Time to take a break

What sports to step into when you need to step away from running

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com

So, the next race I want to run is in November. I have a while, but I just can't get into it. This brings up a great topic. When is it time to take a break from running? Here are the top reasons why you should:

  1. After a big race- Let's face it. You are just over it.
  2. During and coming back from an injury- We all want to keep going, but you have to stop if you want to get better.
  3. If you have a bad attitude or low motivation- You are obviously bored.
  4. You are not seeing progress- This could be a symptom of overtraining.
  5. You need to drop some serious weight and tone- You have hit a plateau and running can only take you so far.
  6. You are prepping for a race, but you have an early start.- This is a great opportunity to pick up another sport for a couple of months before your training begins.

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, it is time to pick up another sport. Don't worry, you are still a runner. Here are my suggestions on other sports that are not only a new challenge, but they also compliment your running addiction and will improve your running performance.

It's funny. All runners think alike. When I wanted to discuss this topic, I took to the internet. I knew which sports that I wanted to highlight, but I found this article by this guy who writes for Men's Running UK named Tom Bristow. He chose the exact same sports to discuss. This is me giving him his props.


Walking

I know walking. I built a business on it. Let me tell you a little bit about walking. It is not for wimps. If done correctly, walking is a full body workout that can burn anywhere from 90 to 200 calories. (Depending on whose walking). It reduces body fat and improves balance. It builds stronger bones and muscles in the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Its great when done with others.

In Houston: I would say this, but join Houston Tourism Gym on a walking adventure.

Cycling

Cycling improves the muscles that you already use for running by making them stronger. It gives the hips and knees a break from the impact of pounding on the pavement. It improves flexibility and coordination as well as builds leg muscles. If you want massive, sexy calves like Fred, then try cycling.

In Houston: Try a social bike ride like Critical Mass or Tour de Taco.


Swimming

This activity is great for runners. Although it is a full body workout, swimming gives your running muscles a break while working out different sets of muscles. It strengthens muscles and joints. For runners, its a great alternative because it increases your cardio endurance and your VO2 Max. Swimming is also a fun and relaxing pastime. Lastly swimming is great for cooling off in hot-ass Houston.

In Houston: If you do not have a pool of your own, you can access one at your local gym or recreation centers like Emancipation Recreation Center.


Rowing:

Another full body workout that is great for runners. If you are injured, you get to get off your feet. But, don't discount this activity. When done right, it will work your entire body. It is best for improving respiratory function and body composition. If your goal is fat loss, rowing torches calories.

You can find a rowing machine at most gyms, but if you want the real thing, you can rent a kayak at The Waterworks at Buffalo Bayou and spend a day on the water.


Boxing:

Remember the scene where Rocky is running stairs at the Philadelphia Art Museum…running is a part of a boxer's training. So I guess runners should include boxing in their training. This is definitely a good idea if a runner wants to improve his or her speed and running posture. Improve your agility with the fancy footwork of a boxer. Learn better ways to breath. There is no other way to relieve stress than boxing. It strengthens your mental muscle and boost confidence. Lastly, boxing teaches you self defense when you find yourself on a lonely road.

In Houston: You could order equipment and box and home or you can get proper training from a boxing gym like Title Boxing Club.

So, before I get into some heavy training, I'm choosing a couple of these activities to get into. I'll let you know how it turns out. Please let me know which ones you have tried. Send your emails to info@tourismgymhtx.com.

From what you wear to where you go, here are some Houston fitness startups changing the game. Courtesy of Accel Lifestyle

This article originally appeared on InnovationMap and was written by Natalie Harms.

Houston has developed into a city full of boutique fitness studios and updated parks, and now the city is seeing fitness startups popping up as well. From creating a smell-free fabric to engaging NASA technology into training, these Houston fitness startups are working out innovative ideas into the exercise industry.

Accel Lifestyle

Courtesy of Accel Lifestyle

Megan Eddings tried everything to get the stink out of her husband's workout clothes, but nothing worked completely. With her background in chemistry, she knew there was something she could do to create a fabric that didn't hold on to the bacteria that built up in normal fabrics. So, she got to work. Now, years later, she's finally perfected her product and is ready to launch by summer.

"I never thought it would take this so long to make a T-shirt," Eddings says. "But, if you do it right and in an ethical way, it just takes a little longer."

Eddings says she'll have six different styles of men's and women's shirts to start, and they will be available on the Accel website, which recently got a facelift. Read more about Accel's journey here.

Kanthaka

Courtesy of Kanthaka

Finding a quality personal training session that fits your schedule and location hasn't really been done before Houston-based Kanthaka launched in 2017. Founder Sylvia Kampshoff wanted something that allowed her to exercise with someone on her own schedule, and with people who valued customer service.

The app uses location technology similar to that of ride sharing apps to allow users to book training sessions with certified personal trainers, all of whom are heavily vetted and background checked by Kampshoff and her team.

"Many trainers at gyms or who work privately aren't certified," she says. "And that was important to me, that we have professionals who understand training and the body. And making sure our clients felt safe was a huge priority for me. We interview every trainer personally to ensure they not only meet our standards but also share our goals."

Since launch, Kanthaka has expanded to Austin and is expanding to San Antonio in April and Atlanta in May. The company has secured angel investment and has seen a month over month growth of 10 to 50 percent since the end of 2018. Read more about Kanthaka here.

Continue reading on InnovationMap to learn about the final two fitness-focused startups.

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