Starting Off on the Right Foot by guest expert Asha Hadley, RD.

Feet-Running2Running. The most inexpensive way to get yourself fit, boost your overall health, lose weight and relieve stress to name a few! So if you’re set to getting yourself fit and ready for summer, then my next guest expert has just the right tips for you! Asha, do take us through how we should start off on the right foot…

Running is one of the most popular ways to get and stay a fit. It’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other, but can be as complicated as choosing between minimalist, stability or cushion shoes. Running is especially good for women, as it’s a quick and effective workout and can fit into our busy schedules anytime, anywhere. Get yourself ready to hit the road with these tips.

Many say running is the most expensive free sport. I always cringe when I see casual runners hop on the treadmill or hit the road in old, ratty sneakers. Not to deter anyone from running, but it’s very important to have good running shoes. I always tell people that if they plan on running on a regular basis, its best to invest in a good pair of running shoes. Good shoes can prevent knee and back discomfort and help support an irregular stride. Check your local running store to get fit tested for shoes to suit your needs. After shoes, comfy (and stylish) running clothes are your next best investment. Protect the girls and get a sports bra that supports you adequately. Tops and shorts made of high-tech materials can help keep you cool and dry during your runs, thus helping you have a more effective run!

hydration habits 460Adequate and functional nutrition is key to being a happy, healthy runner. Get a good mix of carbs to give you energy and protein to maintain your muscle. Choose higher fiber complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, vegetables and oats to eat throughout the day and easily digestible carbs like fruit, toast and bagels to have pre and post run. My favorite pre-run meal is a peanut butter and bbananasanana sandwich. Yum! If you’re running in extreme heat or for a longer period of time or distance, you should consider taking some nutrition on the go. Water, sports drinks, and special gels can help keep you hydrated and replenish electrolytes while you are out. After you run, make sure you replenish fluids and refuel intelligently. A good long run can make you hungry, don’t over eat or pig out because you can run the risk of undoing all the good you did while on your run. Focus on including starch, fruit and dairy in your post- run meal. Baked sweet potato topped with low-fat cottage cheese is a perfect post –run combo.healthy-carbs

Now that we have our gear set and our bodies fueled up, it’s time to get amped up and excited to go! Finding a motivation factor is invaluable. There will be days you need that extra push to get you going. While some people may choose to run solo, having a running partner can help you stay on track and push you to go that extra mile, or two! I enjoy my solo runs, but I also love the company and comradery of group runs. Having a good playlist can help keep you moving too. While the music may not help get you out the door like your running partner can, you may find yourself going faster and longer when you’ve got the right beat in your ears!

Running is simple and fun. Preparing yourself and having the right gear can get you going comfortably for miles. While I know running is not for everyone, many people would likely enjoy running more if they had the right gear, nutrition and motivation. Have a great run!

2014-03-22 19.11.49About the Author: Asha Hadley is a Registered Dietitian and IFBB Pro Physique competitor.  She is an avid runner as well. She is a 4-time Ragnar relay finisher and has completed 4 full marathons, 10 half-marathons, numerous 5 and 10k races. While her running has taken a backseat to her physique competitions she still maintains an impressive running base and includes it in her physique training. Email her at, Follower her on Instagram @ashahadley, and Facebook.

  1. Great tips! I also love re-hydrating with coconut water for electrolytes instead of those sugar-filled sports beverages. Happy running! 🙂

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