Running For Weight Loss Tips and Advice
Safety Tips for Runners
If you choose to run outdoors to enjoy the beautiful, warm sun, the coolness of the dawn, or the crisp morning air before the sun rises, there are certain precautions that you should take to ensure your safety. You should plan ahead to diminish the chances of dealing with, and to be prepared for, an unfortunate event that could occur.
Wear Reflective Shoes
Even if you don’t plan on running during dark or low-light times of the day, you should purchase and wear running shoes with reflectors. Reflective clothing is a great option as well, but if you don’t have or want to wear reflective clothing, reflective shoes are necessary for your safety.
Having comfortable, reflective running shoes will ensure that drivers of vehicles or large trucks will be able to see you from a distance. This is a common feature on mostly all running shoes, so it should be easy for you to find. Don’t settle for less. If your running shoes don’t have reflectors, they are not safe.
Carry a Cell Phone, Identification, and Medical Cards
There a running straps and small running bags that can be strapped around your waist that can carry your cell phone, personal identification, such as a driver’s license, and your medical cards, especially if you have a certain condition someone would need to know if offering assistance to you.
Accidents can happen, so be prepared. If you get hurt while running or suddenly become sick, you can use your cell phone to call for immediate help from a friend, family member, or medical services. It may be a little inconvenient to strap yourself with extra items, but it is best to always remain prepared than if something happens and you are not prepared.
Don’t Listen to Music
It can be fun, relaxing, and motivating to listen to music while you are running. Music has a gift of giving you that extra assistance of encouragement when you need it, and it has a gift of taking you away from a stressful moment. Combined with running, music is powerful; however, it can be dangerous.
When listening to music while you are running, you may be unable to hear approaching vehicles from behind you, or even if someone is following you. When you are too focused on the music and your run, you may become oblivious to your surroundings. If you can’t run without it, opt for playing it soft enough that you can still hear what is going on around you.
Pre-check Running Path
Before going on your run, checkout the area during the time of day you plan on running. It is best to pick a place where there are other runners or walkers, and there is a decent traffic flow to ensure you will never be alone, such as a park.
Your neighborhood may also be a great place to run, especially if you know your neighbors and you live in a closed community with rarely any outside traffic. Although, even if you believe an area to be safe, always be aware of your surroundings, because anything can happen anywhere.
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Should You Eat Before Running?
When it comes to preparing for a comfortable run, you don’t want to head out on a completely empty stomach, or a stomach that is overly full. Doing either of these could cause different types of discomfort, as well as changes in your energy levels and muscle strength.
So when deciding whether to eat or not before your run, think about how far you are going to run and what is best to prepare for that run. In essence, having a great run means eating the right foods at the right times. It also plays a big part if you are planning a long-distance run or race.
Eating Before a Short Run
If you are going out for a short, leisurely run, for example five to six miles or less, where you are not training for a long-distance race, such as a marathon, eating a small meal is okay before a run. This meal will give you the energy you need to complete your run, especially if you haven’t eaten anything within the last three hours.
When your goal is to lose weight, you definitely don’t want to eat a meal before a run. You want to use the fat stores that you have to fuel your energy for your run; however, you should not be starving. You should always time your last meal to be no more than one to three hours before your running time to prevent stomach discomfort and/or side stitches.
What You Should Eat Before a Run
Before going on a short run, you may eat a complex carbohydrate and a protein meal up to one hour before your run if you haven’t eaten within the last three to four hours. This meal should be of good quality, and not consist of refined carbohydrates with little nutritional value, high in sugar, and/or high in fat.
Some common foods that are great for a pre-run is whole grain bread and peanut butter, an apple or banana and peanut butter, or some whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese. Do not eat vegetables or a large salad, as these foods are known to cause stomach discomfort.
You should also avoid anything spicy or rich in flavor. The meal should be a snack size portion, and easily digestible. Foods high in fiber are harder to digest and can lead to stomach discomfort. There are also some pre-workout drinks that you can use before a run for energy; however, ensure that you do not drink carbonated or sugary drinks.
Eating Before a Long-Run or Long Race
If you are training for a long-distance race, and are setting out for a long run, you definitely want to ensure that you had a complete complex carbohydrate and protein meal the night before. In the morning, you may also have some multi-grain oatmeal for extra complex carbohydrates. When your cells have this energy stored, you will have the endurance for a long-distance run or race.
If you have been training for a while for a long-distance run, your fat stores are probably very low and you don’t need to worry about the extra carbohydrates that you are taking in, because it will be used as fuel. The key is to feed your body properly at the right time for peak performance.