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How to Run Stronger and Better

By Sandy Schroeder

Are you a veteran runner or just a wishful thinker? Wherever you are with running, it's worth the effort to keep improving.

Harvard Health endorses running, saying "Every day that you get out there (no matter how fast you go), your body is getting stronger, you're building stamina, and your runs will become easier."

Essentially, the more you run the better it gets. Starting with that viewpoint, here are some ways to run stronger.

Make sleep a priority - Take advantage of the performance repairs gained by a restful night. Everything else will go better, including that morning run, when you have logged in 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Make your bedroom a sleep retreat and establish regular sleeping hours to keep your energy up.

Learn to deep breathe - Strengthen your runs by learning how to take in more oxygen with deep breathing from your belly instead of your upper chest. Practice deep breathing. Lie on a mat with one hand on your navel. Inhale and expand your belly pulling more air into your lungs. As you exhale, contract your belly and push air out. Practice two or three times a week to improve your runs.

Slow down if you need to - When you are in pain or out of breath in a run, slow down to a walk and then gradually get back up to speed. If pains and discomfort continue, see your doctor to have it checked out before running again.

Keep the tunes coming - Underscore your runs with your favorite playlist. Only use one earbud for safety, and vary the tunes. Start with laid back tunes and build up with higher energy favorites during the run.

Keep right on going - The best runners know you need to run and run some more to become stronger and faster. Your body learns more every time you go out. Stick with a regular schedule and watch for steady improvements.  

Create some good goals for yourself - Think about the reasons that you run and then set up some future targets that fit you and your schedule.

Strength train your whole body - To run strong you need full body strength, not just legs or midsection, to perform well and avoid injuries. Set up a strength-training exercise session schedule to support your runs.

Remember to have fun too - When you are out there, let yourself enjoy the run at whatever level works for you.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Maple Grove, Minn.

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