As a personal trainer and running coach, I’ve devoted my life to educating and helping others live a healthy and active lifestyle. Over the past five years, I’ve been running in marathons, including the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Running is my passion, and allows me build my faith with each mile that I run. Staying physically active is a way of life for me, and I always look for ways to incorporate training into my busy schedule. With three energetic teenagers and training my running clients, I don’t have much time to slow down.
I know that most people perceive runners as being physically fit people who are overly crazed about running, but we often suffer from numerous injuries like back, muscle and/or joint pain due to our intense training. Runners are also frequently challenged with staying motivated to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
For those of you who are avid runners, or if you are interested in incorporating running into your life as the new year approaches, I’d like to share a few tips with you that prevents me from slowing down and helps me stay motivated.
1. The Importance of Stretching
A great amount of controversy surrounds stretching. Is stretching really necessary? Should you stretch before or after your workout?
After much in-depth research, I’ve come to the conclusion that stretching is important after you workout. It’s crucial for your muscles to warm-up before stretching so that you can avoid pulling them. You can even stretch before you run by warming up before the stretch with a few jumping jacks, high knee running and butt kicks. Stretching is an important part of the workout that should not be skipped because it helps lengthen your muscles and brings blood flow to the muscle to help recover and repair the body.
2. Treatment for Sore Muscles
While training for a breast cancer walk a few years ago, I began to experience muscle pain in my legs that was slowing me down. The ibuprofen that I was taking wasn’t helping relieve the pain so I decided to visit my chiropractor, who introduced me to Traumeel – a homeopathic medicine for minor joint, back and muscle pain.*
At first, I was a little skeptical about trying a homeopathic product comprised of ingredients found in nature, but I did like the idea of being able to use the product for more than 10 days without harsh side effects. Now whenever I experience muscle pain while training for a marathon, I know that I can use Traumeel to help relieve the pain. Check out Traumeel’s website to learn more about the product: www.Traumeel.us.
3. Switch Your Routine Up
Have you been doing the same workouts each week, eating the same boring meal each day, and not seeing any progress? It’s time to switch your routine up! Doing the same workout each week means your body is no longer challenged resulting in a plateau.
To prevent this plateau from occurring, try adding a couple of pounds of weight or switching to dumbbells instead of machines. You could even try that new class at the gym that you have been interested in, like Yoga or Pilates. If you are doing the same training run, try running some new drills or register for a race. Races are goals with a finish line!
Are you still eating oatmeal and eggs every morning for the fourth week in a row? That gets old really fast. Try some new grains like Quinoa or Brown Rice. Cook your eggs in different ways including boiled, fried, poached or scrambled with veggies. Also, try eating seasonal fruits and veggies to help switch up your diet. Remember to continually switch your routine and diet up to help keep yourself motivated.
* These statements have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. They are supported by traditional homeopathic principles.