How Running Has Helped Me Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

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Here I am in June last year – a lean, mean running machine!
Update: My cold is now pretty much all gone, so I’m finally going to be able to go running outside today!

Since I haven’t been running consistently lately, it’s been pretty hard for me to maintain my same weight. When I’m running consistently, I’m usually able to eat pretty much whatever I want without having to worry about gaining weight. When I’m not running and I gain a little weight, do I worry and think it’s a big deal? No, because I always know that it will come off again as soon as I’m running. But with my sister’s wedding in exactly two months, and a bridesmaid’s dress that is now too small, I’m actually getting little worried. But I have eight weeks to lose weight – if I lose 2 lbs a week, I’ll have lost 16 lbs (trust me, I don’t plan on losing that much weight, it’s way too much!). My main priority is to be in the same physical shape and have the same muscle mass that I was at last year, when I was running/cross-training five days a week. Here are a few ways how my active lifestyle helped me stay healthy all-around:

• when I’m active, I’m always concerned with staying hydrated; I usually drink about 12 large glasses of water a day

• I don’t over-eat, because I’m always concerned with how it will affect me while I’m running. I usually try and eat a full about meal four hours before I go running, and will have a banana or an orange as a snack 30 minutes to an hour before I run.

• When I have a solid running/exercise schedule, my sleep schedule improves a lot.

• I make healthier decisions in general, because I think about how the food I eat will affect my running (ie, I won’t eat a doughnut on a day I’m going running because I know if I do I’ll be tasting it throughout my entire run; or I won’t drink wine because I know it will dehydrate me).

• I make sure I get a good mix of foods, including lean meats that are high in protein and plenty of carbs. I don’t ever look at carbs as being something bad! And I make sure I eat plenty of fruits and veggies high in potassium and other vitamins and minerals.

Your turn: How does running/exercising help you make healthier decisions and maintain that lifestyle?

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10 thoughts on “How Running Has Helped Me Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

  1. willrunforpizza

    Good post!! That is SOOOO true too! I gained some weight over winter, so i’m back to using my fitness pal app to drop some weight. BUT, at the same time, I worry that I’m fueled enough for the longer runs…like today. Only 8 miles, but I didn’t eat enough before my run because I was thinking about all the calories and the rest of the day, so I crashed in my run… 😦 I’ll have to practice and learn how to use the app to lose weight, but still make sure I’m not going into a run hungry.

    Reply
    1. 262x2 Post author

      Just always remember that you need food as fuel – when I get into my high mileage part of my training plan, I sometimes struggle with this too, because I’m at work all day and then I come home and run at night. I just make sure I have a lot of healthy snacks packed to eat throughout the day, and then I won’t eat three hours before I’m scheduled to run so I don’t get sick.

      Reply
      1. willrunforpizza

        Yup! I pretty much do the same thing since I’m an evening runner too. Works well for me. I’m still going to continue using my fitness pal app to track my food, but I KNOW I will go over some days, but I’m ok with it because I am NOT ok with crashing in the middle of a long run! LOL

  2. emmelineruns

    It’s so counterintuitive but when I’m running I eat really healthfully and when I’m not, I eat like crap. I never want take out or more than a beer or two when I ran that day and have another the next day but with no runs on the horizon, I eat nothing but ice cream and horrible food because I don’t have to worry about feeling sick on the run.

    Reply
    1. 262x2 Post author

      I hear you, it’s helped me in the same way! I don’t feel guilty for eating (or when I eat a little more than normal)!

      Reply
  3. irishrunnerchick

    There is definitely a relationship between healthy eating and working out. As soon as I started getting into fitness I became more conscious of what I was eating. Eating better then motivates me to keep my fitness schedule. Its a great positive cycle.

    Reply
  4. runyourmuttoff

    I definitely make better food choices when I’m running; it’s the whole food is fuel, my body is a machine mindset. I’ve been on the injured list for about 2 months and OMG I’m bloated, up several pounds, my pants are tight! My waistline really wants my hip to heal so I can start burning some calories again. Apparently eating nachos and watching TV is not the key to health success! The pity wine drinking isn’t doing me any favors either.

    Reply
    1. 262x2 Post author

      Ahh, I totally hear you! I also took the pity wine drinking (and just whining in general) route while I was injured! I saw on your blog that you’re on crutches but guess I have some catching up to do. How’d that happen?!

      Reply

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