1. Hydration is key - During these hot and humid summer days, drinking water is the simplest and most important tip of all. Runners should drink two cups of water prior to running and one cup of water every 30-minutes. Dehydration can have negative effects on performance and recovery, and poses a huge threat to one’s overall health. If you can, plan your exercise for the early morning or evening to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
2. Looking good = Feeling Good- Ever look at runners or cyclist in magazines and think to yourself, “their workout gear costs more than my entire wardrobe!”? Well yes, some top of the line gear could put a dent in your paycheck, BUT being too stingy with your workout gear can hurt you. I hate to say this, but toss aside your oversize college t-shirts and discounted sneakers and trade them in for appropriate apparel. Gear does matter for performance. Blisters, chafing, sweat build up, and joint problems are all common issues that arise from wearing improper workout gear. Stay away from cotton, avoid rough fabrics and make sure your shoes provide proper support. If you’re looking for new workout gear, make sure to check out North Wales Running Co and if you're looking for bike gear or repairs, there are several options for you including Breakaway Bikes, Bicycle Therapy and Fairmount Bicycles.
3. Stretch it out- Some of the most common injuries occur because people don’t stretch after a workout. Sometimes after a long bike or run all you want to do is sit down and relax, but relaxing can wait. Stretching helps reduce tightness and possible injuries. It is best to stretch for 10-15 minutes after a short warm up period and again at the end of a workout. Then you may fall to the ground and take a nap.
4. Team up for success- Working out regularly is not an easy task. Often times life gets in the way and forces us to pass on that run or bike we had planned. Finding a group of buddies to exercise with can help motivate you to get moving. Follow a beginning running plan that sets realistic goals for you and your group. Check out The Bicycle Club of Philadelphia or Philadelphia Runner for a list of biking/running groups and lessons in the area.
5. Don’t Overdo It- We all want to be able to run or bike miles at a time without feeling like we are going to pass out. Don’t worry, you will one day! But first stick to a solid, comfortable pace and don’t do too much, too soon. By building up to your goal slowly, you will save yourself a lot of frustration and pain in the long run (pun intended).