How To Stay Motivated With Running

As one ignorant non-runner said, running is boring, exhausting, and sometimes painful. Yet today, running is one of the most popular individual sports in the world, counting millions and millions of followers.

This number does not even include yet those who are engaged into serious competitive running. How do they keep themselves motivated and stay at that?

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Loss of motivation

Because it is a solitary performance at most, running sometimes CAN be boring, exhausting and painful. Some runners (newcomers and veterans alike) declare that it can be difficult sometimes to stay motivated on a regular basis.

Loss of motivation is triggered by many things, including boredom, muscle pains, and most of all, lack of time. Some other times in your running years you were probably attacked by lack of motivation.

It starts out slow (skipping a run or two) and without your knowing it, gradually moves to a point where you notice you are not running regularly anymore.

Goals

One of the better ways to fight loss of motivation is to set realistic goals. One of the more common goals to stay motivated is simply to complete a race.

Choosing your race, training for it, and finally competing in it is another good source of motivation. Your selection should depend on your personal goals. If motivation is your only goal, perhaps choosing to compete in those periodic short races is the best option.

Setting realistic goals is the easiest way for a runner’s motivation to stay up and intense enough.

Of course, you can always choose your favorite distance (5K or 10K or a marathon). The choice itself, the thought, and the actual preparations and the competition proper are enough factors to keep you busy (training) and motivated (prestige and awards) enough.

Other runners are motivated by setting bigger goals to their training (if competing) or in just plain running. They set up faster times, or longer distances as their next goals.

Naturally, they will not get it right the first time. The attempts of bettering them are very good motivators.

Variations

Runners can also stay motivated by adding some variety into their program. They can vary the courses (and terrain) they are running (jogging across the woods or the tracks), distance, speed and intensity (doing sprints in straight tracks and jogging in curves) among other things.

Running with a friend (in twos or threes) can sometimes perk up an otherwise monotonous activity. Thinking of someone going with you on a run can sometimes be a very good motivation to do it. Working alone makes staying in bed in a cold morning seems extremely tempting.

Off times

Occasionally, runners have to take some time off from running. This may look counter-intuitive but it is effective.

One way is doing some cross-training which can also help you stay in shape other than running. (This is aside from the fact that you DID take some time off from running.)

Add to your workout schedule a week for every two months perhaps of not running at all but doing another physical activity of your choice. The break from running makes you feel recharged and raring to go back running.

 

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Organic Black Tea

All tea leaves are green when harvested. High in the Himalayas, tea pickers are hard at work, plucking only young and the most flavorful leaves from the plant, called Camellia sinensis. Although tea plants flourish in tropical climate, the best organic black teas are those grown in high altitudes where the clouds and cool mountain air comfort the tea plant and moisturize its leaves.

After the tea leaves are picked, they are inspected and sorted and withered. All of this is done by hand. As water from the leaves evaporates, the natural process of fermentation begins to take place. Fermentation, also known as oxidation, is the reason why organic black tea is black.

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Unlike the fermentation done with wines, tea fermentation does not produce alcohol. Instead, enzymes naturally contained in the leaves are released, oxidizing the leaf in the process and turning it brown just like a tea leaf in the fall when it changes color from green to brown.

By increasing heat and high humidity in a process called firing (the leaves are exposed to high temperature over fire or commercial ovens), the fermentation of organic black tea accelerates. As a result of these conditions, it is only a matter of hours before green tea is turned to what is known as organic black tea.

There are several different types of organic black tea. They are called ‘organic’ because they were purely grown organically, without the use of chemical fertilizers or commercial pesticides. The types of organic black tea depend on the name of the region where the Camellia sinensis plant is grown. Below are the top three organic black tea, valued for their rich taste and color.

Keemun

Considered by most to be the finest of Chinese black teas, Keemun organic black tea is actually a style of tea rather than the name of a region. Keemun is grown in many regions of China and Taiwan. Because of its smooth taste and aromatic flavor, Keemun organic black tea is often referred to as the “Burgundy” of teas. Chinese Keemuns are especially rich and flavorful. Higher grades of Keemun are also sweet, fruity, and pleasantly full-bodied with a delicate smoky nuance.

Keemun is great by itself. But if you want a slightly different taste, the tea also goes well with a bit of milk and sugar.

Darjeeling

Named for the Darjeeling province in northeast India, this fine drink is another organic black tea worth trying. Often referred to as the “Champagne of teas,” Darjeeling is praised for its aroma and delicate flavor. Incidentally, the Darjeeling region also produces excellent green and oolong teas – both known for their delicate tastes. The organic black teas are delicately flavorful but still full-bodied and succulent with a wide range of flavors from floral to nutty and sometimes with subtle muscatel notes.

Lapsang Souchong

Another organic black tea from China and Taiwan, Lapsang Souchong is also a style of tea with an intensely strong smoky flavor that many find, if not particularly delicious, then intriguing. The flavor is produced by drying the leaves over a smoldering pine fire. This organic black tea is made from larger leaves that contain lower amounts of caffeine, making it a popular evening drink.

Lapsang Souchong is not for everyone’s palate. If you want to experiment a little with your organic black tea, try some and decide for yourself.

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How Can I Tell If I’m Gluten Intolerant?

About 1 in every 133 Americans is gluten intolerant. The majority of people who are gluten intolerant do not even know that they are. The reason for this is that the symptoms are so commonplace that it is easy to assume that you’re just feeling a little “off”.

Over time, people get used to feeling these symptoms and just assume that they have poor health or they are getting old. In reality, they are gluten intolerant and they’re consuming foods that is just not agreeing with their body’s constitution.

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This article will highlight a few common symptoms that many gluten intolerant people experience. If you see these signs recurring in your daily life, you might want to see a doctor and check things out.

If you feel bloated, have gas all the time and suffer from constipation, you might be gluten intolerant. Your intestines are having issues with the food you’re consuming. Diarrhea is also a common symptom.

Your energy level is another indicator. Are you always feeling lethargic? You’re 28 but feel like you’re 208? Gluten intolerant people feel totally drained after a meal because of the effects in the digestive tract. The larger the meals, the more exhausted you feel. This is something that you can easily monitor.

How do you feel after you eat? Do you get irritated or angry easily? This is another sign of gluten intolerance.

Swollen glands are another indicator of gluten intolerance. In fact, this is one of the best indicators. If your glands are swollen, there is definitely an issue in your body that requires attention. If this happens frequently, you shouldn’t just brush it aside as “just one of those things that will go away”. You may be gluten intolerant.

Migraines, cluster headaches, tension headaches, etc. that occur frequently after your meals could be symptoms of gluten intolerance. Many people seek treatment for the headaches by using aspirin or other methods. The relief while temporary, does nothing to solve the problem. Only a gluten-free lifestyle can put an end to your headaches.

Inflammation in the body is one of those signs of gluten intolerance that is often misdiagnosed. People think they are having muscular aches or poor blood circulation. Everything is blamed except gluten and that’s because most people aren’t even aware of what gluten intolerance is.

If your body constantly aches or if the joints feel swollen and painful all the time, you’re suffering from inflammation. Either that or you’re learning kung-fu. Since it will most probably be the former, you’re just gluten intolerant. You need to change your diet.

There is an old adage that goes, “It’s not what you eat. It’s what is eating you that causes ill health.” Sorry… if you’re gluten intolerant, it’s totally what you eat. We’ll save the adage for later. For now, you need to avoid gluten.

Even the way you feel is affected. Feeling down? Feeling depressed? Just not feeling good? It could be gluten.

Suddenly developing rashes? Eczema? Keratosis pilaris? It could be gluten.

As you can see, if you’re gluten intolerant, there are so many ways you can be affected. The best thing to do would be to keep a journal to record the food you eat and how you feel. Over time, you will notice a pattern and realize what is triggering the problems. From there it’s just a matter of tweaking your diet to end the symptoms.

Take an active interest in the way you feel and what you eat. If you planning on living a long, healthy life, you have to start today.

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