Running is more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it’s a sport that has so much health benefits when done with the right accessories. In this guide, I will introduce the four essential running accessories for maximum health benefits every runner should consider.
From supportive footwear to moisture-wicking apparel, hydration solutions, and tracking devices, these accessories are designed to enhance your running experience, keep you comfortable, and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Essential Running Shoes for a Marathon
A pair of running shoes is one of the must-haves for running. They not only protect the feet, but also offer them the optimal conditions to help the runner to be at the top of his performance. It is important to make a comparison of running shoes for the marathon because of the many models of sneakers offered for running.
The shoes meet the requirements of this sporting event and the needs of each participant profile. Adidas and Nike are among the most coveted. The famous Nike AlphaFly pair stands out for its shape, comfort and technology (carbon plate) which make it one of the most popular with professional athletes like Eliud Kipchoge. The Adidas Adios Pro2 model is also a popular solution due to its technology (fibre plate), design and performance.
Whichever you choose, make sure your running shoes are the right size to avoid injury. Remember that it is impossible to run well with shoes that compress the feet or that are too big. It is therefore essential that these accessories are comfortable and suitable for your feet.
They must indeed offer you good support. To optimize your movements, choose lightweight models. You can also take into consideration your type of stride (universal, pronator or supinator) and the type of terrain to be covered. Do not miss reading these 7 monumental benefits of yoga for men to keep fit.
On paved roads, your pair must have good cushioning. The latter is essential for men over 78 kg and women over 63 kg. If you opt for an online store to acquire this accessory, read the description carefully and make sure that it is indeed a running shoe. Finally, to keep your feet dry, avoid chafing and limit the risk of getting blisters, choose a sock with a fine weave.
To practice running well, you must dress in appropriate clothing for this sport. It must not only protect you from bad weather but also facilitate your movements and offer you good comfort. Running clothes vary with the seasons. In hot weather, men can simply wear a running tank top with trail shorts.
Women can put on a bra that properly supports their chest without crushing it. A strong bra that properly holds the chest in place is essential for running well. They can accompany their bra with shorts or leggings specially designed for this sport.
In areas exposed to the wind, runners may wear a running windbreaker over their clothing. There are also short-sleeved and long-sleeved running t-shirts, as well as Capri pants that are suitable for both men and women. In addition to these garments, there are running shorts, compression sleeves, socks and pants.
In cold weather, you have to cover yourself well to protect yourself from the cold during the race. Superimposing layers of clothing, therefore, becomes an imperative. Whichever you choose, note that the first layer of clothing must be breathable. Ideally, it should have sweat-wicking technology.
It must be able to ventilate properly, absorb and reject the runner’s sweat to guarantee optimal comfort during training. This is the case with running t-shirts designed with technical materials such as Nike’s Dri-FIT.
The purpose of the second layer is to retain heat. The windbreaker plays this role very well. The third layer, on the other hand, becomes necessary when temperatures are below 0°C. It is most often a running jacket. The ideal would be to opt for a lightweight model with a hood. Beanies, gloves or mittens, and neck warmers are other important accessories to wear when temperatures are low.
Headphones for Running to Music
Music is comparable to a stimulant for runners for whom it is essential during running. It allows some to concentrate better and others to focus less on their efforts. The most effective way to listen to it during this sporting activity is through headphones. There are several on the market, from the most uncomfortable to the most practical and discreet. To keep your freedom of movement, choose models connected without wires.
To prevent them from falling out on the way, opt for models equipped with an ear hook or invest in fins and in-ear tips to stabilize your headphones. Pay close attention to their battery charging time before making any purchase. If you prefer a wired model, turn to brands that provide a clip to hold this equipment fixed during your outing. You will also find water, dust and sweat resistant headphones on the market.
Running Accessories for More Comfort
In summer when the weather is mostly sunny, it is recommended to wear a cap to protect your head and face. This is particularly useful if you are running in the afternoon or in rainy weather. The running cap allows you to remain efficient under a blazing sun and to sweat less in the face for more comfort. In winter, a beanie allows you to retain the heat that emanates from your head to better resist the cold. It also protects your ears from the cold. If you opt for a cap, make sure it is adjustable to better fit your head circumference.
Although they are often overlooked, sunglasses are also part of the essentials for safe running. They protect the eyes from UV rays, dust and insects that can hinder the smooth running of running sessions. They also offer optimal comfort by reducing strong light that can dazzle or bother you while running.
For this activity, opt for lightweight glasses that offer good support and prevent fogging. To do this, give preference to openwork frames. Photo chromic glasses have the particularity of changing tint according to the intensity of the light. They are particularly suitable for running during periods of unstable weather conditions.
To these accessories are added the running bag or the running belt allowing you to carry the necessary during your sports practice such as hydration equipment. The running armband is also practical for carrying your phone. If you want to follow your progress to better assess yourself, equip yourself with a connected watch.
Top 10 Health/Fitness Benefits Of Running:
The overall health and fitness benefits of running are so numerous and extensive, spanning from improving cardiovascular fitness to reducing stress and many more.
1. Running increases bone density
Numerous studies have demonstrated that high-impact activities like running place stress on bones that stimulate them to adapt by laying down more minerals within the bony matrix to strengthen the structure. Running also increases the production of bone-building hormones in the body, stimulating the body to make more bone cells and inhibiting the activity of cells that break down bone cells. Stronger bones are more resilient and less likely to fracture.
2. Running improves your mood
The “runner’s high” isn’t some fictionalized unicorn or elusive wonder; rather, it’s a rush of mood-boosting endorphins brought on by a long-distance endurance run. Finishing a good run can leave you feeling proud, capable, powerful, and even elated, ready to conquer anything that comes your way with a good attitude. If you suffer from depression, running can alleviate symptoms and stabilize your mood.
3. Running improves markers of health
Studies have shown that consistent running can lower blood pressure and resting heart rate, improve blood sugar control, lower triglycerides, as well as lower cholesterol. It can also reduce waist circumference and body fat percentage. Improving these markers of health can reduce disease risk and help you feel healthier overall.
4. Running boosts confidence
Running is a lot about goal setting and achieving things you didn’t think were possible. As such, running can help develop a sense of self-efficacy and boost your self-confidence.
5. Running burns calories
Running is a metabolically demanding exercise and burns a lot of calories. In fact, running is one of the most efficient types of exercise when it comes to the number of calories burned per minute, so if fat loss or weight loss is your goal, running can contribute to creating the calorie deficit you need to burn fat.
6. Running is accessible
Besides a good pair of running shoes, you need very little equipment to get started running. Having the right gear will keep you comfortable in different seasons. For example, you’ll want warmer layers for winter running and wind-resistant gear for fall running.
7. Running reduces stress
Getting outside and pounding the pavement or trail is a great way to diffuse stress and tension. Running can lower the stress hormone, cortisol, which helps you feel more relaxed.
8. Running builds muscular strength
At some point, most of us have walked behind a runner and envied their muscular, defined calves. As long as you are properly fueling your body with enough calories and protein to support your training, running can help build muscle and increase strength. As a total-body workout, running strengthens your legs, core, and upper body.
9. Running can connect you to nature
Though treadmills are viable training tools, if you choose to run outside, running gives you a chance to unplug from technology and screens and connect with nature. Much of our lives take place inside these days, but research shows that exercising outside independent of any other factors provides significant mental health benefits over indoor workouts.
It does not matter if you find a peaceful wooded trail or a local park, getting outside while running is a sure way to soak up some vitamin D and fresh air unlike in the gym.
10. Running can be social
There are thousands of running groups and running clubs all over the country (and world) that enable new and veteran runners alike to connect and enjoy miles together. You may meet a whole new group of buddies and develop relationships that last a lifetime.