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Running

At this stage, there are very, very few among us who don't know the benefits of breaking a sweat on the regular.

And while you may look, feel and sleep better by incorporating an exercise regime into your life, did you know that some forms of cardio can actually increase your life span?

According to scientists at Iowa State University, 60 minutes of running ultimately provides you with an extra seven hours of life.

Developing on a study which established that 10 minutes of running a day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, Duck-chul Lee, a professor of kinesiology at Iowa State, focussed further on the benefits of the exercise.

Data published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicated that running decreased the risk of premature death by 40 per cent, and that the activity in itself increases a person's life span.

But how did researchers arrive at a figure of seven hours per 60 minute-run?

According to The New York Times, two hours of training per week translated into less than six months of your life, and ultimately increase your life expectancy by almost three years.

Simply put, runners – in comparison to non-runners – tended to live three years longer no matter their pace, their weight or their smoking habits.

Not too shabby.

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January is long gone, but some of us have managed to hold on to our fitness aspirations from the month of good intentions. 

Joining the #IrishFitFam can be intimidating, but once you make the first steps on your fitness journey, you'll never want to look back. 

Amanda Byram, host of Dancing With The Stars, has always been into her fitness, but only recently has the TV presenter reconsidered running as part of her routine. 

 

A post shared by Amanda Byram (@amandabyram) on

This is thanks to her involvement with the Vhi Women's Marathon, which is celebrating its 35th year.

The Clontarf native is heading up the marathon as an ambassador, and the fitness advocate chatted about her reasons for joining the cause. 

"My main passion is health and fitness, I've got my PT certificate and I've studied nutrition, and I have an active wear range coming out, so for me it was of the utmost importance," she said. 

"I like to empower women through fitness, I'm all about being strong not skinny, and I'm all about women getting together to train because it can be quite intimidating a lot of the time."

In regards to Amanda's training for the marathon, she admits that she hasn't quite gotten around to starting yet, but she will be following the 14 week plans that are kicking off on the VHI website this week.

While the TV presenter is mad about fitness, she's a bit of a novice when it comes to training for a marathon. 

"I've given myself this time, the 14 weeks in the run up to it to really focus on it, because I used to run a long time ago but then I hurt my knees and gave it up, and I've been wanting to get back into it for so long."

 

A post shared by Amanda Byram (@amandabyram) on

When asked about her personal techniques for getting motivated to train, Amanda cited a good mental attitude as being one of the most important aspects. 

"There's a lot of mental techniques that have to happen, I think it's about wanting to not needing to, that's what you always have to tell yourself is that you want to do it. and when you do it for pleasure it becomes less of a chore," she advised. 

"Also, when I was in my late thirties and turning forty I thought 'I've really got to make an effort now if I want to be fit and healthy and strong into my fifties and my sixties and my seventies' so I've got to start now."

"I spent so long trying to be skinny because I thought that's what healthy was all about, I thought 'I wont eat this' or 'I'l eat low fat this' and all the rest of it, and all these faddy diets and I was just finding that I didn't have any energy and I wasn't strong. I was thin but I wasn't strong," she admitted. 

Amanda, who plans to run the marathon for the Down Syndrome Centre in Sandyford, also credited an achievable and steady pace as being the key to training successfully. 

"For me it's all about starting slowly, and building incrementally, I think that rather than going straight into it, you know, a week before the mini marathon an then get an injury and then not be able to do it so its about incorporating it into your daily life, and it's not for a small period of time either, it's a lifestyle."

"I'm going to take it really really slowly and probably do one or two kilometers per day or something like that, and build up strength.

"This isn't just about the run or the walk, it's alo about strength from within and getting that mind set that you can do this, we'll all do this together."

"On the day that's in it, there could be up to 35,000 women running, walking, crawling, jogging, whatever they might be doing and that in itself is reason to get from Fitzwilliam square to Baggot Street, it's such a buzz."

"Some of us are doing it for charities, others are doing it to get a personal best, so it's fun combined with sport combined with a charitable event." 

While we're more aquainted with the a Netflix marathon than an actual marathon, we'll be signing up to get involved in the biggest all-women's event of its kind in the world.

The first Women’s Mini Marathon kicked off in Dublin in 1983 with 9,000 entrants, and it has grown in popularity year on year, raising over €200,000,000 for charity since it first began. 

The event will see women make their way through Dublin city on Bank Holiday Monday, 5 June 2017, and registration is currently open. 

Dust off those gym runners, ladies. 

ITV and all of its seven channels are being switched off for an hour.

The broadcaster's aim is to encourage people to go outside and exercise instead of watching TV.

So, now when you switch on ITV on Saturday August 27 at 9.30am, you'll be met with a blank screen and the message, "We've gone running – why don't you join us?"

The channel has also teamed up with thousands of sports clubs across the UK who will welcome anyone into their clubs during the hour to try out a new sports or play on the pitches.

The channels which are planned to be taken off air are ITV/UTV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, ITVBe, ITV Encore and CITV.

What do you think? Would you hop on board if RTÉ did something similar?

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Finding time to work out every day is hard enough, never mind the additional burden of boob control that goes with it.

So when you do make the effort to get your 30 minutes in, can you image how mortified (and unbelievably p*ssed) you’d be if some random man decided to advise you how best to control your assets?

Well, Florida woman Michelle Kirk was faced with this very scenario while out running recently when she was approached by a total stranger who took it upon himself to inform her that she needs a better sports bra because her boobs are “sagging”.

Taking to Facebook to share the experience, the Florida-based mum wrote: “To the nasty old man who stopped me mid run to inform me that I need to get a better sports bra because my boobs are sagging and will only sag more if I continue to run…f*ck you.”

“You are the reason why women have insecurities. If you don't like the way my boobs 'sag' when I run, then don't look!”

“I will NEVER stop doing what I love and I love myself way too much to have your hate bring me down!”

And – just to ensure her message was properly understood – Michelle included a picture of herself in her sports gear with her middle finger raised to the camera.

You tell ‘em, Michelle!

January's nearly over, so if you've managed to stay on track with even one of your many New Year's fitness resolutions, we give you full permission to start feeling smug about it.

But motivating yourself to get out and exercise in the lashing rain is no mean feat, which is why we're loving the premise behind Dublin's newest running club.

Dublin Kickers RC is the brainchild of Oran Bambrick, a keen runner who saw a niche for a "non-intimidating, welcoming and fun" way to train with other people in the city centre.

"When I was living in New York I joined a club called North Brooklyn Runners which was a really similar idea," he explains to SHEmazing.

"It was free and totally volunteer led, and there were runs for people of all abilities."

Oran's starting Dublin Kickers off with four weekly runs, including a Saturday Morning Coffee Run in the Phoenix Park, a handy option for both new and experienced runners.

"You can head along and do a 3k, 5k or 7k run with the group and we'll all meet up for a coffee afterwards.

"If you're a total beginner I'd definitely suggest coming along for a few sessions over a couple of weeks and trying it all out."

There will also be themed runs throughout the year including a Lonely Hearts Run closer to Valentine's Day "where we're just gonna run in a heart shape through Dublin city," says Oran "…and, eh, chat about shifting and stuff."

Getting fit while hearing other people's relationship horror stories? We're in.

More details on runs and races can be found on the Dublin Kickers website and on Facebook, or you can head along to the first run this Saturday Jan 30 at 9am.

As we all know some New Year's resolutions totally fail after the first week of January. Most resolutions are fitness goals, and this year there has been a huge rise in ladies going out running.

So, whether you've kept up your resolutions or fell off the wagon a little bit, these pieces will get you right back on track. And a bonus? You'll look hot AF while working out. 

A breathable t-shirt

Life Style Sports, Nike Pro Hypercool T-Shirt, €42

 

Leggings with the perfect stretch

Life Style Sports, Nike Tidal Capri, €52

 

Comfortable runners

Life Style Sports, Nike Air Zoom Fit, €120

 

The perfect running bra

Life Style Sports, Adidas Womens Supernova Bra, €36

 

Leggings to keep everything in place

Life Style Sports, Adidas Womens Three Quarter Tight, €42

 

The lightweight runner

Life Style Sports, Nike Womens Pegasus, €110

 

The trend-setting half zip 

Life Style Sports, Nike Womens Pro Hyperwarm Half Zip, €62

There is nothing worse than getting prepared to tackle a workout with enthusiasm and then opening the door to find that a blizzard has arrived. 

Staying fit during the winter months can be a challenge. Waking up at the crack of dawn for a jog and coming home with icicles clinging to your face is less than pleasant. So, we found some genius life hacks that will help you stay motivated and fit despite the temperatures dropping.

1. Do a quick warm-up indoors before you leave the house. 

2.  Buy a great pair of cold-weather running tights. 

3. Run with mini heat patches in your gloves if you need the extra heat. 

4. Get out of your sweaty clothes as soon as you’re finished exercising and avoid any nasty coldsorflus

5. Accept that you’re not going to be running your best times or distances. 

Don't be discouraged, but do be realistic.

6. On windy days, avoid large open areas on your running route. 

7. Cover your ears and fingers as they will get colder faster than the rest of your body. 

Just go ahead and accept that you're not going to be running your best times.

8. Stay hydrated! 

When the weather is freezing it may not be obvious that you're sweating as much as usual, but you still need to stay just as hydrated after your workout.

 

At this point everyone has heard that introducing some cardio exercises to your fitness routine has plenty of benefits.

However, we have also heard that it is not the only way to kick start a weight-loss programme. In fact, many in the fitness industry are encouraging us to step away from the treadmill. 

Including cardio in your routine increases heart health and helps to burn fat, but it might not be setting our metabolisms alight as we had hoped.

Too much cardio can raise your stress levels, and when your cortisol hormone levels are high, you won’t be able to lose the weight you want to. 

Cadence Dubus, a NYC based personal trainer to celebs like the cast Girls explains:

"If you look at the New York Marathon, the majority of the people jogging by are chubby, and most of them have probably been logging 12, 15, or 20 miles a week."

This can be attribute to how the calories you burn increase as you move from a resting level of metabolism to an exercising rate of metabolism. So, going from a steady walk to a run for example.  

Brooklyn Strength

This type of exercise can boost your metabolism for hours even after you have stopped exercising.

So, if you’re spending hours and hours a week on the treadmill sweating it out at a steady jog, then your metabolism will also stay at a steady rate.

Incorporating sprint intervals into your cardio routine can help avoid this. 

Strength training is also recommended. Cadence adds that if you are exercising with body fat in mind, to remember that "building muscle is where you burn calories," says Dubus.

So if you’re looking for a more ‘toned’ physique, your treadmill addiction is probably not helping. 

A good cardio session goes a long way toward blasting unwanted fat, but it's not always appealing to hit the gym after a hard day at work.

If you find you relax more into exercise when you're in your own environment or outside with a friend, that doesn't mean you need to compromise on calorie-burning.

There are many different styles of exercise that can benefit your body without you ever having to step inside a gym.

Check out these activities… they'll burn more calories than you might think,

Running
It's no surprise that running is a great way to melt fat, as it exercises the legs, core and bum, all of which are huge calorie burners. Jogging outdoors on undulating terrain works your muscles far more than running on a treadmill, so get out and get active.

Skipping
Root your old jumping rope out of the attic and give this a go – it's a boxing training staple that burns around 340 calories in 30 minutes. Keep your feet slightly apart, stand up straight and ensure your jumps are low to the ground.

Dancing
Ok, slow-waltzing around your living room won't burn off much fat, but up the tempo and you'll get your lungs pumping soon enough. Choose a playlist of songs that's as long as an average workout, say 30 minutes, and get dancing. Slow things down at the end for a cool off.

Brisk walking
Walking burns around half as many calories as running, but get a brisk pace going (enough that you can't keep up a conversation) and you'll feel the results. Aim for short, quick steps and you should burn around 170 cals in 30 minutes.

Swimming
If you hate the gym but don't mind hitting the pool, then swimming should be your exercise of choice. Half an hour of front crawl burns around 250 – 300 calories, plus it's a low impact, total body workout. Win.

Have you ever watched a horde of runners fly by and wondered how on earth do they do it?

Long-distance running can be as much of mental challenge as a physical one. Most of us consider how much longer we have to go, or ask ourselves why on earth we’re putting ourselves through all that pain.

You wouldn’t be alone in wondering what on earth is going on inside the heads of those people jogging an “easy” 15 miles before work on a Monday. The British Psychology Society decided to do some research and their findings are making us feel a lot better about ourselves.

The study revealed that the runners surveyed spent 32 per cent of their time running thinking about how much “Pain” and “discomfort” they were in.

They also spent 40 per cent of their time considering how fast they were going and how much longer they had to go (the runs were at least 7 miles long). A popular thought to consider: “downhill, don’t kill yourself”.

To be fair they did spend the rest of their time out running considering their surroundings. Although while most were considering the beautiful scenery, others were concerned with any dangers hiding around the corner. Such as “I hope I don’t see any snakes.”

Some of our favourite thoughts from the survey:

"Hill, you're a b**** … it's long and hot.”

"This is such a fu**ing busy street. I hate it.”

"That sucked!”

"I need it to start raining, it's hot, its' really hot, humid.”

Another thing that makes this survey even better, the runners were asked to “think aloud” while they ran rather than trying to remember everything afterwards.

So the next time you drive past someone who looks like they’re giving themselves the best pep talk of their lives, they’re more than likely lamenting their dodgy knees or ill-fitting socks.

People love telling us how good exercising in the morning is for your health. They go on and on about how amazing they feel after pulling out all the stops and perfecting downward dog at the crack of dawn.

Speaking to Self magazine Jennifer Sherman, fitness instructor extraordinaire of NYC says: “Exercising early in the morning jump-starts your metabolism, keeping it elevated for hours and energizes you for the day.” 

Noted. But it’s still a struggle.  So, we rounded up the best ways to ensure you’re up and moving before your alarm even starts.

Plan your outfit

There’s so many options when it comes to gym gear these days. Planning your outfit the night before makes it less tempting to stay in bed and risk not letting the world see your brand new sporty style according to Jennifer

Sleep

No, we don’t mean actually having a lie in until mid-day. Instead try and head to bed earlier the night before so you’re well rested. Jennifer also says “move your alarm clock out of arm’s reach. This way you will actually have to get out of your warm bed to turn it off.”

Be gentle

Liz Arredondo of Be Shri Yoga reminds us that we can sleep in some very odd positions that make our muscles tight as well as sleepy. She says it’s important to try “deep breathing paired with gentle stretches before you start moving more actively.”

Make breakfast

 

A photo posted by LEAH ITSINES (@leahitsines) on

Make your breakfast the night before. Something like overnight oats are easy and filling so you have one less thing to worry about when you wake up.

Find a workout buddy

Author of The 30 Second Body Adam Rosante says “when you know someone is counting on you, you’ll be far less likely to bail.”

Use it as a shopping tool

Adam also suggests using your workouts as a saving tool. “For each planned day, you’ll put a pre-determined amount of money into a ‘pot.’ Watching that pool grow as your body tones is pretty addictive.” Feeling great, looking great and enough cash for a new wardrobe? Sounds like a plan Adam!

Ah running. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of your lungs burning and your entire body shaking when you realise you have made a terrible mistake and you should never have attempted this charity 5K.

And that’s only how it feels putting on your running shoes.

Lucky for you, we found a couple of clever running hacks that will make it easier. We’re not promising you’ll become Sonia O’Sullivan overnight, but hopefully this can help you give it a go. You could become one of those people who gets up to run with the sunrise because you think it's fun

 

Make your snacks for pre and post running delicious.

Especially if you’re running first thing in the morning (you hero). Avoid mushy sandwiches and pre-packaged health bars by looking to real healthy individuals ideas. Buzzfeed asked real healthy people what they eat if you need some inspiration. Go for high-carb, low-fiber and low-fat snacks before you run. 

 

Get a proper sports bra

It can make all the difference. Consider the different types and go ask the professionals about this, it could turn your morning jog into a world record attempt, you never know.

 

Banish shin splints

These can feel like actual death. Runners World have compiled some easy exercises you can do every day to strengthen your calves and ankles if you suffer from shin splints.

 

Sign up for a fun running event

Colour runs are having a bit of moment in the last year or so. Fancy dress may not seem like ideal running gear but they do say time flies when you’re having fun. Any race that’s going to be playing music en route is a sure winner.

 

Invest in some trendy running gear

 

A photo posted by Run INKspired (@runinkspired) on

Make sure your headband game is on point. They work for both keeping your hair and sweat out of your face and also they’re hilarious and fun. You can also get some temporary body art to keep your motivation up while mid-run. Try these to make you feel like an actual cheetah and never give up.

 

Slow down

No need to tackle 13 miles your first time out. Break up some distances with brisk walking to help build up stamina. Try the Galloway method or make up you own by working with some of your favourite songs, walk for the verse then run for the chorus and so on. 

 

Stop stretching before you run

According to studies it won't make a difference. Google dynamic stretches instead if you need a good warm up before you run.