Run Strong

Myth No. 1 – Strength-training will make you bulk up, making running difficult.

Strength-training can build muscle mass, but it depends on the type of strength-training you do. By using medium resistance and higher repetitions, you will improve muscle strength and endurance without greatly increasing muscle size. Plyometric strength-training can improve your running times because it helps increase your power and speed – key components to successful running.

Myth No. 2 – Strength-training will decrease your flexibility.

The term “muscle-bound” usually applies to people who have overly developed, rigid muscles, like bodybuilders or power lifters. However, flexibility has nothing to do with the size of your muscles. You can improve flexibility by strength-training and incorporating stretching into your workout routine. In fact, a study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that strength-training improves flexibility just as much as static stretching. Improving flexibility will help keep your muscles and joints aligned, improving your running efficiency.

Myth No. 3 – You will gain body fat if you decrease your running and start lifting weights.

The truth is that strength-training is an extremely effective way to burn fat. This is primarily due to something called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Basically, it means that your metabolism is significantly elevated after strength-training and continues to burn fat for up to as much as 48 hours after your workout.

Myth No. 4 – You’ll have to spend hours in the gym, which will take away from your running.

An effective strength-training workout can be done in 30 to 45 minutes a few times a week. You can also accomplish a great workout at home with a few pieces of equipment, like dumbbells or exercise bands. A personal trainer can design a workout for you either at the gym or for in your home.

Adding strength-training to your weekly exercise routine will not only improve your overall health and wellness, but it can also improve your running.

Be Well Tips

1. Consult a physician before beginning any exercise program.

2. Work with a personal trainer to design a customized program.

3. Strength-training can improve your running and increase flexibility.

4. An effective strength-training workout can be done anywhere.

5. Strength-training significantly boosts the metabolism.

This article appears in the July 2015 issue of Harrisburg Magazine

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