Run to the BeatBy Oxygen's Staff Blog|Oxygen Staff|2011-07-06 | Comments: 0I've never been a serious runner - nor an exceptional one, at that - but I hope to be someday. I used to run back in high school, when our soccer coach made us do a mandatory mile run before each practice. Given the fact that I went to school in one of the hottest countries in the world, where temperatures would often soar beyond 104° F, I heaved a great big sigh of relief when I could finally bid my running days adieu after I graduated. But last August, I decided to give it another shot, and I found myself getting hooked! I live in a great area just out of downtown Toronto that's really conducive to long jaunts in the park, whether on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon or even after work (no, I'm not a morning person, so no 5am'ers) I can proudly say that I've been running regularly for almost a year now!
The picture shows part of my running route - I can see the entire Toronto city skyline while I run - love it!
But as I said before, I'm no star runner - I am, however, what some might call a picky runner. For one, I only truly enjoy running outdoors. On those days that I force myself to do intervals on the treadmill, I am literally in the worst mood ever. Whereas ten minutes running outside goes in a flash, a ten-minute warm up on the treadmill before a workout feels like FOREVER! This has always confused me, but I felt better about this after I came across a lil piece of research while fact checking: taking a workout outside (where temperatures tend to go up and down) can help you burn 7% more calories than an indoor workout (where climate doesn’t fluctuate as much). Not only that, a Swedish study found that people who ran in a park felt 15% more mentally restored than those who opted for the treadmill. No wonder a good run around the park can always elicit a big obnoxious grin on my face when I’m done! For more fun facts on exercising in the great outdoors, check out the By the Numbers section of our August issue!
Here’s another example of my pickiness – I'm pretty sure this one isn't too out of the ordinary among all you runners out there though. I simply CANNOT run without good music, which for me, is anything house or hip-hop. Those running days that I turn on my iPod and see the 'low battery' message are some of my most pitiful. I’m slow, I get bored easily, and I find any excuse to quit. But when I have a great playlist blasting in my ears (not too loud though. Remember, safety first - I always try to make sure the music isn't too loud, so I'm aware of everything around me!), I can just keep going and going as far as my short little legs can take me! According to a study in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, exercising in time with music can not only enhance the experience of cardiovascular exercise, but it can also increase a person’s physical endurance by up to 15%! I will admit that the researchers conducted the study with music by Madonna and Queen, but I like to improvise – the idea is to keep up with the beat!
Wanna know the secret to some of my most successful runs? I simply tune in to the latest episode of The Maxime Malou Show. Mr. Malou happens to be a good friend of mine, not to mention a rising star in the house music scene and one of the most talented DJs I’ve ever heard – you're sure to hear him someday soon at a club near you! Don't believe me? Play this on your iPod the next time you run and kiss your old top 40 playlist goodbye! Here's one of my favorite episodes.
I'm always looking for great running music, and I'm sure you are too. To see what our covergirls are listening to, check out Cover Girl Insider. What are your favorite workout tunes? Feel free to share!
[One more thing: if you liked this episode of The Maxime Malou Show, you'll be happy to know that there are plenty more where this one came from. Enjoy!]
- Tara Kher
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