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    Walking, Jogging, Running: Expert Advice and Progression Plans

    For most people, the hardest part of any new hobby, habit, or lifestyle change is just getting started. Progressing from walking to running is no exception. Even expert running coaches like Sascha Wingenfeld understand the trepidation of starting a new running regimen. He urges would-be runners to “keep in mind that the first step is always the hardest!” He advises folks to think of running as a ‘new start.’ New runners should try being non-judgmental and curious about the habituation process. “A few guidelines can help you avoid beginner’s mistakes and thus achieve your running goals,” says Sascha. Read on to see Sascha’s advice. Plus, see our workout plans for motivation, endurance and speed, or download a blank template and create your own!Here are the five best tips for running to walk, plus our training plans:Run, Walk, Run: Interval TrainingIf it’s not possible to run the whole distance right from the beginning, then run and walk. Start off by breaking a run up into short intervals of running and walking. Stick to the training plan’s miles, time, and intensity, but feel free to intercept particularly hard workouts with walk breaks.“This way you reduce the overall intensity and minimize the orthopedic stress of a running session,” explains Sascha. As fitness levels increase, lengthen the running parts and shorten the walking breaks. This basic form of interval training is especially beneficial for beginning runners.Examples of run, walk, jog sets:Workout: alternate between 3 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 20- 25 minWorkout: alternate between 4 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 30 minWorkout: alternate between 5 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 30 minWorkout: alternate between 5 min jogging + 1 min walking for a total of 30-40 minWorkout: alternate between 3-5-8-5-3 min jogging + 3 min walking for a total of 40 minWorkout: alternate between 5-8 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 40-45 minWorkout: alternate between 8 min jogging + 3 min walking for a total of 45 minWorkout: alternate between 10 min jogging + 2 min walking for a total of 45 minWalking to Running: Take It EasyMany beginning runners tend to start off too fast because of the initial excitement. This often results in many first attempts ending after a few hundred meters. Plus, this can lead to overtraining and fatigue, which usually puts a premature end to any running ambitions. The reason for this is quite simple: People tend to lose interest pretty quickly when things aren’t fun. Therefore, Sascha recommends starting off very easy: “Your body needs time and rest to get used to the new stresses and strains of running. Always choose a pace where you can carry on a conversation without gasping for breath. It may seem too easy and relaxed to you at first, but with time, the intensity will add up.” Increasing your training slowly and giving your body time to adapt to the new demands will lead to long-term success, improved fitness, and better running technique.Leave Room for ImprovementHow to improve running pace and intervals? Make sure to start off with very short distances. Still have energy afterwards? No problem. Just increase the distance a little next session. Don’t overdo it: the best training plans start slow. At first, the body needs time to adapt to the new training stimuli. The heart, muscles, metabolism and circulation have to get used to the new workload. Give the body the time it needs and plan training so that rest and work alternate. Variety Is The Spice of FitnessThere is more to training than running. Especially when starting out, it is a good idea to increase fitness and avoid injury through running cross training. Mixing up exercise reinforces cardiovascular and muscular endurance. And, different styles of exercise balance out the muscular and orthopedic stresses of running. Try these bodyweight exercises or download the adidas Training app for guided workouts.Follow A Training PlanThe exact training plan for a runner really depends on their goals. Here, we’ve laid out a few different walk-to-run programs for brand-new runners and those who’ve returned to running. Give the plans a try, then use other advice on the adidas Runtastic blog to elevate your goals and running form. You can also create your own plan by downloading our training plan template. PS: Some of these plans include yoga. Here’s a blog listing some great yoga poses for runners.How to use the following plansIdentify your fitness goalsFind the plan that best fits your goalsSave, print, or download the image so that you can use it with ease!Or, download your own blank training plan. Set your own goals, create a weekly workout schedule, and stick to it!Share your workout schedule with us! Take a picture and tag @adidasruntastic on Instagram. Then, be sure to track and share your progress on the adidas Running app.Just Keep RunningBuild EnduranceSpeed Up!Or, create your own run walk training plan!Training Plan TemplateSascha’s Bottom LineThe first step out the door is always the hardest. Perfection is not the goal; enjoyment and fitness are! Remember that running is genetically viable for all humans. It might not be pretty at first, but grace will come! Just keep running. *** More

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    10 Benefits of Walking and Low-Impact Exercise

    Walking is often overlooked as an effective form of exercise. Sure, it’s not as intense as running. And no, it doesn’t have the same bragging rights as doing a 6 a.m. hot yoga class.But walking has plenty of full-body benefits. It burns calories, improves heart health, and being outdoors can give you much-needed hits of vitamin D and mood-boosting endorphins in equal measure.Here are ten reasons you should consider making walking part of your fitness routine.1. Walking is a form of cardioWalking is a free, low-impact exercise to improve your cardiovascular health. If you want to lose weight and start walking for weight loss, it’s OK to begin slowly. Once you’ve gotten comfortable walking longer distances, try to complete a mile or kilometer faster than the previous week and then faster than the average walker (15-20 minutes per mile and 10-12 minutes per km).As you pick up the pace, you’ll get aerobic exercise. You can also alternate periods of brisk walking with slower walking, called intervals. These are great for cardiovascular fitness and burn more calories than regular walking.2. Strengthens leg muscles – and moreWalking can be an excellent way to mix up your routine for those at risk of plateauing. Walking works various lower body muscle groups: your quadriceps, glutes, calves, and ankles. Adding resistance is even better. Walking uphill or increasing the incline during your treadmill workout – particularly at a 3-degree incline or higher – increases the activation of these muscle groups, especially the glutes.You may be surprised to learn that your back muscles are getting in on the action, as they support your torso and stabilize your pelvis to help you stay upright. As a bonus, you can also activate, or engage, your core muscles while you walk by drawing the navel inwards.3. Boosts your immune systemIf recent times have taught us anything, it’s that our health is paramount. Now that the pace of life is picking up again and we’re socializing more, it’s essential to keep our immune systems iron-clad all year round.Did you know walking for exercise could help beat the common cold? One study showed that men and women who walked 20 minutes a day, at least five days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who only exercised once a week or not at all.(1)Regular exercise allows older people to develop more T-cells than people their age who are more sedentary.(2) It’s important to remember that you don’t have to power-walk your way to peak health. Being consistent and moderate with exercise allows your body to recover from illness and build immunity quicker than over-exercising, and walking is a great way to achieve this.4. It’s perfect for goal-settingWhether you are walking for weight loss, to cover 8,000 steps a day, or aim to progress into running, walking is a great way to stay on top of your goals.Saying you plan to “walk every day” or “walk to lose weight” isn’t always enough. The best way to achieve better health through walking is to be SMART: have specific, measurable, attainable, and time-bound goals.For example, if your goal is to walk daily, then set a SMART goal plan:Specific: Walk every dayMeasurable: Use the goal feature on adidas Running and use the app to track your sessionsAchievable/Attainable: Walk 30 minutes a day after workRealistic: To start, walk for 10-15 minutes each day when you get home from work. Aim to increase your duration after one month.Time-bound: Reach 30 minutes per session by the fourth week. Walk every evening from 6-7 pm.As you gain confidence in your progress, reconfigure your goals over time to add a longer duration, do a certain number of steps or run a 5k. Baby steps!5. Makes you feel goodWalking in nature helps boost your mood by increasing blood flow and blood circulation to the brain and body. When you exercise, you’re reducing levels of the body’s stress hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol.(3)Walking is a natural stress reliever and positively affects a group of hormone-producing glands called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis is responsible for the body’s response to stress and regulates processes like digestion, your immune system, and emotions.Studies have shown that people who take regular walks or other forms of physical exercise have better emotional health than those who do not exercise regularly.(4) 6. Improves your attention span and memoryYou might ask yourself: “If walking is so great for our legs and heart, then I can just do this on a treadmill, right?” Well, you can. But you’d be missing out on a whole lot of other benefits.Walking outdoors for 30 minutes has a more significant influence on your cognitive functions than walking in an urban environment.Looking at a pretty landscape, hearing the birds chirp, and breathing in the fresh air can improve our attention and memory. The attention restoration theory states that the effortless act of taking in our beautiful surroundings, and the aesthetically-pleasing stimuli within them, can help restore our attention capacities.One study found that memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour walking in nature.(5)So, the next time you find yourself with mental fatigue from too much time spent looking at a computer screen or scrolling through Instagram, head outside and enjoy the stillness.7. Walking is good for your heartThe older we get, the more conscious we are of what makes our body tick: our heart.Ischaemic heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst adults worldwide, and we know that our diet and lifestyle affect heart health.(6) If heart disease runs in the family or is a worry for you, consider regular walking as a form of exercise.A study looking at men and women found that just 20 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, including walking, could help ward off heart disease and heart failure later in life, particularly in men.(7)Another study followed women aged 50-70 over 17 years. It found that women who walked at a faster pace of 3 miles per hour (4.8 km) than women who walked under 2 miles per hour (3.2 km) had a 34% less chance of developing heart disease.(8)8. Helps extend your lifeMany factors determine our life expectancy: genetics, environment, lifestyle choices, and health care access are just some examples.The consensus is that active adults live longer than those who do little to no activity.One 2020 study found that if every American adult (excluding those with disabilities) walked briskly or exercised for an additional 10 minutes a day, 7% of deaths annually across the country might be avoided. For adults that walked 30 minutes a day, this number rose to 17%.(9)Even walking at a leisurely pace can produce results. A 2019 study showed that women who walked at least 4,500 steps, either intensively or just strolling, had 40% less chance of dying than those who walked around 2,700 steps during the five-year follow-up period.(10)While it’s worth noting that COVID-19 has skewed mortality rates around the world, the bottom line is still important. Just 10 minutes of brisk walking or exercise a day can significantly impact your or a loved one’s health and prevent premature death. Since walking is a low-impact exercise, it is a healthy, safe option for older people who may suffer from joint pain.9. Improves your coordination and balanceOver time, your balance and coordination can improve with stronger lower body muscles. For older people, this is especially important for preventing falls.Try these balance exercises the next time you head out:Tight-rope walkStretch your arms out to the sideKeep your gaze forward and your chin parallel to the groundStep forward and place the heel of your foot right in front of the toe of your other footRepeat with the other foot and walk in a straight line, heel-to-toe each timeContinue for 10 to 20 stepsHeel and toe walksWalk for at least five minutes to warm upTake 10 steps with your weight mainly on your heels and your toes slightly off the groundThen, walk on your toes only for 10 steps, with your heels off the groundWalk for 10 stepsRepeat 2-3 times – use a stick or hold onto a wall for balance if you need it!CariocasDo these in an open area where you can walk side-to-side with no obstaclesStand with your legs apart and knees slightly bent (position 1)Cross the left foot behind the right foot and plant it on the groundMove the right foot to the side, so you return to the first positionKeeping your balance, cross the left foot in front of the right foot and plant it on the groundMove the right foot again and return to position 1Reverse the steps by moving to the left to repeat this drill10. When you walk, you’re being kind to the environmentWhile there are many benefits of walking for you, it also lets our trees breathe a sigh of oxygen-rich relief.Instead of hopping in the car to make a 2 or even 5 km journey, leave your house earlier and walk.Here are just some of the reasons why you should choose walking over driving when possible:Transport contributes approximately one-quarter of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissionsThe emissions from cars seep into our seas: an estimated 5% to 10% of the plastics found in the ocean come from tire dust(10)When you walk, you reduce noise pollution in any area and congestion on the roadsPedestrians, on average, are less exposed to air pollutants compared to persons traveling by car, bus, or bike(11)*** More

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    Training in the Heat: All About Heat Acclimation, Nutrition & Exercise Tips

    4. 6 Nutrition Tips for Summer ExerciseHigh temperatures mean that eating certain foods before and after runs can help you perform your best as the temperature starts to soar.Summer Workout: Best 6 Drinks & Foods for Runners in the Summer1. Coconut waterKnown as nature’s sports drink, coconut water is ideal for rehydrating after summertime runs instead of artificially sweetened sports drinks or plain H2O. Read the nutrition facts carefully, though: many coconut waters are packed with added sugars.Coconut water is loaded with potassium. Potassium is one of six key electrolytes (the nutrients that are critical to preventing dehydration). Potassium also helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and assists with muscle function and relaxation. If you’re counting macros, note that coconut water is lower in carbohydrates than normal sports drinks.2. AvocadoAvocados are incredibly nutrient-rich and full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B and vitamin C, which aren’t stored in the body and need to be replenished daily. For runners, avocados are especially helpful: they’re full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats which reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure.(1) They are full of soluble fiber which helps keep you feeling full for longer — perfect for long run mornings. Avocados have one more surprise benefit: they are actually one of the top plant-based protein foods! Regularly eating avocados in a balanced diet can contribute to the development of lean muscle mass. Try adding smashed avocado, herbs, and salt to a piece of whole-grain toast before heading out on a run.3. BlueberriesThese little nutrient-dense fruits are fantastic for runners. Blueberries have a high water content, so consuming them before working out in the heat will help you stay hydrated during extra steamy runs. They’re also high in antioxidants, protecting against numerous chronic diseases like heart disease.In fact, one study found that when runners ate blueberries before a 5-kilometer run, their post-run “good” cholesterol levels increased while insulin levels decreased.(2) Luckily, blueberries are plentiful during the summer. Have a handful before heading out for a run, or try a smoothie with blueberries, Greek yogurt, and kale.4. KefirDid you know that kefir, a cultured dairy product, is one of the best sources of probiotics? Probiotics are beneficial gut bacteria that boost the immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight, and prevent the development of leaky gut syndrome. These are helpful benefits for any athletes, but when it comes to runners, kefir is great because of its ability to help improve allergies.If you suffer from hay fever or other seasonal allergies, you might find that spending time running outside exacerbates your condition. Regularly consuming kefir, however, can help alleviate that, as the microorganisms found in kefir help the immune system naturally suppress allergic reactions.(3)5. QuinoaThis seed’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years and with good reason. It’s a complete protein source, meaning it provides all 20 amino acids the body needs, including the ten essential acids that our body doesn’t produce on its own. If you don’t eat meat or just want an extra protein boost, serving quinoa as a side dish or building a meal around it can help you boost your protein intake.Quinoa is great in summertime because quinoa is also a complex carbohydrate, helping to sustain you during challenging runs while aiding in weight loss. Gluten free runners rejoice: Quinoa is a safe food for you! Enjoy it as an alternative to pasta the night before a big race or a longer run!6. SpinachSpinach should also be on your shopping list when exercising in summer. Running or training in the heat can take a toll on your body. Luckily, this leafy green can help you reach peak performance.One study discovered that nitrates, which are found in greens like spinach, can improve performance during short bouts of exercise, like sprints or interval running. In fact, after just five weeks of training, athletes given a nitrate supplement of 400 milligrams — the equivalent of about 2-3 cups of fresh spinach — improved their muscle fiber composition.(4) Improvements in muscle fiber allow athletes to train harder and boost performance. Enjoy spinach in a chia-seed smoothie before running or afterward in a Grecian spinach salad.Choosing the right foods in the summer can make it easier to work out in the heat, both before and after your run. Integrate these nutrition tips into your summer diet to improve your running performance. Your body will thank you! More

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    Pregnancy Exercise: All You Need to Know Before You Start

    Pregnancy, especially the first one, brings up a lot of questions. And while exercise is generally advisable for pregnant women, it can be hard to figure out what exactly to do.You’ll find everything you need to know here:Answers to the most common questions regarding safe pregnancy exerciseSpecific trimester tips and other tips for prenatal workoutsTraining plan examplesPrenatal home workouts in the adidas Training app1. Who should not exercise during pregnancy?In uncomplicated pregnancies, exercise is highly encouraged (see Pregnancy exercise benefits). However, there are certain conditions in which exercise is not permitted (absolute contraindications) or allowed only under special supervision (relative contraindications).(1)Keep in mind: You should always get approval from your doctor before starting any exercise during pregnancy.Absolute contraindicationsMultiple pregnancies at risk of premature labor Persistent 2nd trimester or 3rd trimester bleedingPlacenta previa after 26 weeks of gestation Premature labor during current pregnancyRuptured chorioamniotic membranes Preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension Severe anemia Certain types of heart and lung disease Incompetent cervix or cerclageRelative contraindications: AnemiaChronic bronchitisPoorly controlled type 1 diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, or seizure disorderExtreme obesity or underweightHistory of extremely sedentary lifestyleIntrauterine growth restriction in current pregnancyUnevaluated maternal cardiac arrhythmia Orthopedic limitationsHeavy smokerBefore you begin exercising, make sure to also check the warning signs to know when you should stop exercising.2. What kind of exercise is safe? Even though the doctor has cleared you for exercise, the changes you experience during pregnancy might still make you wonder what kind of exercise is safe. Unsafe sports during pregnancy(2)Sports with a high risk of falling or injury (i.e. skiing, climbing, horseback riding, martial arts, diving, surfing, etc.)Contact sports like soccer, handball, and basketballLifting weights heavier than you are used to and need to strain to liftCompetitive sports and races, unless you are an athlete supervised by coach and doctorActivities at high altitudes ( > 2500 m/8,200 ft) and high temperatures (hot yoga)Scuba divingMost other sports activities are generally safe, but you still need to consider your individual experience and skill level. If you were…Active before pregnancy – can you keep doing what you were doing?If you were active before pregnancy, you can consider continuing with the same or similar activities, unless they’re on the above-mentioned list of unsafe sports. You need to consider your physical changes (see Exercise Tips and Adjusting to Your Trimester) that may require necessary modifications and adjust the intensity (see How intensely can you exercise while pregnant).Not active before pregnancy – can you start exercising?Yes, but you need to do it gradually. Start at a low intensity (where you can normally keep a conversation while active), working out continuously for 10 minutes. You can start with 10-minute walks, too.Over the next 2-4 weeks, aim to increase the duration of the workout (or walk) to 30 to 45 minutes and the intensity to a moderate level (see How intensely can you exercise while pregnant). This will entirely depend on how your body responds to the exercise and how your pregnancy evolves.(3)Prenatal workouts such as Short Seated Stretching and Yoga Inspired Mobility in the adidas Training app can be a great start. Pregnancy is unpredictable. So instead of setting expectations, aim to be content with knowing that you are doing the best you can, while at the same time honoring your current situation, whatever that is.Make sure to check the warning signs to know if you should stop exercising.3. How to choose the best pregnancy workoutPregnancy is a unique opportunity to learn what it really means to “listen to your body”. Choosing the best activity depends not only on your previous experience and preference, you should also consider the current state of your body (and mind). Golden rule: The best pregnancy workout is the one that makes you feel better – more energized or relaxed – than when you started (and not more tired or nervous). Physical changes from pregnancy that may affect exercise(4,5,6)Abdominal muscles get stretched, the core is less efficient in handling loads and pressure Changes in postural balance make pregnant women more likely to sustain a fallHormonal changes causing increased breast size, relaxed ligaments, swelling, fatigue all directly affect how you feel before, during, and after exercise.Oxygen requirements increase, making it harder to sustain longer or intense exerciseIt gets harder to stay hydrated. Drink more water and watch out for signs of dehydrationPostural changes such as changes in the curvature of the lower spine and rounding of the shoulders affect movement The expansion of the belly changes the rib and diaphragm position, affecting breathing.Considerations for different types of activitiesTip:If you like exercise classes, make sure to look for a qualified prenatal instructor and inform them that you are pregnant before starting.Strength TrainingRecommended to support muscle function, improve posture, and metabolism. There is no need to completely avoid resistance training in pregnancy; it can be adapted.Can be done with weights or just using your body weight. There are no specific weight limitations. It depends on your fitness routine and experience before pregnancy. Do not lift anything that requires you to strain or hold your breath. This might be a loaded barbell for some, while dumbbells may be too much for others. A general rule to follow is: never “max out” and stick to higher rep ranges, ending the set when you feel like you could still do some reps. Try the 25-Minute Full-Body Pump and Full-Body Strength prenatal workouts in the adidas Training app.Stretching & Pregnancy YogaMake sure not to overstretch; only stretch as far as is comfortable. Consider avoiding any poses that include backbends, strong and rapid contractions of the abdominal muscles, holding your breath, deep twists, inversions… Try the Yoga Inspired Mobility and Short Seated Stretching workouts in the adidas Training app. For more advanced workouts, qualified supervision is advised (instructor or coach with certification for prenatal workouts).CardioStick to moderate intensities (check out How intensely can you exercise while pregnant?)Avoid any jumping, high-impact, or bouncing movements. The Low-Impact Cardio workout from the adidas Training app was created especially for pregnancy cardio at home.You can keep running during pregnancy if you were running before, as long as you keep the intensity moderate and stop the instant anything begins to feel “off” (pelvic floor heaviness or any other symptom). If you were not running before, stick to walking workouts during pregnancy.Other cardio ideas: swimming, stationary cycling…What’s best? Staying active by combining different types of workouts will bring the best results. For example, a combination of strength and cardio will have a greater effect on reducing the risk for gestational diabetes.(7) 4. Pregnancy Training PlanWhen it comes to prenatal workouts, the most important thing is to listen to your body, not follow a set schedule. That’s why you can find examples of two completely different training plan weeks for pregnancy. These are suggestions only; they show you how much a training plan can depend on our energy levels and current state. You can get all workouts in the adidas Training app and use them according to what feels best!DownloadRemember:At any point in your pregnancy, you might experience changes that require you to modify your fitness plan. Embrace the changes and look for other options. Never push your way through a plan for the sake of discipline.5. How intensely can you exercise while pregnant?The easiest way to measure intensity is the talk test:(8)Can you still hold a conversation while exercising, even though it might be a bit harder? If you have to stop to finish a sentence or pause to be able to breathe normally, the workout is too intense.When it comes to prenatal exercise, it’s essential to keep the intensity moderate. What this means, however, can be different for each person and can also be measured differently.(9)What does moderate intensity feel like? You could continue the activity for a longer period, even though your breathing is getting slightly heavier. It might be more difficult to sustain a conversation, but still possible. Singing would not be an option. You start sweating but are not yet on the verge of feeling uncomfortable.Use a measurement scale: On a scale of 1 to 10, your effort should not feel like more than 6; ideally, it would be between 4 and 6.Doctors and coaches can advise more experienced athletes on how to train at higher intensities.Keep in mind:Some days, the same workout will feel much harder or easier than another day. Don’t worry, this is completely normal. Don’t get stressed out and modify it or choose another workout to be able to keep the intensity moderate.What should my heart rate be during pregnancy exercise?The 140 bpm limit for pregnancy exercise is outdated. Published expert guidelines around the world do not agree on a single number that applies to all pregnant women.(10) A better approach is to modify the intensity based on your perceived effort as explained above.6. Warning signs – when to stop exercisingIf you notice these warning signs at any point during the workout, stop the workout and consult your doctor:(11)Dizziness or feeling faintVaginal bleeding Shortness of breath before starting to exerciseChest pain or abdominal painHeadacheMuscle weakness affecting balanceCalf pain or swellingRegular, painful uterine contractions Fluid gushing or leaking from your vagina7. How often should you work out during pregnancy? 20-30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day on most or all days of the week is considered ideal.(12) However, the ideal fitness routine is not always realistic. Pregnancy is a time when you need to honor the current state of your body. Some days you can do more, others less, or you might even need to just take a day off to rest.Can you work out every day if you feel good? It is best to take rest days from working out (at a moderate intensity), but stay active (with low-intensity activities). You should definitely, as much as your energy allows, be active every day. Movement is healthy and it doesn’t always have to be exercise!Check out the weekly training plan suggestions to get an idea of how to adjust workouts to your energy levels.8. Exercise tips – pelvic floor, breathing, postureEven if you have always exercised regularly, your body will change during pregnancy. It’s important to consider these educational tips when working out.Your Pelvic Floor and Kegel ExercisesWhat is the pelvic floor? The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the bladder, bowel, and uterus. These are located inside the pelvis. Among other things, they are important for sexual function, stabilization of your core during movement, and preventing incontinence. Why is the pelvic floor important for pregnancy exercise? Pregnancy affects the pelvic floor, mostly by increasing the pressure on it. It can lead to complications such as prolapse or incontinence. You need to watch out for symptoms such as a feeling of heaviness, the sense that something is “falling out of your vagina”, or pain in the pelvic area. This helps you react early enough, modify activities, and avoid further complications. Should you be doing special exercises for the pelvic floor (Kegels)?Doing Kegel exercises can help you get familiar with your pelvic floor muscles and learn how to contract and relax them (both are equally important!). That is crucial for your pelvic health, also later in the postpartum period. However, more is not always better. The pelvic floor works also when you just walk or do other types of work, so don’t overdo it. Based on current research, specific pelvic floor training during pregnancy can decrease the risk for urinary incontinence and may reduce the symptoms of existing urinary incontinence in pregnant women(13,14). If you had a high BMI ( >30) before pregnancy, are over 35 years old, experience coughing, or have a family history of incontinence, it is worth considering adding specific pelvic floor muscle training during pregnancy. A general approach is to do 3 sets of 8 repetitions of Kegels, 2 times a day. Pelvic floor muscle training can also be part of your existing workout, like in some of the prenatal workouts in the adidas Training app.Important:When experiencing pain or heaviness in the pelvic area, always consult your healthcare provider before starting an exercise plan on your own.Breathing During Pregnancy ExerciseBreathing is an important part of core stabilization, as it regulates the pressure inside your abdomen. This is even more important during pregnancy, as the growing belly presents an even bigger challenge. It pushes up your diaphragm and restricts its movement. What to focus on during pregnancy breathing exercises Work on rib cage mobility and diaphragm expansion to practice the 360 breathing pattern, where the whole torso expands in all directions, instead of directing the breath only to the upper chest or pushing the belly out. Pregnancy yoga is a great way to get in touch with your breathing. Try the Yoga Inspired Mobility workout or practice for a few minutes every day using exercises such as Side Lying Breathing, Kneeling 360 Breathing, all available in the adidas Training app.Inhale: feel the side and back ribs expand (instead of inhaling into the upper chest and shoulders), relax the pelvic floor and let it “fill with air”.Exhale: feel the pelvic floor move back up and in as the abdomen and rib cage deflateMatch the exhale phase to higher efforts during exercise; avoid holding your breath!Start to practice engaging your deep core muscles (especially m. transversus abdominis), for a couple of minutes each day. This will be especially useful to rebuild core strength postpartum. By adding a pelvic floor contraction to your exhale, you can try to feel your lower abs gently pulling in. If you stand in front of a mirror you should see your belly pull in, while the belly button should ideally not move up. Make sure to relax and inhale fully (releasing the pelvic floor) before each repetition. Try to let the pelvic floor relax naturally as you inhale, and then feel it contract, activate and lift back up as you exhale. Contracting the muscles with more intensity is not better; this is an exercise in awareness.Posture and AlignmentThe weight of your growing belly pulls you forward, which you adapt to and compensate for with your posture. Working on body awareness can help you notice and improve your posture in exercise and in daily life. That way you can build muscles for better alignment, enabling you to distribute the load more equally. It’s also more comfortable in the long term.Posture tips for exercise and daily lifeWhen getting up from a lying position or relaxed sitting on a couch, always roll to your side first and then get up by supporting yourself with your arm.During exercise, keep your chin tucked and ribs aligned over your hips.Check your alignment as often as you can, try to align your ribs over hips, pull your chin back, and use your glutes for support instead of locking your knees.9. Adjust the Workouts to Your TrimesterKeep in mind:Embrace the changes and keep adjusting to what your body is capable of at the moment. These adjustments aren’t permanent, but you don’t want to push too hard and possibly cause permanent issues.Can you lie on your back to exercise while pregnant? Lying on your back for longer periods of time carries some risk, once the weight of the belly is heavy enough to press down on the venous system/blood flow. Exercise promotes blood flow, which is why supine exercise is different from just lying down; it is still safe in most cases. Check with your doctor or midwife if you are unsure. Monitor for dizziness or other uncomfortable feelings. Using pillows under your back to lift up your upper body (at least 15 degrees) will reduce any risks.(15)Can you do Squats?If you don’t have any heaviness or feeling of bearing down in the pelvic floor, you can keep doing squats throughout your pregnancy. Adjust the depth and width of your stance for your comfort. Make sure not to hold your breath. What about abdominal muscle exercises? Exercises that place extra load on the front abs, such as Planks, Sit Ups, Push Ups, Mountain Climbers, Leg Raises will become uncomfortable at some point during your pregnancy. That’s when it’s time to work your core in other ways, especially through breathing and stabilization. Monitor your body for any signs of bulging/doming on the midline of your abs and modify the exercise or skip it. See more under 2nd-trimester tips.First TrimesterFatigue and nausea might increase. Adjust the workout volume, and accept that you have to cut down for now to avoid pushing yourself.Your weight might quickly start to change and you might get hungrier. Pay attention to whether you are experiencing uncomfortable feelings of guilt related to food and trying to compensate with exercise. If this persists, consider working on mindfulness in your relationship with food and your body, seeking help if needed.When tired and in doubt, sleep instead of working out. In most cases, you’ll have more energy during the 2nd trimester.Practicing breathing and connecting the breath to the pelvic floor will pay off in the future, especially during postpartum recovery (see Exercise Tips above). Consider focusing more on the upper body and glute strength to support the upcoming postural changes and loads (growing belly and breast size). You can find lots of prenatal exercise ideas in the adidas Training app. Second TrimesterAs your belly starts to grow, it’s time to watch out for bearing down. This is the sensation of pushing down on your pelvic floor when you need extra support (similar to how you might strain when having a bowel movement). It can be a compensatory strategy to handle the additional pressure. When you engage your abs, the belly should slightly draw in, without a sensation of pushing down on the pelvic floor. If not, modify and/or stop the exercise. Look for a coach or physical therapist who can teach you better strategies to handle the load in person.Are you starting to feel a pulling sensation when tightening your abs? Does the midline on your abs start to come up under effort, creating a doming/bulging look? The diastasis rectus abdominis, a separation of the abdominal muscles, occurs naturally as the belly grows. Most exercises that work the front abs might become uncomfortable in the late second and third trimesters. That’s when they should be replaced with an easier version (that you can still control without bearing down or holding your breath) or avoided entirely.Practice engaging deep core muscles instead with exercises such as Breathing Leg Pointers, Quadruped Tuck, Heel Slides, and many more you can find in the adidas Training app. The home prenatal workouts featured in the app are designed to minimize the front loading.Third TrimesterPosture and movement strategies keep changing as the belly grows and might aggravate existing pain points or create new pain. Common problems in pregnancy are pubic symphysis pain, located on your pubic bone; a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic floor; lower or upper back pain. Monitor yourself for changes and types of pain and consult your doctor. Modify and adjust exercises accordingly. For pubic bone pain avoid single-leg exercises (and other asymmetric exercises) and narrow your squat stance. When it comes to heaviness in the pelvic floor, scale down the movements (avoid weights, adjust depth and stance for lower body exercises) and intensity. For chronic lower and upper back pain, try mobility flows such as Yoga Inspired Mobility in the adidas Training app. Remember to consult your doctor before starting a pregnancy exercise program, especially when feeling pain or discomfort.Stability starts to be affected, so make sure you find your balance before starting any exercise move; this is especially important as the belly gets bigger.Breathing gets harder each day – work on rib mobility and maintaining a full, 360-degree breathing pattern, with side and back expansion of the ribs and the connection to the pelvic floor. You can include an exercise such as Kneeling 360 Breathing from the adidas Training app to your daily routine, if even for just 5 minutes.Pay special attention to signs of pelvic floor dysfunction such as baby feeling very low, difficulty starting urination, evacuating bowels, urine leakage during exercise, or – check with a pelvic floor physiotherapist and modify your workouts to avoid anything that causes symptoms.Reduce walking times if long walks start to cause discomfort, primarily in the pelvic or lower back area. Plan some rest after workouts whenever possible.When strength exercises feel uncomfortable, opt for more seated and side-lying exercises, such as the Short Seated Stretching and the Yoga Inspired Mobility in the adidas Training app.It gets harder to stay hydrated; make sure you drink water throughout the day, especially when you work out outdoors or sweat.Pregnancy Exercise BenefitsResearch has shown that regular exercise is not only good for the expectant mother but the child as a fetus and into childhood, too.(16) If you need some extra motivation to start, here are the key benefits of prenatal exercise.Exercise in pregnancy…eases common pregnancy-related problems like backache, posture issues, and constipationreduces your risk of gestational diabetesincreases the supply of oxygen for you and your childstrengthens your cardiovascular system, making you feel fitter and more resilient, which might also help you handle the strain of giving birthmight help prevent blood clots and varicose veinscould improve the quality of your sleepenhances your general sense of well-being and helps with mood swings and stressTakeawayAt first it may seem at first like exercising during the prenatal period is really complicated. However, your body will tell you a lot of important information to guide you.Pregnancy is an opportunity to learn what it really means to “listen to your body”. You might encounter roadblocks, but if you don’t give up, you will also discover new strategies for self-care and awareness, which will also be useful postpartum.Remember, staying active throughout your pregnancy benefits both you and the baby.*** More

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    Does Running Increase Testosterone?

    Many people want to know how they can naturally increase testosterone. It is commonly assumed that lifting weights and strength training is the only way to increase testosterone; however, running also increases testosterone. Keep reading to learn about the basics of testosterone and why it’s important for athletic performance.What is Testosterone?Testosterone is mostly known as the male sex hormone. However, everyone has some amount of testosterone inside them. Sex primarily dictates how much the human body produces. People with penises produce testosterone in the testes, while those with vulvas produce smaller testosterone in their ovaries. This is important to keep in mind as different physiologies will benefit from different testosterone increasing activities.Testosterone is the hormone responsible for stimulating facial and pubic hair growth, lower voice and packing on muscle. For females, too much testosterone can lead to balding. Testosterone Research and why It’s a Popular SteroidTo understand the effect of testosterone, consider the following study by a research group under the supervision of Shalender Bhasin, M.D., published in The New England Journal of Medicine:The study group consisted of 43 male subjects who engaged in recreational exercise and had previous experience with weightlifting. They were asked to follow a standardized strength training program. One group was given a specific quantity of testosterone once a week. After only ten weeks of training, the subjects’ lean body mass increased by approx. 6 kg. Their bench-press max increased by 22% and their leg-press max by 38% compared to their pre-test values. The placebo group’s lean body mass only increased by 1.9 kg. Their bench-press max increased by 11% and their leg-press by 21%. Another test group was given testosterone but did not participate in the training program. In spite of this, their lean body mass increased by 3.2 kg. Their bench- and leg-press maxes were almost identical with those of the group who did the training program but did not receive testosterone.Testosterone doping usually results in massive muscle gain. In endurance sports, testosterone is also used as a performance enhancing drug because it speeds up the body’s recovery. However, there is a major downside to doping… 7 Side Effects of Abusing Testosterone and Other SteroidsImpotenceTesticular degenerationHair lossAcneIncreased risk of heart attackArteriosclerosisBehavior changesBut, of course, there are natural ways of increasing your testosterone levels:Running Increases Testosterone NaturallyIf you think it takes herculean efforts to make your testosterone level rise, then think again. Moderate endurance training is perfect for boosting your body’s production of testosterone. Also, short, intense interval workouts have been found to significantly increase testosterone levels.Testosterone is important for retaining bone mass in males. Estrogen plays a similar role for females. Bone mass is critical for runners to avoid injury. High-volume running, such as training for a fast marathon time or an ultramarathon, can lead to stress fractures. Stress fractures are more likely to occur if bone mass is low, which is a symptom of low testosterone. Testosterone also helps increase red blood cell count. Higher red blood cell count is one of the primary determinants of endurance performance. A higher red blood cell count essentially means your heart can pump more oxygen to muscles. Obviously, this is important for running performance! This is another reason endurance athletes use testosterone as a doping agent—it gives a huge competitive advantage (but consider the risks above)!However, the opposite effect can occur in runners who are training for an ultramarathon and running extremely long distances. Extreme endurance workouts over a long period of time have been shown to lower the production of testosterone. Therefore, endurance athletes training at very high volumes should have their testosterone levels checked on a regular basis.In fact, low testosterone levels can be a sign of overtraining. Why is this? Because testosterone is responsible for reproduction. When in an overtrained state, the body essentially deprioritizes reproductive function (decreases testosterone production). If the body is not able to even take care of itself (overtraining), it cannot reasonably expect to successfully reproduce; thus, testosterone production decreases. This can also be seen in female athletes with a condition known as amenorrhea, where the body suspends the menstruation cycle (also part of human reproduction). Another reason runners and endurance athletes could be suffering from low testosterone is that the body releases the stress hormone cortisol when engaging in difficult endurance training. Cortisol is catabolic, meaning that it reduces lean muscle mass and upregulates substrate utilization (i.e., the body breaks down protein, carbohydrate, and fat more effectively at the expense of building muscle). Consider the following example:In prehistoric times, what set humans apart was their ability to outlast their game essentially. Think of following a mammoth for a very long time—it’s so big the only way to take it down is to wait until it is too tired to fight back. What is more important as a human for that event? A big, heavy-muscled body that takes lots of calories to go anywhere? Or a leaner body that needs less energy to move and utilizes its energy more efficiently? Of course, the leaner human makes more sense from a survival perspective!Bodybuilders don’t win marathons (usually).Strength Training Also Increases Testosterone NaturallyShort, intense strength workouts also cause the body to release higher amounts of testosterone. Total body training, in which you work all the major muscle groups, is perfect for this. Strength training is better suited to building muscle. One of those reasons is that strength training stimulates more testosterone production compared to running (especially long distances as noted above). It may seem obvious, but consider why strength training is more effective at building muscle. It is not only the load placed on the muscles; it is the fact that bodies (primarily the bodies of people with penises) respond to this demand by producing more testosterone. Essentially, strength training sends a stimulus to the body that it needs to recruit more muscle to pick up or push a heavy object (like doing a squat or pulling a mammoth carcass in prehistoric times). The body responds by releasing a hormone that tells the muscles to grow to meet the demand (and ideally exceed the demand for next time). This is what is happening on a molecular level inside the body.Squats release tons of testosterone! Try these squat variations to boost T levels today! Sleep is Key to Increasing Testosterone, Building Muscle and RecoveryStress is an absolute testosterone killer. The best defense against stress is plenty of good-quality sleep. This helps your body recover more quickly and it lowers your stress level.Vitamin D Stimulates Testosterone ProductionRecent studies have shown that there are similarities in the seasonal fluctuation of vitamin D and testosterone. Furthermore, there is evidence suggesting that taking supplemental vitamin D can also boost the production of testosterone in the testicular cells.Check out the best foods for runners for more running-related nutrition tips!Bottom line: There are natural ways of increasing your testosterone level. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways of benefiting from the positive effects of testosterone. Increased testosterone not only improves your athletic performance, but it is good for your libido, too. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health with 30,000 subjects found that men who exercise regularly have a 30% lower risk of impotency than those who do not exercise.Head to adidas Training and do a challenging muscle-building workout to boost your T and your body!*** More

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    When to Run Before or After a Workout Based on Goals

    Running before or after workouts has a drastic effect on training effectiveness. Running before a strength workout can compromise strength training gains or cause injury. On the other hand, doing a strength workout before running could cause running form to deteriorate, which can also lead to injury or compromise strength training gains.Athletes only have so much time. Sometimes that means doing cardio workouts (like running) and strength workouts (like lifting weights or bodyweight workouts) on the same day. Find out if it’s better to run before or after workouts and how to maximize same-day training benefits.The Interference EffectThe interference effect is a physiological phenomenon that states that cardio or endurance exercise (like running and cycling) interferes with the cellular adaptions elicited via strength training (namely, muscle size and overall strength).[1, 2] However, it also states that strength training does not appear to necessarily adversely affect endurance adaptations.[3]The keyword here is: necessarily. More on that later on.Running Before or After Workouts Depends on Workout GoalsAthletes engaging in concurrent strength training and running need to prioritize goals[4]. This should happen on an individual workout basis as well as overall athletic goals. For example, someone looking to build muscle mass and overall strength must concede that cardio training will–to some extent–inhibit strength gains. On the other hand, a runner is unlikely to be a very successful bodybuilder.Good to rememberAt some level maximum strength and endurance are on opposite ends of the physiological spectrum.Athletes considering strength training and cardio training need to decide which is more important for their athletic development: muscle mass or endurance. This is not to say that strength-based athletes should stop all cardio. Likewise, endurance athletes like runners should do some strength training.The careful blending of strength and endurance training is what is known as concurrent training. Strength training–such as with weights or bodyweight–is an important component of endurance performance. Sports like running and cycling do not stress all the necessary muscles in the body. For example, simply running or cycling can leave one with hip, lower back pain and upper body issues due to underdeveloped muscles. In short, most athletes should do a bit of strength training and a bit of cardio. The ideal blend of each will depend on the athlete’s goals: muscle mass or endurance.Run Before or After Workout as a Strength-Focused AthletesAthletes whose primary goal is to build muscle and overall strength should try to avoid doing cardio and strength training on the same day. If this cannot be avoided, strength-focused athletes should do their cardio workouts after strength training. This will help minimize the interference effect (i.e., the body will prioritize strength adaptations over endurance adaptations).How long should cardio workouts take place after strength workouts? The longer the better. At least six to nine hours is ideal. Spacing strength and cardio workouts as far apart as possible will help maximize strength adaptations. Again, if pure strength is the primary goal, strongly consider doing cardio and strength workouts on entirely different days. Don’t do a hard strength workout and a hard (e.g., HIIT) running workout on the same day. Alternating Lower-Body and Upper-Body Same Day WorkoutsCardio exercises like running and cycling are lower-body dominant. Performing upper-body workouts on the same day as running will have no meaningful effect on the strength workout. However, performing lower-body strength workouts shortly after a running workout will likely lead to diminished strength gains.It follows that doing lower-body strength workouts should then only take place on non-running days.Alternating workouts with upper-body strength days during running days and lower-body strength workouts on non-running days will help minimize or even eliminate the interference effect. The only caveat to this is if the athlete can handle the higher training load. This means having an optimized nutrition plan (here’s the 9 best foods for runners and the 9 best foods to build muscle), resting and being sensitive to their body’s injury or overtraining signals. Follow along with this stretching workout to kickstart the recovery process: Running Before or After Workout as a RunnerStrength training could be a key component to unlocking running performance. It may be the only way advanced runners can even achieve further progress. Beginner runners benefit from strength training by working muscles that help promote running economy and efficiency, which will ward off injury and promote total body fitness. If running (or any endurance activity, such as cycling) is a primary goal, do cardio after strength training. However, if the cardio session will be shorter and low intensity (like a simple endurance run of 30-90 minutes), doing high-repetition, low-weight or bodyweight strength training  AFTER running can help build muscular endurance and improve running stamina.Muscular endurance is different than absolute strength. Whereas pure strength is about how much force one can produce quickly (e.g., during a squat), muscular endurance is about training muscles to resist fatigue over long periods of time. One can easily see how muscular endurance is beneficial to runners: running longer distances like half-marathons, marathons and even ultramarathons. Muscular endurance will allow runners to retain their running form longer, which means not only maintaining running economy for longer but also decreasing the risk of running-related injuries.Sound worth it? Here’s how to do it:Do an easy run. Try to avoid running hills. Don’t do intervals. Just do a basic endurance-paced run anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes. It should feel almost boring.After the run and while the body is still warmed up, do a strength training session that focuses on high repetitions and low (if any) weight. Repetition ranges should be 20 to 30 per set. Cool down with light jogging.Combining running and strength training back to back is a serious session. Make sure to fuel properly before, during and after (like with a hot cocoa recovery drink). Don’t finish the workout starving. The recovery demands from this type of training are huge–but so are the benefits. Don’t do these big sessions every day–twice a week is plenty and should likely be followed by a full recovery day or an easy run (for advanced athletes).Running Before or After a Workout if the goal is to Lose WeightIt is often recommended to do strength training before running to empty carbohydrate stores. The idea is to force the body to get its energy primarily from fat rather than carbs during the run. However, the problem with this strategy is that it is very difficult to finish a long-distance run on empty carbohydrate stores. While it is true that a much higher percentage of fat is burned for energy, the calorie burn, on the other hand, is relatively low because of the low intensity or low duration of the workout. On top of that, perceived exertion of the workout will be much greater when continuing to workout with depleted glycogen stores. This can cause athletes to prematurely quit the workout; therefore, reducing maximal calorie expenditure. Additionally, athletes who choose to work out this way will finish workouts extremely hungry. This can lead athletes to massively overeat after a very tough workout, which will likely result in weight gain and developing unhealthy nutrition habits.If weight loss is a goal, a negative energy balance is key: If one burns more calories than they consume, they will lose weight. In the end, what matters is how many calories are burned in total through the workout. Spread your workouts out over several days. That way one can train at a high intensity and burn a lot of calories, and at the same time give the body the time it needs to recover properly before the next workout.Running Before or After a Workout if the Goal is to Improve Overall FitnessIn this case, basically do cardio and strength training in whichever order. Still define a specific training goal for each session. Just be careful about doing too much and getting injured. Start slow, add a little bit of training each week, take a day off if aches and pains start to creep up. Once the gains stop coming, consider reexamining training structure to focus on more specific goals. Try this workout after a run for a great cardio and strength session This workout focuses on neglected leg muscles and glute strength (i.e., a firmer butt). It’ll also help improve posture. Learn and do the following movements: Curtsy lunge, kneel & stand, side lunges, single-leg deadlift and wall sits.In general, avoid doing two workouts back-to-back. Spacing running and strength workouts far apart will allow the body sufficient time to adapt and recover before the next session. If running before or after a workout is the only option, follow the training schedule recommendations above to elicit maximal adaptations. If all of that is too complicated and the goal is to just get fit, do whatever is most convenient.Check out the following video for a detailed explanation of setting up a your own training schedule for best results: *** More

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    5K Running Tips: 4 Essential Tips to Finish Strong and Have Fun

    The 5K is one of the most popular race distances because most runners can prepare for it in just a few weeks. This makes it a great opportunity for people to get their first taste of racing. However, despite its relatively short distance, beginners and more experienced runners should not underestimate this race. Because of its short length, it is possible to run at very high levels of intensity. If you are shooting for a new PB (personal best), the five kilometers can really push your body to the limits. 1. Make high-intensity interval training part of your preparationThe five kilometers go by pretty fast, but this is also why running a 5K can be done at a very fast pace. You will definitely be running above your anaerobic threshold. This means that the oxygen you take in is no longer sufficient to metabolize the increasing lactate, which leads to a buildup of lactate in your body. Depending on how long you continue to run, this buildup inevitably leads to a drop in performance and perhaps even to complete exhaustion. High-intensity interval training can help you train your lactate threshold. This allows you to run at high speeds for a longer period of time.2. A good warm-up routine makes you run fasterThere is no time to ease into a 5K race pace. Your body has to be ready to perform at high intensity right from the gun. That is why a proper warm-up before the race is crucial for your performance. Warming up should get you optimally prepared both mentally and physically for the upcoming race. Here you can find further information on how warming up can boost your performance and what your warm-up routine should look like.3. Don’t start out too fastMany inexperienced runners tend to start off too fast when running a 5K. Tactically, you should run your race so that you complete the second half of the race faster than the first (this is known as a negative split). Trying to run intervals at your desired race pace during your preparation can help you find the right pace to actually run on race day.4. Eat your last meal well before the start of the raceYou should eat your last meal two to four hours before the start of the race. Good choices are low-volume foods high in carbs, low in fiber, combined with plenty of fluids. Right before the race, you can drink small amounts of appropriate sports drinks. What you want to avoid at all costs is starting the race on a full stomach.With these 4 tips, you should have no problem getting mentally and physically prepared for running a 5K.5. BONUS TIP! Have Fun!If you’re reading this post, you’re probably not getting paid to run a 5K. Don’t forget that it’s supposed to be fun! Invite your friends and family (support crew), smile for photos and laugh until it hurts.Empty the tank so you can refill your spirit!*** More

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    Back Pain When Running: Causes and 12 Exercises to Treat It

    When you head out for a run, you expect to have tired legs, burning lungs, and general exhaustion — what you don’t often expect to have is lower or upper back pain during or after running.But surprisingly enough, back pain amongst runners is a very common thing, particularly in less experienced runners, those with improper running technique, or weak back and glute muscles (which is most of us!).So if you’ve ever experienced back pain when running, you know just how annoying and painful it can be.Important:Back pain is common and can have other complex causes unrelated to running (such as stress). Even though it’s often not serious, it’s smart to be cautious. Consult your doctor — especially if you feel unwell and pain spreads to the leg (numbness/tingling) or does not improve with rest. When in doubt, check it out!In the following article we’ll answer your most common questions:Why do we get back pain while running, anyway?If you think about it, your back has an enormous role to play when it comes to running. When you run, you have to hold your body upright — sometimes for a very long time. In order to do this, your back has to work with the rest of your body to keep you moving and upright. If your muscles are not up to the task, you may get upper or lower back pain.Why does my lower back hurt when running?When it comes to your lower back, leg and core strength, flexibility, and coordination all play an important role:Your core muscles have to work hard to support your spine and lower back.When running, your core, hips, glutes, and hamstrings have to join forces to keep you stable.What happens when one muscle or a group of muscles become fatigued?Your lower back has to work harder to keep you upright and on your feet, which can cause pain, or worst case scenario — injury.Why does my upper back hurt when running? If you’re experiencing more pain in your upper back instead of your lower back, it’s often a result of your head position:A lot of upper back pain is a result of having your head leading your body — jutting out in front of your body — causing unnecessary tension and stress on the upper back. Another likely culprit of upper back pain is your arms. If you’re holding your arms up too tight or maybe even too high, or tensing your shoulders up towards your ears (which is common when the body is fatigued), it can cause strain on your upper back.What can you do to prevent back pain when running? To prevent back pain when running, the best thing you can do is to work on your strength and flexibility.This is why cross-training — incorporating strengthening movements into your running routine — is so important! If you want to run for a long time, you have to protect your body by strengthening the muscles that keep your body moving and upright — it’s as simple as that. What are the best bodyweight exercises to prevent back pain during and after running? Thankfully, there are ways to lessen the stress on your back and make running a little more comfortable — well, unless you ask your legs, of course. As long as you are experiencing back discomfort, stick with easy, comfortable runs.If you’re asking yourself “how do I get rid of back pain when running,” try the following 12 bodyweight exercises:1. Superman[embedded content]2. Beetle[embedded content]3. Single Leg Balance & Reach (Shin) L/R)[embedded content]Challenging? Start with Single Leg Balance L/R!4. High Plank Leg Lifts[embedded content]5. Single Leg Bridge L/R[embedded content]6. Mod. Low Side Plank Lifts L/R[embedded content]7. Quadruped Limb Raises[embedded content]8. Superman Pull[embedded content]For upper back tension try Wall Lateral Pull-Downs, too.9. Single Leg Deadlift L/R[embedded content]10. High Plank Limb Raises[embedded content]11. V Ups[embedded content]If you’re struggling to control your form, try Single Leg V-Ups.12. Single Leg Jump Squats L/R(When outdoors, give Forward Jump Squats a try instead!)How to train:Exercises are sorted from basic to more challenging. Start from the top. Pick the first 4 exercises that you can do slowly without pain, and maintain proper form/technique. Do 3 sets and aim for 8-12 reps.Good to know:Some exercises might seem easy at first, but make sure to check coaching cues before moving on. Gradually build up to more reps and switch to harder exercises while maintaining good form.3 Bonus Exercises:Give these 3 flexibility exercises a try. If one or more makes your back feel better, do them before the above-mentioned strength training, after a run, or in your free time. Be gentle with yourself and repeat as often as you like – even every day.14. Cat Cow15. Lying Figure 4 Stretch L/R16. Supine Twist L/R*** More