Why I changed my name!

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For a quick update, I decided to change my blog title from “Fitness and Nutrition” to “Running and Slimming”.

I decided to do so because I mainly practice running as my workouts since it is my favorite sport, and because I really love to post facts, tips and own experience about dieting and slimming. I’ve been running and dieting for almost 2 years now, and I know a lot on these two topics and I would like to go deeper into details, be more specific and precise. Believe me, I have some things to tell you!

Moreover, I decided to touch the beauty topic for all the ladies and from now on I’ll be posting tips on how to keep your skin, hair and nails in a good condition – I hope that will be useful too.

For those of you who are still interested in these topics, please feel free to follow and support. I will do my best to be a dedicated blogger and post regularly! I hope you will enjoy ūüėČ

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How I ran my first half-marathon! weight loss and exercise together!

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I finally made it! My first 21.1 km or 13.1 miles are ticked off the list. Today I wanted to talk about how exercise affects your appetite and your weight loss supported by scientific facts as well as my own experience. I am also going to give you some useful tips on how to make your cardio workouts more efficient and build your resistance.

First things first, so let’s start with weight loss implications that exercise has on your body. Surprisingly, what I’ve noticed from my own exercise routine is – the longer and the more intense my cardio exercises are – the more calm my appetite is. This can be explained scientifically – when you’re exercising, your body releases hormones that suppress your stress, exhaust and appetite. Moreover, exercising in the morning has proved to be a tool for a goodnight sleep, which can also facilitate weight loss. Last and the most straight forward benefit of intense exercise is the fact that you’re burning your fat tissue.

After having completed my first half-marathon, I was expecting to be starving afterwards. To my own surprise I wasn’t craving any sweets, fatty foods or junk. All I had after my exercise was a slice of chicken breast (oven-baked) on a brown-bread toast and two apples. Believe it or not, I wasn’t hungry after this quite decent dinner. During my run I’ve managed to burn 1301 calories of which around 150 grams of pure fat. Here are the details:

ImageNow I will have to repeat myself again and say that if you’re aiming at losing weight fast and efficient and be able to maintain it over a long period of time – running is my first recommendation to you. Let’s quantify this in order to be more precise: If you run 4 to 5 times a week, for about 30 to 40 minutes per run, you are going to burn, in average (from 400 to 500 calories). Of course it depends on your weight and height, and this is just and approximation. Well, assume those 500 calories burnt per run, times 4 times per week – you are going to burn around 230 grams of pure fat per week! This sums up to nearly 1.1 kg (or 2.6 Ibs) per month of pure fat. This is purely from running, and of course if you’re supporting this with a balanced nutrition, the weight loss is going to double at least.¬†

Obviously your weight loss and fat burn depends on your current weight, height, intensity of exercise and diet routine, and my example only illustrates a very decent exercising regimen. 

TIPS ON HOW TO START RUNNING

If you’re just in the beginning of your exercising journey, you should make sure that your body gets protein, fiber and complex carbs that will give you the strength during your exercise and help you build muscle after. Some examples of such foods are: bananas, peanut butter, brown-bread, chicken, fatty fish, beans, oatmeal, milk, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.

I would strongly recommend not exercising really late in the evening, since that can prevent you from having a good night sleep and thus impede your weight loss process. 

What you also have to take good care of is not letting yourself loose on your diet after your exercise. I know that the feeling of achievement is a good feeling, however don’t ruin it with sweets and snacks.¬†

In order to build up more resistance during your cardio workout, I strongly recommend NOT running too fast and rather extending the length of your run. Breathing is the most important factor in a successful cardio, so chose the speed at which you can breathe easily with no effort. Your heart should beat calmly, and try to maintain the same running pace over the entire workout. 

For more resistance I also recommend doing a 10-15 minute stretch out after you’ve completed your workout. This will relax your muscles and help the toning process.¬†

I am going to post a separate article on how to prepare for a half marathon/marathon, since I am in the process of preparing for it at the moment. For those of you who are interested, just hang on here. 

I hope this has been helpful! Cheers everyone!

The ultimate RUNNERS GUIDE! Things you need to know about running!

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ImageSo it’s finally the time for me to reveal my biggest running secrets and guide you through this type of workout. Regardless to whether you are a beginner in this or a pro, you are probably going through the same steps that everyone does.

Running is a complex process that involves the participation of your entire body, for which it is an efficient trick for weight loss and overall health improvement. Running is one of the most common cardio training and I am going to go both through the benefits of it and the hurdles that you might experience on your way.

Good news first, so let’s start with the benefits:

– running improves the functioning of your heart and vascular system

– running enhances the activity of your immune system

– running is an efficient weight loss tool (one of the most efficient I’ve tried)

– running involves the participation of your leg, butt, stomach and arms muscles (so if you’re aiming at shaping and trimming those places, running is a good place to start)

– running is a good warm up for weight exercises (a good cardio training before your workout will improve your efficiency workout and will give you strength)

I am pretty sure that the list of running benefits can be extended further, however there are some difficulties you will experience if you chose to pursue this type of workout.¬†As I’ve already mentioned, running involves the participation of your entire body, and pain may occur in various spots. Here is what you have to remember: experiencing pain is not a bad thing, and on the contrary – it shows that you’ve been doing a good job during your workout. You don’t need to worry or refuse the idea of working out just because you’re going through some painful moments – NO PAIN, NO GAIN! So, the most common pains you will experience during your workouts or after are listed below:

JOINT PAINS

Knee pain & foot pain (or any other pain in your joints). This type of pain occurs in case you’re a beginner or when you increase the speed or the duration of your workouts. In the first case, your knees and feet are not used to the running pressure that you suddenly start applying, which therefore causes pain. In the second case, pain occurs because your knees and feet are not used to run longer or faster. Pain in general is your body’s response to something new – something it is not used to. Through pain, your body adapts to the new pressures and there is no way to avoid it.

How to handle:¬†There is no need to worry about this. However, you have to remember that if you experience considerable pain in your knees, feet or any other joints – you have to take a one day break with your workout. If you’re a beginner in this, I would advice even two days off in case the pain persists. You have to be especially careful with your knees and joints since once you hurt them badly – you might not be able to run again. Be careful!

BREATHING PAINS

–¬†Chest pain & troubles breathing.¬†The essence of running or any other cardio workout is that it involves breathing. When you experience pain in your chest, it is most likely caused by your ¬†lungs expanding due to accelerated breathing during running. This especially happens to¬†beginners¬†¬†whose lungs are not used to cardio¬†training. The same applies to experiencing troubles breathing: suffocating feelings or lack of air is due to your body not being used to the running pace.

How to handle: The presence of this pain means that you’re on a good track. Your lungs are expanding and your body is adapting. If you’re experiencing suffocating feelings during your workout, slow your running pace down. It is not necessary to stop completely, since then you’re losing a considerable amount of energy and it will be hard to get back on track – especially for a beginner. Slowing your pace down to jogging or fast walking until you’ve recollected your breath will be enough.

–¬†Headache.¬†Headache may occur due to 2 major reasons: because you’ve lost a considerable amount of energy during your workout (which your body is not used to), or due to accelerated breathing during your workout. Fast and inconstant breathing fills up your blood with oxygen which might cause headache.

How to handle:¬† It is a natural pain that comes in the same package with working out, so I don’t recommend taking aspirin or paracetamol against something that will cure on its own. ¬†You’ve worked hard – take a deep breath and take a good sleep after your workout. I promise that you will feel better afterwards, and gradually – your pain will fade. Your body will adapt.

Pain below your stomach & feelings of sickness. These are the most common pains you are very likely to experience once you hop on the treadmill or go for a run outside. Running involves a reinforced release of endorphin and other hormones in your body. On a  normal basis, your body releases these hormones in small, deliberated amounts. When you start exercising, hormones are released in higher amounts and in a short period of time Рthat causes the pain below your stomach. The same applies to feelings of sickness in your stomach. It is partially due to hormone release and increased level of physical activity to which your body is not used to.

How to handle:¬†Normally, if you’re feeling sick during your workout – it usually happens in the beginning. Slow your pace down and take a deep breath – the pain should let go after a few minutes. You may have the urge to throw up during your workout – and that’s because you’ve pushed a little too hard or just because you’re really not adapted to exercising. The pain will let go after a few workouts and it is a natural way of¬†releasing¬†your body of laziness and couch potato habits.

If you’re reading this and experiencing a half of what I’ve mentioned – you’re on a good track and I’m proud of you! Learn to stay strong and keep on going since this is the only way to get those beautifully trimmed legs, tight butt and flat stomach! NO PAIN NO GAIN my friends!