Run for your Heart
There are so many reasons to run
The main ones being for health, fitness, stress relief, and losing weight. As February is heart awareness month, we researched some of the main risk factors for heart disease and how to tackle them and guess what they were? You guessed it: improving your health, staying active, losing weight, coping with stress, as well as quitting smoking and eating the right foods.
...Its not rocket science! Run for your heart, because it can help with all of those things! Here are a few interesting facts about your heart and running.
Heart Rate Training
What is it? Heart Rate Training is the concept of using your heart rate to determine the effort you are putting into your workout. With a little calculation to find your max heart rate (or an estimate of what it should be) and using a heart rate monitor, which most smart watches have these days, you could be on your way to improving training your cardiovascular system.
This type of training uses 'zones' to differentiate what type of training you are doing. You're not aiming for 100% of your max everytime! There is a general guideline used by exercise physiologist and coach Janet Hamilton ( owner of Running Strong) :
- Zone 1: 60-70% Comfortable efforts such as a warm up or cool down
- Zone 2: 70-80% Comfortable enough to hold a conversation ( most of long distance training)
- Zone 3: 81-93% Comfortably Hard effort
- Zone 4: 94-100% Hard effort, but sustainable (approx. 5km pace)
Foods that help your heart
According to the British Heart Foundation a "healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and stop you gaining weight, reducing your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure".
According to The Health Food Guide and Readers Digest Health, these foods are good for your heart
1. Oats - We know they look boring, but oats lowers cholesterol. So, we put up with them (and actually secretly love them)
2. Fruit and Veg - Even we knew this one. Try to get a rainbow of these a day. The fiber, antioxidants, vitamins...there is so much goodness in these, we just can't get enough of them!
3. Pulses - such as chickpeas and lentils. Soup anyone?
4. Nuts - I don't think peanut butter counts ( sadly), but we love a good handful of almonds to snack on.
5. Soya and tofu products - good sources of protein without all the saturated fats you seen in fatty meats.
6. Dark Chocolate and Red Wine - Do we need to elaborate? Apparently, both of these have antioxidants and flavonols which prevent blood clots, reduces inflammation, and improves blood vessel function.
If you want MORE information on how to keep your running heart healthy, we suggest visiting the British Heart Foundation Website.
Running hearts are happy hearts!
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