Why I Love Running & Why You Should Run / by Laura Scanlon

It's a love/hate relationship with most people but fortunately for me, my parents started me running from a young age so running has always kinda been in my life. Now I must admit there are aspects to running that I don't necessarily love, like long distance. I'm a max 5K kinda girl, 10K at a push but the benefits to the running I do are wonderful. Let me tell you about them.

First things first, don't hate on cardiovascular exercise. Lots of people and even trainers I meet always talk about how much they hate cardio. There is no quick fix to getting fit and unfortunately for those of you cardio haters, cardio is an essential aspect of getting fit. A few essential reasons are, fat burning, cardiovascular endurance, less stress, improved sleep to name but a few. Now I know there are many other alternatives to getting your cardio in other than running but i'm going to tell you why I run and how I benefit from it.

Running was a huge part of my youth and although I stopped competing around the age of 18 I still ran to keep fit. It wasn't until 10 years later when I moved to Cape Town and joined a running club again that I really noticed my body responding to the running training I was now incorporating in with my gym sessions. When I personally talk about running I am talking about sprint to middle distance sessions. These type of sessions are amazing for burning that stubborn fat around the midsection & an awesome cardiovascular workout. Not that I had that much fat to burn off around my stomach but I found my waist and hips became slimmer and my body overall more lean. Let me show you a before and after picture of when I really upped my running sessions.

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Whether you run on a track, in the park, down the street or up a hill, sprinting or speed sessions will do more to develop your aesthetic and anaerobic capacities than anything else out there. If you want to burn fat & add lean muscle tone to your body you need to be sprinting. Treadmill sprints are good and I often add them into my routine but they wont get your anaerobic levels as high as outdoor running but still amazing for burning fat. Here is a a treadmill workout I like to do:

30 Minute Fat Burner Workout (INDOOR Treadmill)

  1. Warm Up: Level 9 for 10 minutes
  2. 1 min on 1 min off for 10 minutes (sprint at the highest level you are comfortable with)
  3. Cool down for 10 minutes at level 9 last 5 minutes bring it down to a lower level (beginners to running just cool down for 5 minutes )
  4. Stretch

If you are not buying into the idea of sprint/speed sessions then all you need to do is take one look at top athletes out there, there bodies don't just look like that for no reason. With running you may think its just about moving your legs but going from 0 to full blown sprint in a couple of seconds requires energy from every muscle in the body, hence an amazing full body workout using power from the whole body.

So basically you need to get running if you want to get super lean and super fit. The best thing I ever did was rejoin a running club. It is great to have a top coach tell me what to do 2-3 times a week. Not only is it amazing for stress relief, I also get to meet new people and change up my routine a bit each week. If a running club is not for you though, that's ok. Just get down to your local park and run for your life :) I recommend a minimun of 2 days a week sprint sessions mixed with your regular exercise routine & within weeks watch your body fat drop & your fitness levels rise. 

Outdoor Workout- Great for beginners

Always warm up first with a jog, mixed with stretches and some strides.

Try 10 X 200m with a walk back

or

Sprint goal post to goal post 10-20 times with a walk back to recover.

Give it all you got, don't hold back, SPRINT.

Any questions dont hesitate to contact me, 

Follow me over on Instagram @laura_bodyzone :)

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Laura x