For some running a mile a day might not seem worth it. A mile is just a mile after all. I will just go to the gym instead or try to eat less you might say. There are however magical things that happen to you when you commit to the habit of daily exercise. The traditional ways of exercise are just so hard to keep regularHere are just some things that running a mile a day makes me feel.
1. That I don’t have to think about ‘doing’ exercise. It’s built into my daily routine.
2. I’m not limited to where I can exercise. All I need is trainers and I can step out of the door where ever I am. Currently writing this on the beach on the coast of Mexico!
3. More energetic. I get less tired in the day and less sleepy.
4. That I am more motivated to do things. I have a greater thirst and passion for life.
5. That I am healthier. I do not need to watch what I eat as much because my metabolic rate is that much higher. I like to eat healthily but I can drink beer too!
6. Thinner. Just the bare fact of burning so many calories as the days of the year roll on keeps my weight in check. I’m always losing a little bit.
7. Challenged. Running everyday is a challenge. Each run can be as challenging as I want it to be. If I want to run fast I can, if I want to climb a massive hill I can or of I want to run every minute with a minute rest I can do that too. It really doesn’t matter. Getting outside and putting one foot in front of the other does.
8. That I have more time in my day. When I used to go on longer runs and had gym membership my time just went. I vividly remember coming home from work, rushing food and then jumping in the car to ‘drive’ to the gym. The whole process including getting there, changing and getting back could take more than three hours. Sometimes when I got to the gym I couldn’t be bothered and just lounged in the jacuzzi.
9. I am inspiring others to do the same. I receive emails most days to say that they also want to do the same. I love to hear the way that their minds and body shape are changing.
10. That I appreciate the mornings. I do most of my runs in the morning and running while the world wakes is truly awe inspiring. The subtle sounds of birds chirping and the sound of cars starting to go to work make it for me. You also see other runners out and about – a kind of secret world.
If you feel stuck in a rut with your exercise routine then maybe it’s about time you changed. Thinks small and get big results. It’s not difficult. I hope that my posts on this site inspire you and give you lots of encouragement.
I am keen to hear how running and daily exercise makes you feel. Please comment freely.
If you want to get fitter i.e feel better and lose weight then you will need to add some challenge into your runs. Here are 5 possible ways of doing this. I I will write more soon.
1. Try to beat your last time for a mile. Choose a mile known to you and time yourself. If you took 14 minutes yesterday try for 12 minutes today. Make the walk breaks shorter and increase your speed by 10%. Just do what feels good for you. Don’t go mad bit just work a bit harder gradually.
2. Incorporate a hill into your work out. If you don’t have a hill near you then drive to one and do your mile up and down it.
3. If you usually have a few walk breaks which is fine then try to run your mile without any. If this is too daunting then run as far as you can without stopping at all.
4. Try some high intensity interval training. I have started doing what is called Tabata training during my daily mile routines. Basically you run as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then rest (walk) for 10 seconds. This is repeated 8 times. After the eighth repetition you really feel it.
5. Run out for half a mile and make a note of the time. Turn around and run back. Reset your timer and your challenge is to best your out time. See how much can you beat it.
What strategies do you use to add more challenge to your runs?
All inclusive holidays are notorious for being very unhealthy. You’ve paid your money and want to get value for that money once there. The dangers of this are easy to see. Here are some obvious ones.
1. Overeating: ‘free’ food being available all day. Meal times are dangerous with so many carbs on offer.
2. Drinking calories: With wine and beer on tap, all inclusive holidays are notorious for being very unhealthy.
3. Too much sun. Staggering from the dinner table to the lounger feeling heavy. You start with sun tan cream then get lazy into the second week. Heat rash and burn can result. Hello Pharmacy!
4. Dehydration: Water drinking can take a back seat. There is water in lager, right!
5. Spending too much money on trips and excursions: 2 weeks staying in the hotel grounds can be claustrophobic.
6. Not enough movement: No motivation to exercise is common.
7 Stress of being with other people: yes you are on holiday and yes you are with people that you love but stress and friction can occur especially at decision time. What shall we do today! Arrrrrrgh.
There are plenty more pitfalls but I will leave these to your imagination.
This mini guide is a few suggestions on how to have a healthy all inclusive experience.
1. Plan your alcohol: decide in the morning when and how many beers etc you will have that day. Make a judgement how many is too many. One sounds too few? Five sounds too many?
2. Be sensible with your carbohydrates: spaghetti and meat sauce with chips on the side might not be the best plan. In my opinion the danger foods are bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Fortunately in all inclusive buffets there is plenty of choice so as a general rule these can be avoided. I’m not saying don’t eat a single piece of bread or a pasta twirl, just not at every meal.
3. Tune into your body. Several key questions will help you do this. Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Do I feel dehydrated ( dry mouth, headache, unfocused, tired, demotivated to move). Do I feel stressed? Do I feel hot? Do I feel lazy? Most of these are easily answered and resolved. If you are not hungry then don’t eat! Simple!
4. Drink plenty of water. Make water your drink of choice at meal times. I find that a rule of no alcohol when eating is essential. Order a bottle of still mineral water as the first thing you do when the waiter comes around.
5. Give yourself space from who you are with. You don’t need to do everything together. Spend a couple of hours on your own. Fill this time with something healthy such as a mile run. You will have more to say to one another this way. Shared experience is valuable but limits freshness in conversation.
6. Take advantage of the hotel sports put on. There is usually plenty on offer from water aerobics to beach volleyball. In Cyprus at the moment I have done an organised Yoga class everyday. I had never done Yoga before – a great introduction to it. Outside and beautiful!
7. Plan your dedicated sun times. I comit myself to two fifteen minute sessions a day. One in the morning before it gets too hot and one in the afternoon for a final blast. To be mathematical and chef like I do 7.5 minutes each side. I use my phone timer to time myself.
8. Look around for trips and excursions. The holiday company you booked with will be all to keen to sell you ‘their’ trips. There will be entry of outside companies offering the same if not better just a short walk away. Have a look at tripadvisor (before or whilst you are there). You can search for attractions near you. Have a look at the highest rating first then move to the average ones and make a list of the pitfalls. A little bit of research goes a long way. Think carefully about hiring a car. Not always the best thing in my opinion. Yes you may be able to see more but can be the source of many an argument. Everyone gets a bit scared driving on a different side and into the unknown. Be a little considerate.
9. Be organised and sensible. . Use the hotel safe to keep your valuables in. Don’t leave stuff around the pool – don’t get paranoid though. People are generally trustworthy.
10. Try to exercise everyday and if you can help it avoid the gym. Get outside.
If you have a healthy lifestyle then 2 weeks of all inclusive can damage you and ruin all sorts of good habits.
These suggestions are mind and I am keen to hear yours. Please comment freely or email me at email@example.com
In addition to my posts I would like to profile other running bloggers on http://www.milerunner.me. Each month I will be profiling two bloggers. If you would like to be profiled then please email me using the address firstname.lastname@example.org with the answers to these questions.
1. Tell me a bit about yourself and a bit about your blog.
2. Why do you run?
3. How does running make you feel?
4. Where do you typically run?
5. What is your favourite place to run?
6. What distances do you cover when you go out. Does it vary or are you consistently the same?
7. What is your best achievement in running?
8. Have you any tips to avoid injury?
9. Are there any gadgets that you use on your runs? Any apps that you can recommend?
10. And finally………How do you keep yourself motivated?
Sometimes we can’t help but have a day of indulgence. This may involve a large breakfast that you don’t normally have, the piece of cake you shouldn’t have had but couldn’t resist because you we’re with friends.
After a day like this you can feel bloated and your body tries to cash it can’t honour. We often want a healthy day after a day like this but how can you achieve it.
Here is a checklist of things to do to have a good day. If you can manage 2 or more consecutive days like this even better. Let me know how you get on.
1. Skip breakfast and have a large glass of cold water instead.
2. Go for a mile run the first thing in the morning. Make sure it’s the first thing you do.
3. Limit yourself to an eating window. I find that if allowing myself to start eating at 1.00 in the afternoon and finishing eating at 9.00 in the evening is about right. This is an 8 hour eating window. This stops me snacking in the morning and prevents me from going to bed on a full and heavy stomach.
4. Make this day alcohol free.
5. Limit the amount for caffeine you have. Have a black coffee in the morning but then no more.
6. Don’t eat any bread, pasta or rice. Completely reduce the amount of carbohydrate that you have.
7. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and have regular sips.
8. If you want to snack then have nuts or berries such as raspberries or strawberries. I love to snack on cashew nuts.
9. If you must have something sweet then have a couple of squares of over 85 percent cocoa chocolate.
10. Don’t eat bread, rice and potatoes or if you must don’t eat as part of the last meal of your day.
If you have any more tips then please let me know.