With the weather finally cooling down in Hong Kong, many of you are hitting the great outdoors for a 10K or fun run. However it involves more than just lacing up your runners and programming the perfect playlist. After long summer months of water sports coupled with your favorite summer BBQ and beer, these simple steps will get you on your feet again — the safe and healthy way.
Skipping meals should never be part of an exercise regimen, but eating right should. Fuel up with whole-grains like whole wheat breads, pastas and rice two hours before your workout to give you longer lasting energy to get through your runs. Foods to avoid include anything high in added sugars such as jams and jellies, cookies, cakes, pies and doughnuts as they tend to give you a quick burst of energy, and lead to a drastic drop in your blood sugar subsequently.
Always go into a workout hydrated. Not only does it help to prevent muscle tears, it might also help you perform better during the workout, especially in the heat. Water is good enough if the run is under 60 minutes, but sports drink might be beneficial for runs more than an hour as it helps to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrate utilized during the prolonged workout.
Warm up and cool down are often overlooked but they are in fact important components of the workout. Creating a smooth transition from the warm-up to the high intensity workout is a great way to prevent injuries. Try squats, forward lunges, or the soldier walk, before your workout next time.
After a long run, muscle fibers are torn microscopically. As such, it is important that you allow your muscles enough time to recover and heal. Either a day of rest or get on a bicycle, get in a pool, do some strength training or core work such as yoga, so you can give those muscles a chance to heal and rebuild.
By: Michelle Lau of Nutrilicious
Michelle is certified nutritionist (MSc.) and nutrition expert who specializes in sports nutrition, weight management, pre-post natal nutrition. For more health and nutrition tips, follow her blog: nutriliciousss.wordpress.com/ instagram/facebook @nutriliciousss.
Photo credit: Sunny Lee