Right now, I’m really into dance-based workouts, but there’s no denying the power of a great run. For a while, I was running almost every day, and found that the more I ran, the more I enjoyed it. I started to experience what’s called a “runner’s high,” which would always kick in after the first mile. With my music going and my heart pumping, I’d feel like I could run forever.
One of the greatest things about running is that you can do it anywhere – at home, on a work trip, outside or on a treadmill. It’s a very convenient form of exercise, especially if you travel a lot, or if you’re a mom. If you have a jogging stroller, you can strap the baby in and take her along.
I love being outside and running on trails or barefoot on the beach. I also find that running on uneven ground strengthens your brain and your core, because you have to think fast to stay steady and your core muscles are challenged!
Running is the one workout that really whips my cardio into shape and something I always come back to from time to time. Next time I go for a run, I’m going to mix it up with one of these running workouts:
- Tabata Sprints: Tabata calls for four minutes of high intensity training – 20 seconds of maximum intensity sprints followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. Running via Tabata training over six weeks has been shown to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Newer runners should start with fewer repeats and slowly build up to the complete four-minute workout. Advanced runners can try doing a Tabata run up stairs or hills to challenge themselves.
- Climbing Runs: Challenge your aerobic fitness, increase leg strength and get mentally tough by tackling a long hill with a slow climb, or running hard up a short, steep incline, or taking a route that takes you up and down hills.
- Adventure Run: Grab a girlfriend for this run, where one of you plans out a brand new route and leads the other on the run. You’ll be able to burn off calories and spend time together. Just make sure you have your smartphone with you to avoid getting lost!
- Precision Running workout by Equinox: Created by David Siik, a treadmill running coach who teaches at Equinox in Los Angeles. Precision Running is a group treadmill workout that focuses on speed, incline, duration and recovery to make runners stronger, faster and more fit.