running in autumn, dealing with colder temperature

I live in a city with very distinct seasons and with the weather getting colder and daylight hours shorter, I’ve been less and less enthused about going outside for my usual runs.

1) colder temperature

2) rainy weather, or the ground might be wet

3) sidewalks are filled with fallen leaves, it’s gross and potentially slippery

4) add insult to injury the ‘usual’ excuses

So how do you get yourself to run outside after ‘just do it’ doesn’t quite cut it?

Solutions:

1) Update your running playlist: find new running music and put them on your iPod and enjoy while you jog!

2) Run somewhere you have to go to anyways, like the grocery store with a backpack, get your groceries, put them in your backpack then run back.

3) Visualize post-run effect: yes, think about how great you’d feel post run!

NOW GO RUN!

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fitness routine: enlist a friend

One of my goals for August was getting out more and staying out more with friends (not of the party variety). And two weeks on, I’m happy to report that not only do I get moving more often (yay, fitness) but I’ve started to schedule fun runs with friends. In turn, I’ve realized something really important that’s often forgotten in today’s increasingly digital society.

Human contact, that’s actually in person – you know, having a human being you call friend (you know, other than your ‘work’ friends) in your personal bubble – is crucial to wellbeing.

Face to face interactions instead of ‘FaceTime’ might just have benefits we knew nothing of, until…well, everyone went digital.

I realized, when I take the time to meet up with a friend rather than just messaging him or her on Facebook, 99.9% of the time, we end up having a great time and I end up coming up new ideas, or we end up doing something crazy but inspiring. I find that taking the time to actually see your friend, not only strengthens the relationship by creating new shared memories, but it can also relaxes you no matter what time of the day.

I’ve tried this several times. Running in the morning with a friend, then grabbing a bite to eat afterwards before work. And the post-work, let’s meet and take a walk in a nearby park. These seemingly time-consuming things which I often avoid in the past became highlights of my day. The morning runs prepare me for work and the post-work walks relaxes me before I head home.

Running with friends, I’d say have other benefits as well:

  1. Running is no longer a chore: you made the commitment, you get to see your friend and have a chitchat. It’s fun, even if it requires rising early, so what, someone’s there for you and that same someone would be a little upset if you didn’t show up!
  2. You’ll motivate each other to do the hard work: and in my experience, end up running longer and faster since one of you is more likely to run faster than the other, so you’ll be pushing each other to work at their optimum. Granted, I’m always the one lagging behind, trailing behind my guy friend, except, today I realized, even with my trailing behind, I was running at a faster pace than if I was running alone.
  3. You’ll get to catch up on each other’s lives: which is so important, friendships require nurturing and I think this is a very healthy way to go about it.
  4. It’s easier to stay committed: finally, because of all the benefits, you’ll find it easier and maybe even exciting that you’re spicing up your fitness routine. And we all know when we’re excited about something, we’re more likely to work hard and succeed.

7 benefits of outdoors running:

Confession: I’m one of those people who has a gym membership but doesn’t use it…

Yes. Guilty as charged.

I initially got the membership so that I’ll ‘go’ when the weather’s being less than ideal. But then, the weather’s been awesome lately and I tell myself, ah, I’ll well I’ll just go next time…except next time turned into next week and next week turned into next month to the point the thought of a treadmill among a row of identical treadmills in a warehouse like environment puts me off…the place is just so grey and boring (not to mention mechanical)

And you might ask, what have you been doing since you skipped the gym?

Well, I’ve mentioned I took my workouts outside on the road and killed two pairs of runners thus far. But these are the things I’ve noticed since I made the switch.

The pros of running outside:

1. It’s easy. You just put on your running shoes and go, there’s no sign in at the gym, no locking up your stuff, no waiting for machines, you just put your shoes on and start.

2. You’ll workout harder. Running on the road is harder than running on the treadmill. You’ll have to exert more energy to propel yourself forward and the road is not always even in terms of incline, but the plus side of this is you get more resistance out of your workout and you’re forced to workout harder.

3. You’ll improve faster. This goes hand in hand with getting a harder workout. When I started running outside I was baffled at how I could run from what seems like forever to breathing heavy in fifteen minutes. Then I discovered, it was due to my bad running form, which served me alright on the treadmill but the road wouldn’t have any of that.

4. You’ll see how far you’ve gone. One of my favourite things is probably mileage, knowing that I’ve ran farther today than I have yesterday. On the treadmill it’s always a number, but without much visual, but with the visual, it’s a more satisfying experience.

5. The scenery. This is often overlooked, the scenery and the fresh air, wind in your face feeling is a lot more rewarding than the clanking of machines and stuffiness of the gym environment. (And capture moments like the photo cover of this post, heron in the water at sunset.) 

6. You can switch it up! You don’t have to stick to neighbourhood blocks, if tracks, trails and the beach are available, why not try it? It’ll freshen up your workout.

7. Make it a social event! Grab a friend, set a date and go for a run to catch up, why not switch up the coffee date for some adrenaline filled goodness?