Healthy Hollywood: Get A Runner's High!

Run for a healthier you Run for a healthier you

Ah, the natural high of exercise!

Who needs a glass of wine to chill out when you can simply lace up your sneakers and go for a run? Plus, it's absolutely free – minus the cost of a good pair of sneakers. And, there's the added bonus of a healthy body and mind.

"Running is a very personal and emotional sport. Few things can match the endorphin rush, mental maintenance, and the emotional euphoria of a good run," reveals David Silk, a running coach at Equinox.

Plus, as David notes, it does a body major good, adding, "Running is one of the purest, most honest calorie burns ever. I also believe the fastest way to a strong core and a ripped flat stomach is a good running program."

And, running is something most of us can learn to do the right way. For beginners, David suggests, "If you're new to running on a regular basis, the best thing you can do is gradually build up your endurance. Always start with a great foundation, making sure you understand good running form."

Then to build endurance, be consistent and get on a running schedule.

"Once you have a plan, be diligent, be determined, put in the work and the body will have no choice but to become a better runner; it is our nature," adds David.

To get folks inspired to run, David created a new treadmill class at Equinox clubs called Precision Running.

"If you're new to running, start with a foundation. An interval class on the treadmill is great way to get instruction on how you're running. Your mileage as well as interval speeds should gradually increase. So don't sweat it at first," he explains.

David also shared with Healthy Hollywood three must-do exercises to improve your running performance:

Core

This has always been important! Plank core conditioning can really improve your stability when you run. Try adding a 5-10 minute core routine at least 2-4 times per week, ideally after a run (variations include straight elbow plank, right/left side plank, plank to inverted V, planks with knee taps, planks with hip rotations, etc ). Planks can be challenging, but have such great benefits.

Hip Flexor

Short bursts of high knees when running are great. Fancy footwork such as high knee grapevine and explosive skipping (for height) are also great exercises for the hip flexor.

Gluts

Do more than just squats or lunges. Mule kicks with a resistance band are my favorite (killer glut work but lower impact). Place your foot snuggly through the handle of a resistance band then on all fours while holding the other end of the band tight, perform a series of mules kicks (10-20 each side). As an option, place a weight on the back side of your knee and pinch between your calve and hamstring and press foot up to ceiling to perform the mule kicks.

-- Terri MacLeod

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