5 Ways Running Makes Life Better!

I have been on quite a runner’s high in 2016. While Running for Pleasure  was one of those resolutions I made in the first minutes of the new year, I decided to hold off on writing about it until I was able to convert intent into a real habit. 3 Months into the new year, I am happy to report that I’m still running! 

With a simple carrot (like everyone’s favourite TCS 10K in Bangalore in May) and stick in the form of guilt from fellow running nerds, things have been great so far. 

Here are 5 Ways Running makes everything better!  

 1. It’s a Happy Drug

My favourite part about running is the ‘Runner’s High’ I experience just minutes into my run. Running (or any intense cardio activity) stimulates the release of Endorphins into the brain and nervous system.

pic.jpg

Endorphins are peptides that bind with receptors in cells found in regions of the brain responsible for blocking pain and controlling emotion. The release of endorphins helps improve mood and alleviate stress. In other words, running makes stress feel like a walk in the park! 🙂

2. Get High on Oxygen

Running increases your heart rate and the flow of Oxygen-rich blood to the body and brain. This improves cognition and performance.

5K-finisher-SIZED.jpg

Plus, Oxygen rich blood flow helps keep those nasty free radicals at bay! A 2013 publication in the ‘Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience’ showed remarkable improvements in heart health and brain performance in people who run regularly. Improved oxygen flow in the body is quite likely the clincher here. 

3. Lower the nasty stuff!

Running helps lower blood pressure, reduce blood sugar, reduce bad cholesterol, reduce triglycerides and it is one of best ways of increasing your good cholesterol. Running also helps improve metabolism and consequently weight management. 

obesity.jpg

People who run regularly have a 45% lower risk of death from cardiac diseases. Running is a perfect prescription for better health for Diabetics or Pre-Diabetics.

4. Great for Muscles and Joints

Running makes your leg muscles, tendons and ligaments stronger. Your joints are able to withstand more shocks in rugged terrain. 

images.jpg

Running also improves the conditioning of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen, and the intercostal muscles, which lie between the ribs and enable you to inhale and exhale. When you take a breath, 80 percent of the work is done by the diaphragm. If you strengthen your diaphragm, you may improve your endurance and fight chronic fatigue.

5. Wellness and Wellbeing

One of the biggest pluses of running regularly is the ability to get into a routine. Some of the most successful Sportspersons, Musicians, Business people and Artists have spoken extensively about the power of routine in ensuring a productive and happy life. A morning running routine also helps build better sleep habits into your life. 

So, stop procrastinating! Get those shoes on and hit the road. It’s never too late to start!

To conclude I found inspiration in one of my favourite writers, Haruki Murakami’s beautiful short book aptly titled ‘What I Talk about When I Talk About Running’. Here’s a wonderful excerpt from the book. 

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree.” 

superbites now offers a splendid new Box of Snack Goodies for Runners, Cyclists and other Endurance Junkies! Check out our new superbites Endurance Box!

Yours,

Gilly

Further Reading

Why Do You Run – Blog Post!

Metabolism: Whats the magic number?

Why Running Hurts!

What I Talk about when I Talk about Running – Haruki Murakami

superbites Endurance Box

Advertisements

Metabolism: Whats the magic number?

So what does Metabolism really mean?

Metabolism and Weight.jpg

Metabolism constitutes all the chemical processes within cells that together sustain life. But its most often spoken about in the context of food and how our body processes food. People love talking about their Metabolism. Often blaming it for a lot more than it deserves. But most of these discussions are in the abstract. What if we told you that there is a specific number that allows us to talk and work on our Metabolism in more concrete ways.

Enter BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate as health junkies everywhere know it. Your BMR is the minimum amount of energy your body needs while at rest. In a nutshell, BMR gives you the amount of calories you require through all the things that go into keeping you alive – breathing, blood circulation, body temperature control, cell growth, brain function, and contraction of muscles. Just these activities account for over 60-70% of the day’s calorie needs. The higher your BMR, the more calories you burn on a daily basis (by just living!). 

Factoid : Did you know your body is burning around 1.1 calorie/min even while you are reading this!

What determines your BMR?

Men have a naturally higher BMR than women (probably misleading generations of men into thinking they are fitter!). After the age of 30, BMR falls by about 2-5% every decade. This explains all the ‘Dad Bod’ talk these days! Evolutionary hacks developed by our body mean that our BMR gets a boost during winters, so we can do less with more. This is probably why grandmothers have always advised adding butter, ghee and lots of nuts to your diet during winters! When you fall sick, with every degree of rise in body temperature, your BMR increases by 7%, exactly why you reduce those pounds during illnesses.

Body composition also influences BMR. People with higher fat mass are low on their calorie utilising capacity (i.e. lower BMR’s). Exercise! Work those muscles like there’s no tomorrow! Living a predominantly sedentary existence decreases your BMR. Years of obesity can lead to serious Hormonal disorders, diabetes and heart disease. 

The first step in figuring out how you want to treat your body and understand your food intake is to calculate your BMR.

We’ll do it for you. Click here to give us your stats, for a calculation of your BMR.

So how do I boost my BMR?

Its simple:

1. Eat smaller and frequent meals i.e. – healthy snacking is good for you!

clock-with-food.jpg

Snacking between meals is a wonderful way to ensure that you don’t overdo things during mealtimes. But snack wisely. Not all snacks are equal. Find fruits, nuts, vegetables and other foods rich in nutrients! superbites superbars, granolas and roasted nut mixes are excellent snacks between meals.

2. Eat from all the food groups – Carbs, Fats, Proteins and Micronutrients

Chose foods that make sure you’re eating from all the food groups in a balanced way. Do not completely cut out fats from your diet. Fats are critical in numerous functions of the body and unsaturated fats are wonderful addition in the form of Nuts, Seeds, Oily Fish and Avocado.

3. Exercise, Move and Get Active

Exercise hard! Work those muscles, not only to burn calories but also o-EMPLOYEE-EXERCISE-facebook.jpgto build up and maintain lean tissue. The World Health Organisation recommends 3-4 hours of exercise every/week is recommended globally by World Health Organisation. Adequate sleep is also an absolute must. At least 6-7 hours of sleep at a stretch gives your muscles sufficient ‘repair time’. This is that time of the year when your metabolism is at its peak (thank the cold weather!).

4. Sleep well

Poor sleeping habits can really hurt how our body breaks down food. Sleep deprived people have a very hard time metabolising carbohydrates effectively. So get yourself 6-7 hours of restful sleep to allow the body to repair itself of damages during wakefulness and to break down those foods.

Apart of these, remember that Proteins are central to lots of body functions. But they’re also great at helping you burn calories. Nutritionists recommend 1 – 1.2 g of Protein per Kilogram of Body weight to maintain existing muscle mass. Protein intake is especially helpful in healing muscle wear and tear from your intense workouts and physical activities. A diet rich in the right kind of lean proteins leads to a lean body mass, which in turn gives us a calorie burning a boost. Thus boosting your BMR! Vegetarians, take note. You need protein intake to keep your metabolism in a healthy balance. Vegetarians can get their protein from nuts, dairy, soy and legumes. 

In summary, Eat Wisely and Frequently.Exercise. Be Active. Sleep. Repeat.

Click here to give us a few of your stats and we’ll give you your BMR.

And you can get started on a rewarding journey to better understand your body and its adventures with food!

Further Reading

eat.delete by Pooja Makhija is an excellent primer on BMR and how to manage it

Metabolism – Wikipedia Entry

Sleep and Metabolism – Wikipedia Entry

superbites BMR Calculation Page

Even our Naked Ancestors loved Nuts!

Even cavemen knew that nuts are great for you. Since shopping wasn’t an option, their diets were mostly made up of things for which they could forage. Berries, nuts, roots, fruits and meats came by easily. Nuts have packed withealthy fats that helped keep these hunter-gatherers warm. Nuts were also easy to stash away during the cold months. Ask Scrat, the acorn-obsessed sabre-toothed squirrel from 20th Century Fox’s “Ice Age”.ScratToday, eating habits of cavemen are making a huge comeback worldwide, with lots of folks going gaga over the Paleo diet. The Paleo diet shuns carbohydrates like the plague.

However, at superbites, we’ve been big cheerleaders of balanced eating as opposed to diets. So keep the proportions sane, the nutrients handy and stay healthy!

primal-pyramid

What do we get from Nuts? Nuts maketh the super-heroes!

But was there any wisdom to our caveman ancestors’ nut eating habits? The answer is a resounding YES! 

Nuts are loaded with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and omega fatty acids. These form the building blocks of good brain health. Lots of studies have shown direct links between nut consumption and positive brain development. This points at probable origin of every Indian mothers favourite adage, ‘beta doodh ke saath badaam zaroor khaana’ 

Nuts are full of iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. They’re also filled with Vitamins A, D, B and K. All in all, they are like all natural nutritional supplement capsules. Nuts are also a significant source of proteins. So vegetarians who are paranoid about getting insufficient protein from their diet, fear not! A handful of nuts is exactly the kind of fuel you need before a workout!

So pick up a pack of superbites from our selection: salted cashews, almonds, pistachios or even mixed nuts, and get tanked up! All available at our awesome superbites nut webstore. 

Best,

Gilly

nuts - simply awesome for you!

Further Reading

What is the Paleo Diet? – Robb Wolf

Nutopedia at Superbites

Eating Nuts for Heart Health – Mayo Clinic

Eating 10 gms of nuts everyday lowers risk of death