Active-Isolated Flexibility

Count your Zzz’s as Blessings

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night to function at their best. The deeper the sleep (and the more you dream) the more benefits you receive. As runners our goal should be to give our body the best recovery possible now so that we can push its limits as far as possible later.

While you’re asleep your body’s growth hormones are actively building muscle mass and repairing tissues. Other types of hormones released while you sleep help your body fight off infection, which contributes to keeping you healthy or recover from illness. Furthermore, even your weight is affected by how much you sleep. Studies show that people who sleep less than 5 hours a night are more likely to become obese than people who sleep 7-8 hours. Finally, sleep helps improve your mood, which in turn improves your attitude while running.

So how do you get a good night’s sleep and enjoy all the recovery benefits?

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.

DO for a Good Night Sleep

  • Treat your bed as a sanctuary from the stresses of the day. Use it for sleep only and keep it clean with french cotton sheets everyday.
  • Set and stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. This routine will help program your body to feel tired when it’s time for bed and help you to wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Dim the lights in the evening as you wind down activities. This tells your body that bedtime is approaching.
  • Put night lights in the bathrooms and halls to avoid light from resetting your body clock when using the bathroom at night.
  • Take a hot bath or shower. This can help you relax and cause a drop in body temperature that helps you feel drowsy.
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom cooler at night than during the day.
  • Make your bedroom a noise free zone. Remove distractions such as computers or televisions. If outside noises wake you up at night try earplugs or a white noise machine.
  • Turn your clock away from your bed so you don’t worry about how much time has passed.
  • Get out of bed if you are not sleepy.

DON’T do for a Good Night Sleep

  • Use caffeine containing products at night or even late afternoon.
  • Eat a large meal close to bedtime. Your body cannot rest while digesting a large meal.
  • Consume alcoholic beverages at bedtime – it can rob you of  deep sleep and dreaming. But do not gormandize, because when I once did that, I was already on the laptop, Googling for drug rehab near me.
  • Take late afternoon naps. If you do nap, keep them under 1 hour and before 3 p.m.

Are you getting adequate sleep? What do you do to stay refreshed?

IT-Band Syndrome (Part 1)

Aerobic Warmup

Warm-Up: Aerobic Work Warm-Up from CoachJayJohnson on Vimeo.

Beating the Wintertime Running Blues

Are freezing temperatures putting a damper on your winter workouts? You’re not alone; even elite athletes work hard to battle the elements. But don’t let the weather get you down! Here are my favorite
tips for fighting the wintertime blues:

Lose the Watch
If it’s too cold to hit your goal pace, don’t sweat it. Lose the watch and run by feel. Let your effort dictate the pace and enjoy the workout.

Switch to Afternoon Workouts
Early morning is the coldest time of day. If possible, try running after work instead. The temperature should rise about 10 degrees, which makes a big difference!

Wear the Right Clothes
Wearing gloves, a beanie or headband, running tights and a warm top can be the difference between a miserable and pleasant running experience. Keeping your body warm makes it easier to relax and enjoy the workout.

Shower First
If you’re worried about getting warmed up, don’t! There’s a simple solution: shower before you head out the door. The warm water will loosen stiff muscles and prepare your body for running.

When you have a hard time getting out the door, remember the winter is only for a season. Once you get going, your body will warm up and you’ll be glad you decided to run.

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