TIME TO RUN!
Let’s face it, fitting workouts into a busy life is a challenge. When you’ve got children, a demanding career – or both – calling on your time, something has to give and it’s usually yoga exercises. But not only is running the perfect workout for the time poor(you can do it anywhere, anytime), research shows it can actively help you to manage a busy life and ease the stress that go hand in hand.A research team at Princeton University in the US found aerobic activity, such as running, helps re-organise your brain, reducing its stress response and making anxiety less likely to interfere with its normal function. Still not convinced?Research by BUPA shows 65 percent of running mums find it easier to juggle everyday tasks compared to 43 percent of non-active mums. Here’s how to make it work for you.
When you’re beginning or-starting a running programme, it’s tempting to do too much too soon. Changes of circumstances – the birth of a child, a new job, or even a busy spell –throw up challenges, and there will be an adjustment period when you need to be realistic with your training. Reclaiming small chunks of time is a good place to start.Even a 15-minute run is better than norun, and research by the National Health Research Institutes of Taiwan shows just 15 minutes of exercise a day can increase your life expectancy by three years. From There, you can work on stretching those chunks of time (it’s also better for your muscles not to rush into doing too much)as it’ll take time to adapt.
Too Busy To Pound The Pavements? Follow These Tips And Squeeze Your Workouts In, No Matter How Busy You Are Photo Gallery
If you’re short on spare time, leaving your exercise regime until the last minute just won’t work. Somethingwill always appear to suckup your time. So plan ahead and mark your running sessions in your diary. Keeping Your running kit washed and ready will also help ensure your workout window doesn’t close with you still at home.Get into the habit of running before your daily routine starts. Waking up a bit earlier for a run is tough at first but, by training in the morning, you’re giving yourself the rest of the day for other commitments– and you’ll be starting your day in a very positive way.
Look at creative ways to squeeze a cheeky run into your day. Consider running to or from work, in your lunch hour (keep a change of clothes by your desk), or walk your child to school or daycare and run home afterwards. Park your car a few miles away from work or get off the train a stop earlier and run into the office. Not only will you save money and keep fit, but research from the University of East Anglia also shows that active commuters are better able to concentrate than workers who travel by car. Running home from work at the end of the day is a great way to shed stress and get your evening off to a good start.Think laterally and turn every opportunity into a chance to exercise. Family shopping for leisure trips can be transformed into a chance to exercise if your partner drives home while you run all or part of the return journey. Turn dog walking into a workout opportunity – a pooch is rarely going to object to a jog rather than a walk. And it’s perfect if you’re getting back into running as it provides plenty of opportunities to stop and chat to other dog owners or just throw a ball so you can have a breather! Don’t have a dog? Offer to walk a neighbour’s!
Find it hard to manage weekend runs due to your busy social life? Rather Than isolating you from your social group, running can be a great way to bring you together with friends. Swap your coffee or lunch dates for a social run, join a club, tri weekly parkruns (parkrun.org.uk) in your local park, or set up your own informalrunning group. A huge bank of research shows that training with friends help you stick to your workouts. Good luck! ■
ON TEST SPORTY SANDALS
H&Fsub Eve Boggenpoel finds out which footwear can keep up with your summer adventures
£80; yoursole.com The minute you put on these sandals they feel a serious piece of kit. Recommended By podiatrists for their ability to equalise pressure distribution, deep contouring inthe footbed stabilises your medial arch,while a second arc allows your metatarsals(mid-foot) to rest in their natural position,said to relax tendons and reduce injury risk.Designed for off-road trails in and out of water, they had good external grip over both wet and dry ground, but my foot slipped around inside after wading across the local stream. I’d happily take them out on serious hikes, but I’d pack the Merrell’s(below) for water sports. UK sizes 2-8 inRaven (pictured), Blueberry and Anchor.’
MERRELL AZURA STRAP
£75; merrell.com Designed for use in and out of water, theSaurus drain away any residual water after getting wet and the waterproof nubuck upper is quick drying. The grip is good– put to the test on a steep, soaking wet slope of long grass, the M Select Grip Outsole performed well, proving both slip-resistant and stable. In fact, after submerging the sandals totally, my feet felt even more secure than when dry. Air Cushioning in the heel makes them comfy over firmer terrain but, while the webbing straps gave extra stability and support,they didn’t lie completely flat against my foot. Available in UK sizes 3-10, in five colours, including Grey (pictured).’
KEEN SAGE CLASSIC SPORTS SANDAL
£64.99; keenfootwear.com New this season, the instantly comfortable Sage Classics quickly became my favourite sports sandal of the bunch. The über-lightweight mesh/honeycomb foam upper enveloped my foot so it felt super secure and protected yet still able to breathe,while the reinforced, covered toe was ideal for uneven trails and clambering over rocks, and kept my foot stable in any kind of descent. The metatomical EVA footbed provides arch support and cradles your foot’s natural contours, while an anti-odor anatomic footbed means this more enclosed shoe didn’t become whiffy, even after a long day’s wear. They’re quite a snug fit, which I appreciated, but if you prefer your sandals a little roomy, try going up half a size. The synthetic rubber lining is hypoallergenic and feels more breathable than the water sports sandals, and they’re cute enough to wear around town when you’re not hiking (I didn’t want to take them off!). They’re machine washable and come in UK sizes 2.5-8 in three colours – Ink Blue, Very Berry (pictured) or Grey.’
TEVA TERRA FI LİGHT
£60; teva.co.uk Teva comes from humble beginnings, a pair of flip flops with an old velcro watch strap attached! But it’s the strapping – here around the heel, ankle and two on the forefoot – that make them fit any face shape. An antimicrobial treatment keeps them hygienic, and they have a good tread,ample cushioning and a Shoc Pad in the heel, making them a comfortable wear.Initially, the soles felt a bit like paddles(although they softened after use) and my feet slip forward in the shoe on steep hills. That said, as the Lite version of the Terra Fi, they’re fine for city, beach and gentle terrain. UK sizes 3-10 in seven colours, including Trueno Blue (pictured).’
KARRIMOR SALINA LADIES OUTDOOR SANDAL
£39.99; karrimor.com It’s great to have a sports sandal that looks more stylish than functional, yet still does the job. A series of grooves in the footbed let it flex laterally and diagonally with the action of your feet, while the criss-cross straps around the big toes gives added stability without being restrictive or chafing. The narrow ankle strap adds to the shoe’s elegance, but it took awhile to get the adjustment right – you need to balance stability with not having it so tight it digs into your foot. Bridges the gap between town and trail. Sizes UK 3-8 in four colours,including Black (pictured).’