Jogging towards wellness

Lifestyle Tuesday 11/July/2023 11:54 AM
By: Times News Service
Jogging towards wellness

If you feel you’re seeing more joggers on the roads lately, it’s for good reason! Running has become increasingly popular over the years, with more people in Muscat and around the world embracing it as a form of exercise and a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Its ease and accessibility alongside numerous health benefits has inspired many of us to implement it into our routines. It is an exhilarating breath of fresh air and a chance to explore and appreciate your surroundings while maintaining your physical health, wellbeing and peace of mind. It is also a great way to start the day and feel confident, capable and focused to face anything that comes your way.

Oman, despite the challenges of summer heat, is still blessed with many parks, coastlines, walking paths and mountain trails to choose from, so you are spoiled for choice if you want to join the running trend.

Why the hype?

‘I run to feel empowered and resilient. To disconnect from the world and connect with myself. It is the best form of self-care, feeling my muscles contracting, heart pumping, lungs working,’ Anas Balushi, an avid jogger who runs often and has explored many trails around Oman explains, ‘I basically run today so I can run tomorrow’.

Alongside the benefits of being outdoors, jogging provides a convenient way to stay active, improve cardiovascular fitness, manage weight, reduce stress, and enhance your overall well-being. It is the easiest and most well rounded activity to maintain. You can jog anywhere you are and you don’t need any extra facilities. Just bring your shoes and you are ready!

‘What I like the most about running is the runner’s high and feeling of achievement. The journey to a race event, on the day of the race you remember the hard work you put in over the last couple of months, and it feels great!’ Anas explains.

The different types of running:

Easy runs

There are various methods of jogging to suit different needs, the most common are ‘easy runs’ which implement running at a slow conversational pace and are beneficial in promoting overall fitness.

Sprint intervals

Another highly beneficial technique is known as ‘interval training’ which involves alternating between periods of high-intensity running and slower, recovery periods of jogging or walking. This method is helpful in improving speed, endurance, and burning calories in the long run, and- that break between running allows you to catch your breath for a minute before starting again!

Fartlek training

Translating into "speed play" in Swedish, this is similar to interval training but in a less structured way. It’s a great way to mix up your routine and basically, find a method in the madness while still reaping the amazing benefits of running.

Hill repeats

This method which suits Oman’s mountains and, as the name suggests, involves uphill sprints followed by recovery runs downhill. This technique is helpful in building leg strength alongside improving overall fitness.

Tempo runs

For the advanced runners out there, ‘tempo runs’ involve running at a faster (but still comfortable) pace for an extended period of time. This method improves overall running speed.

Your body is a machine, but you need to look after it. Remember to warm up before running, it is recommended to gradually increase the intensity or distance you are running to avoid injuries and, especially during this summer heat, remember to stay hydrated!

Running at night is a great way to escape the heat. If you are smart about it! Remember that drivers cannot always see you: wear reflective clothing, choose well lit areas, and be aware of your surroundings (do not put your favorite song up unaware of that car speeding up behind you!) personal safety should always be a priority.

‘With trail running you get to experience nature and places in a different way, exploring it with adrenaline.’ Anas explains.

If you are ready to explore Oman’s landscapes across different trails. You can choose from routes around Birkat al Maoz, Saal Loop, Jebel Jaid, Jebel Akhdhar or Jebel Shams, which offer different elevations and difficulty levels, or simply start with a run around your neighborhood. What are you waiting for? Put your running shoes on and begin your steps towards your best self and better health!