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Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

If you are a marathon runner, you'd know it is not easy to run long distances in a given time period. You require long training runs; therefore, it is important to practice proper hydration strategies, stay fit, and most importantly, eat healthy food. For marathon runners, food is more than just simple nutrition; it is fuel to their body. It is not easy to run long distances; however, with the right diet, you can touch the finish line successfully, without feeling tired. As you train for long-distance runs, you not only find out what your stomach can tolerate, but it also trains your gut to handle more calories and fluids. So, we tell you how to keep up with the new changes and how to be nutritionally nourished during and after the marathon. Read on.

According to Dietitian, Ritu Arora, "Before any marathon, runner has to fuel his body with slow carbohydrates, which means complex carbs, as they will act as energy boosters during the run. Eat foods that are low in glycaemic index, moderate in protein and low in fat to give your body all the nutrients it needs for the next few hours. Porridge with fruits, a chicken sandwich, fruits or a bagel and peanut butter are good options before the run. After the marathon, you tend to experience a muscle breakdown. Hence, your body requires more protein intake along with fluids, especially water. The food should be rich in antioxidants so as to recover from the cell damage caused during the run."

Diet And Health Tips For Marathon Runners
Avoid eating empty calories; instead choose to eat foods that give you the most nutrients per calorie.
Don't starve or eat too much before the run. Rather, eat a light, energising meal or snack.
Don't eat three heavy meals; instead have small meals every three to four hours to keep energy up and going. The steadier input of food will keep your hunger pangs at bay and help your body maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Make sure you are getting enough protein as it helps stabilise your blood sugar and helps you feel fuller for longer. Runners should aim at consuming protein-rich snacks 20 minutes after working out. Add more dairy foods, eggs, quinoa, soy and barley to your diet.

Don't forget to eat something light before the training session or the marathon. Running on an empty stomach will only lead to sluggish workouts and increased hunger or cravings later in the day.
Carbohydrates in your diet are equally important; in fact, they are said to be the fuel for muscles. Your body tends to break down carbohydrates to make glucose that is burned in order to produce energy. Before the training or the race, go for more digestible and quick sources of carbs for energy; for instance, you can choose to eat oatmeal.
Stored fat is said to be an important source of energy for endurance exercises. Dietary fat, on the other hand, helps your body absorb many vitamins. Your body, when it's running long-distances, needs a back-up source of fuel when you are short of carbs. Eat healthy fats that include olive oil, nuts, lean meat and chicken.
Needless to say, fruits and vegetables are the must-haves in your diet. They contain vitamins and minerals, and are comprise antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which help your body to recover faster from long-distance runs.
Before a run, try limiting your consumption of fibre, especially just before the run, as it sits in your stomach and may cause digestive issues during the long run.

Foods That You Should Eat

Load up on foods like eggs, almonds, sweet potatoes, whole grains, oranges, mixed salad, greens, salmon, stir-fry veggies, tofu, chicken, mixed berries, yogurt and fruits among others to have a full nutritional diet. For fluids, trust water to help you recover from the excessive cell damage.

Foods That You Should Avoid

Avoid foods like white sugar, legumes, fatty or processed foods, full-fat milk, spicy foods and sports drinks, as all of these are hard to digest and may cause gastrointestinal issues.

Go on and make your marathons more energetic and healthy than tiresome and unremarkable.

Running is a huge part of my life. Most of my social life involves running. It's my preferred form of therapy. I almost always have a race on the horizon, and I get up early to log miles before work more often than not. In other words, I'm one of "those people" - the generally eccentric bunch of fitness nuts that make Colorado Springs a top running town.

When we found out I was pregnant with my first child in January, my husband and I were thrilled. After the initial excitement wore off, I began to think about the implications that held for my daily life, especially running. Every woman - and every pregnancy - is different, and my guess was as good as anybody else's on how my body would hold up through the nine months of creating a human. You hear about women having to stop exercise entirely, but there are also people running marathons with giant bellies.

It turns out, it really is an individual journey, and the best anyone can do is listen to her body and her doctor.

When I talked to my OB/GYN early on, she recommended modifying my pace by tracking my heart rate, keeping my exertion below 140 beats per minute. Through a bit of online research, I learned that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists had removed the specific heart rate recommendation from their exercise guidelines several years ago. Instead, they encourage training by perceived exertion level: keeping all efforts to a pace where it's easy to carry on a conversation.

However, because my doctor was insistent on the heart rate monitoring, I decided to give it a try. I bought a chest strap monitor to pair with my GPS watch and learned just how little effort it took me to get up to 140 beats per minute. My 9- or 10-minute-mile pace ballooned to 11 or 12 minutes. Speed workouts were a no-go. For the rest of my pregnancy, I used 140 bpm as a guideline, but I wouldn't freak out if it spiked a little higher but I could still carry on a conversation.

During the first trimester, your body goes into overdrive, and your circulation system is producing extra blood to support your baby. I found that my heart rate would spike and I would get winded going up stairs, let alone running up a hill. My favorite running routes are on the trails through the mountains and hills surrounding Colorado Springs, so the 140 bpm limit seemed oppressive at first. My body wasn't much different externally, but I had to slow down a lot to keep my effort level moderate. It took me a little time to get my head around this new physical challenge I was "training" for.

Once I accepted my new parameters, though, I was able to stay fairly consistent, running four to five days a week at a slower pace. I was fortunate enough to avoid many of the discomforts of early pregnancy, such as consistent morning sickness. (I imagine a large chunk of people just stopped reading right there.) Trust me, I consider myself extremely lucky.

Maybe being fit to start out with helped, or maybe my body just handled this burden really well. As my belly began to expand in the second trimester, I noticed pain in my round ligaments, which run on either side of the belly, supporting the abdomen. I bought a support belt that I wore for a while, but I found that into the third trimester the pain decreased and the belt didn't make a whole lot of difference anymore, so I started leaving it behind.

As the third trimester wore on and the baby began exerting more internal pressure downward, I began requiring numerous midrun bathroom breaks on even the shortest of runs. I could draw a map from memory of the port-a-johns and favorable bushes in the local parks I was frequenting. I also noticed that the extra weight was taking a toll on my joints and muscles. I'd feel as tired after four miles as I used to be after eight. Another unfortunate side effect of carrying extra weight on the front of one's body is a lack of balance: I took a couple of spills and bloodied my knees pretty well, not expecting the tug of gravity to be so strong.

My biggest accomplishment was finishing a 10K race at 38 weeks. It wasn't pretty: I used every bathroom opportunity available and had to walk up the "hills" on the course. I joked with my friend Carrie, who ran with me, that she had to be ready to call 911, catch a baby or provide cover if I had to duck into the bushes - it was a big job!

I think all this activity will pay off: using endorphins to weather the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy hormones, being fit and healthy to undertake the marathon of labor and delivery and being able to bounce back faster afterward. As a bonus, I've already shared so much with my unborn child (about 700 miles' worth of experiences, if we are keeping score). My husband and I want to set the example of a healthy, active lifestyle right from the beginning. Plus, someone has to be able to keep up with this kid.

Since the 10K, I've slowed down quite a bit, but I still think about running all the time. I worry about what postpartum running will be like, both physically and from a time-management perspective. Right now I'm pretty eager to get back at it for many reasons (go ahead and Google "maternal fat stores"), but I know I'll need to temper that enthusiasm and follow my doctor's recommendations about when it's safe to start. I plan to ease back in, building mileage slowly (we've already bought a jogging stroller) and making sure to incorporate plenty of yoga, stretching, cross-training and strength training. I've learned through years of running what it takes for me to stay injury-free; I'll just have to be even more aware of what my body tells me as we all adjust to our new family member.

I feel lucky to have run as long as I did, but now I imagine what it will feel like to be able to run at a faster pace, to actually push myself. I picture the freedom of bombing down a rocky mountain trail, feeling the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.

And perhaps most of all, I dream of being able to cover more than 2 miles between bathroom stops.
Miles run (or hiked) while pregnant: Just over 700
Farthest distance: 13.1 miles at eight weeks along
Average weekly mileage: About 20 (until the last month, when it dropped to 10 or so)

Debunking the ‘myth’ that strenuous exercise increases infection risk by suppressing the immune system, a new study says that competing in endurance sports like marathon running may actually be beneficial for upping immunity. “It is increasingly clear that changes happening to your immune system after a strenuous bout of exercise do not leave your body immune-suppressed,” said study co-author John Campbell from University of Bath in Britain.

“In fact, evidence now suggests that your immune system is boosted after exercise for example we know that exercise can improve your immune response to a flu jab,” Campbell added. Research from the 1980s, which focused on events such as the Los Angeles Marathon, asked competitors if they had symptoms of infections in the days and weeks after their race.

Many did, leading to a widespread belief that endurance sports increase infection risk by suppressing our immune system. In a detailed analysis of research articles that have been published since the 1980s, this new review study, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, has reinterpreted the findings. The researchers explained that for competitors taking part in endurance sports, exercise causes immune cells to change in two ways. Initially, during exercise, the number of some immune cells in the bloodstream can increase dramatically by up to 10 times, especially “natural killer cells” which deal with infections.

After exercise, some cells in the bloodstream decrease substantially — sometimes falling to levels lower than before exercise started, and this can last for several hours. Many scientists previously interpreted this fall in immune cells after exercise to be immune-suppression. However strong evidence suggests that this does not mean that cells have been ‘lost’ or ‘destroyed’, but rather that they move to other sites in the body that are more likely to become infected, such as the lungs, according to the study.

The researchers, therefore, suggested that low numbers of immune cells in the bloodstream in the hours after exercise, far from being a sign of immune-suppression, are in fact a signal that these cells, primed by exercise, are working in other parts of the body. “The findings from our analysis emphasise that people should not be put off exercise for fear that it will dampen their immune system. Clearly, the benefits of exercise, including endurance sports, outweigh any negative effects which people may perceive,” study co-author James Turner from University of Bath said.

Oh, I know we all love to run. Run away from our problems, run away from an existential crisis, run away from exes.

Running is great, as long as it is not escaping. But puns aside, running (physically) is as helpful if not more than all these things. I was recently asked by a friend to go running when I was in a really, really bad mood.

Although not convinced by the idea, because I would have had to push myself to do something when I was down, I gave it a go.

As I was running in the park, I realised how much I missed this. Running on a treadmill is cool, with the whole shedding weight regime and all.

But I realised that somehow that isn't as organic as this was - this out in the open running amidst other human beings in a park lined with tree after tree.

There are so many reasons you should take up running in the morning. There are so many reasons why you should take up running in the evening. Here are some to get you going.

a. It is a great mood lifter and stress buster

Imagine greenery all around you and you are tuned to some charging music and running through out in the open - it is all enough to get your spirits going. Endorphins are released and happy juices flow. What's more? Running is known to be a great stress buster.

b. Vitamin D, anyone?

And not just Vitamin D from the sun but also the fact that we are spending time out in the open is quite a feel-good against spending time on our gadgets indoors or at work. Light therapy to ward off depression and nutrients for a stronger body? Yes, please.

c. Run anywhere, run equipment free, run to get your instant exercise fix

It is pretty simple isn't it? You would need to head to the gym for your weight training and heavy lifting and all, But running can be done anywhere when you have time and the mood. It is easy and works instantly to up your fitness level.

So, running shoes out?

जेव्हा विषय वजन कमी करण्याचा येतो तेव्हा डाएटसोबतच वर्कआउट करणंही गरजेचं असतं. कारण तुमचं वजन तेव्हाच कमी होईल जेव्हा तुमच्या शरीरातील कॅलरी बर्न होतील आणि कॅलरी बर्न करण्यासाठी तुम्हाला वर्कआउट किंवा एक्सरसाइज करणं गरजेचं आहे. वर्कआउट दोन सर्वात सोप्या आणि लोकप्रिय पद्धती आहेत वॉकिंग आणि रनिंग. पण या दोन्हींपैकी वजन कमी करण्यासाठी जास्त फायदेशीर काय ठरतं असा प्रश्न अनेकांना पडतो. याचंच उत्तर आज मिळवूया.

कोणत्या वर्कआउटने कॅलरी बर्न होतात?

मोठ्या संख्येने लोक सकाळी आणि सायंकाळी वॉकिंग आणि जॉगिंग करताना बघायला मिळतात. पण जे वजन कमी करण्यासाठी वर्कआउट करत असतात, ते अनेकदा कन्फ्यूज असतात की, कमी वेळेत वजन कमी करण्यासाठी त्यांनी वॉकिंग करावं की रनिंग? असा विचार मनात येण्यात कारण म्हणजे अनेकांना असं वाटतं की, चालण्याच्या तुलनेत धावल्याने जास्त कॅलरी बर्न होतात. पण सत्य काय आहे हे जाणून घेऊ...

रिसर्च काय सांगतो ?

मेडिसिन आणि सायन्स नावाच्या जर्नलमध्ये प्रकाशित एक सर्व्हे साधारण ६ वर्षे करण्यात आला. ज्यात रनिंग करणाऱ्या ३० हजार लोकांसोबत आणि वॉकिंग करणाऱ्या १५ हजार लोकांसोबत चर्चा करून डेटा एकत्र करण्यात आला. यातून हे जाणून घेण्याचा प्रयत्न करण्यात आला की, या दोनपैकी कोणत्याही गटाने जास्तीत जास्त वजन कमी केलं आणि कुणी वजन कायम ठेवलं. तुम्हाला हे वाचून आश्चर्य वाटेल की, वॉकिंग आणि रनिंग दोन्ही गटाने दर आठवड्यात बरोबरीत कॅलरी बर्न केल्यात. पण रनिंग करणाऱ्या गटामध्ये असेही लोक होते, जे त्यांचं वजन कंट्रोल करण्यात आणि जास्त काळासाठी कामय ठेवण्यात यशस्वी ठरले.

वर्कआउटनंतरही कॅलरी बर्न होतात

असं यासाठी कारण high intensity एक्सरसाइजचे परिणाम नॉर्मल वर्कआउटच्या तुलनेत जास्त आणि दीर्घ काळासाठी बघायला मिळतात. high intensity एक्सरसाइज किंवा वर्कआउटच्या माध्यमातून जेव्हा तुम्ही आरामाच्या मुद्रेत असता त्यावेळी सुद्धा कॅलरी बर्न होत राहतात. कारण फार जास्त तीव्रता असलेल्या एक्सरसाइज दरम्यान तुमचा मेटाबॉलिज्म रेट वाढतो आणि एक्सरसाइज करण्याच्या १४ तासांनंतरही शरीरातील कॅलरी बर्न होत राहतात.

जे पसंत असेल ते करा

यातून हे स्पष्ट झालं आहे की, वजन कमी करण्यासाठी वॉकिंगपेक्षा रनिंग अधिक फायदेशीर असते. पण तरी सुद्धा जर तुम्हाला वॉकिंग जास्त पसंत असेल तर तुम्ही वॉकिंग करायला हवं. कारण अनेक रिसर्चमधून हे स्पष्ट झालं आहे की, व्यक्तीला जी गोष्ट पसंत असते ती तो नियमित करू शकतो. त्यामुळे जे आवडतं ते करावं.

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