregnancy. The answer is: yes with precautions. Most women could safely run through half of their pregnancy and even more. It goes without saying that you must consult your physician about the best running options suitable for your health condition.
It’s a good idea to run outdoors first thing in the morning
During your first months, nausea and fatigue and may be hindrances. It’s a good idea to run outdoors first thing in the morning, especially that fresh air may help in reducing nausea. In addition, you need constant hydration. So, don’t reduce your fluids intake for fear of frequent bathroom visits. Alternatively, plan your run around bathroom stops.
In later pregnancy months, you could run much easier but sometimes pains and aches could get in the way. In this case, try to decrease your running routine to some extent, while enjoying other cross-training activities to compensate for it. Recommended cross-training activities during pregnancy include: low impact aerobics, swimming, cross country skiing, and above all walking.
Running with Menopause
Experts agree that running around the age of menopause could ease many undesirable symptoms and improve your mood, even if you’re an absolute beginner! At this age, it’s best to start with a walk/run program, gradually increasing the running portions of your workout.
Many physical discomforts of menopause seem to be significantly lessened for those engaging in running or any other physical activities. Needless to say, the exhilaration that you would feel when making progress in your running routines could definitely boost your self-confidence and minimise the tendency for mood swings.
Here’s a sincere word of advice: STOP worrying about miles. Mileage-mania could be monotonous as it ties you to some few routes that you run endlessly over and over again! Most runners do that because knowing how far you are running makes it easier to record in your running log. Instead, be spontaneous and go with the flow, wherever your impulses dictate. Explore, experiment and try a new route every day. Doing that would definitely make your running experience more enjoyable. Just make sure that whichever route you choose should have the safety tips covered later in the article.
Adding resistance work and weight training to your running routine is highly recommended to build speed, endurance, and strength. Training your entire body, which many runners tend to overlook, could greatly help in preventing injury while strengthening your back and core. In addition, having powerful chest and shoulders certainly makes your run more efficient.
Safety Tips Every Woman Must Know
- Whenever possible, try to run with partner(s). Running alone could make you an easy target for criminals, not to mention that finding a running partner would help you stay on track and feel more committed to your running
- Make sure to carry your ID and mobile to make phone calls if needed
- It’s a good idea to notify your family members about your running route and your estimated arrival time
- A common sense tip: avoid running in deserted areas and if you enjoy running at night, make sure you run in lighted areas