With the majority of running events outside of London taking place in September and October, donating to your friends JustGiving pages may motivate you to take up a new hobby, running!
Running has many health benefits, as well as being a great cardiovascular exercise, maintaining a healthy level of fitness can help support your microbiome and digestive health.
So how can you start running if you’ve never done it before? And how can you stay motivated to keep on doing it? We’re going to give you some handy tips:
Think about the benefits
Running not only improves cardiovascular fitness, which is important for increasing blood and oxygen flow through the body, but it also has the added benefit of giving you an excuse to get outside. As we’ve written about in a previous blog there are multiple benefits to being outside, including exposing your microbiome to less sterile environments.
As well as improving your microbiome exposure, studies have shown that runners tend to be happier and make better thinkers.
Running also has the advantage of helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Which as we all know is important for overall health, both of body and mind.
How to get motivated
So now you’ve thought about all the benefits of running, how do you actually get motivated to go for a run? After all, thinking about it is a lot easier than doing it right?
A good way to get started is to make a plan and put it in your diary. By scheduling in a date to run and not moving it for other plans, you’ve effectively committed yourself to doing something. However, don’t be too hard on yourself if you do end up missing a run, it’s important to remember that building a habit takes time. There are some handy tips here on how to make new habits stay with you.
Something that might work better than the stick is the carrot. Try rewarding yourself after your runs, this might be with an especially long relaxing bath (some swear by Epsom bath salts for post run recovery), some squares of dark chocolate, or another treat. If you do want to have a little indulgence you can feel pretty good about it if you’ve just completed a run!
You can also get inspired to run by reading other people’s running stories. Just like our own Emily Young, who started by giving herself the goal of completing her first 5k, but has now progressed onto completing Ironman triathlons!
What kind of things should you eat?
You’ve committed and you’re running every week, but what kind of gut friendly foods should you be eating to support your running?
Runners World recommends bananas as a ‘prebiotic powerhouse’ these have the added benefit of potassium, which can regulate fluid balance (linked to keeping properly hydrated) and help maintain a healthy nervous system.
They also recommend natural yogurt, fermented vegetables and kefir as good prebiotic and probiotic foods which will support you on your running journey.
If you’ve now been inspired to run a race or your first 5K, BBC Good Food has some great meal plan options of what to eat on light, to heavy, training days.
Symprove supporting your journey
Not only can your diet support your running, but your gut bacteria are also thought to play a part in exercise performance.
In one research study, a specific gut bug was identified in helping runners to run faster. A strain of Veillonella atypica, was found in the stools of marathon runners. Mice who were inoculated with this strain were able to run 13% longer on a treadmill than mice who did not have the strain.
Even though research into this topic is limited and in preliminary stages, it’s no doubt that having a healthy, functioning gut can improve your athletic performance and support living a healthy lifestyle.
We hope this blog has re-energised you to begin your first run and start your journey. If you’re new to running remember to take it slow to start and build up to your goal. Properly hydrate and fuel your body with appropriate food on the day of your run and plan your route. We wish you luck!