Monday 20 November 2017

Siobhan Byrne: Running can be beneficial if done right

Fitness or weight loss: your goal is as important as the actual race

Siobhan Byrne: Running can be a great way to help lose weight only if your diet is right
Siobhan Byrne: Running can be a great way to help lose weight only if your diet is right
Curtsey lunge with calf raise
Curtsey lunge with calf raise 2
Curtsey lunge with calf raise 3
Plank jacks 1
Plank jacks 2
Lying superman 1
Prisoner squats 1
Prisoner squats 2

Siobhan Byrne

When I see people out pounding the pavements on a balmy summer's evening, I often ask myself the question - are they running for fitness, weight loss or just because they love the feeling. The 'why' of your choice of exercise is important to understand. And although any type of training is good for the body, there are some types of exercise that work better for different reasons and for different individuals.

To me, the most important thing to watch out for in any exercise is form. Is it something that can be changed? Of course it can, but for activities such as running our genetic makeup, years of being overly tight in certain areas, like hip flexors, or having weaker muscles in the lower back, core and glutes, can change running form. This will make it not only tougher on yourself but more taxing on weaker muscle groups while leaving the stronger ones to work even harder, possibly overdevelop and cause injury through tightness.

Not everyone is a naturally good runner. My advice would be to try lots of things, just because one type of exercise is not suitable for your body doesn't mean others won't be. Don't become despondent if you have spent the summer trying something new and it doesn't quite work for your body.

The other important aspect is your reasoning for doing a specific type of exercise. It is so important that we factor exercises into our daily lives. Finding what works for you, for what you want to achieve, is very important.

Running can be a great way to help lose weight only if your diet is right. There is little point to working hard at any exercise in order to lose weight, only to go home and devour more calories than you actually burned. And here lies the problem.

Most people are under an illusion as to how many calories they actually burn when exercising, and don't factor in that the cappuccino and biscuit after training may have more calories than they've actually burned off.

Here are four exercises to help strengthen the core and legs, which are necessary for running.

Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week

FOCUS ON RUNNING

Plank jacks

1/ Start on your toes and hands, with your arms straight, back flat and your feet together.

2/ Jump your feet out to the sides without moving hand position. Immediately jump back to the middle and repeat. Keep your back flat throughout.

Lying  superman

1/ Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight and your arms stretched out overhead.

2/ Raise the upper body and legs simultaneously, about 15 inches off the floor, hold briefly and then return to start position by lowering yourself back to the floor.

Prisoner squats

1/ Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and lock your fingers behind your head.

2/ Bend at the hips and knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then push back up to the starting position and repeat.

Plank jacks

1/ Start on your toes and hands, with your arms straight, back flat and your feet together.

2/ Jump your feet out to the sides without moving hand position. Immediately jump back to the middle and repeat. Keep your back flat throughout.

Curtsy lunge with calf raise

1/ Stand upright with feet hip-width apart.

2/ Step behind and across into a curtsy, lowering your body down towards the ground.

3/ Push off the front foot back to the start position and then come up onto your toes into a calf raise, elevating your heels off the ground. Complete all reps on one side before changing to the other side.

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