BY TEAM HEAT (Devon Cormack & Heather Hardy) | When you combine beautiful bridges, parks and exciting city streets with the hot summer sun, the five boroughs can truly be a runner’s dream. As a professional boxer, running is part of my workout routine. Every day, I run from Gleason’s Gym across the Brooklyn Bridge, through Chinatown and back into Brooklyn by way of the Manhattan Bridge — and I never get tired of the sights, the sounds and the smells. Okay, maybe not the smells…but everything else makes me wonder why any New Yorker would choose to climb onto a treadmill!
A good run in the summer sun can be beneficial to your physical, chemical and emotional health. It will tighten and tone the legs, burn calories, increase stamina and endurance and keep your heart pumping firm and strong. You can relax, listen to some music and be at peace with your mind and the road. But there are many precautions to be taken — before and after — to ensure we get the most out of our run, without injuring our bodies. Before bolting out for that quick three miles on your lunch hour, make sure you follow these simple steps.
Drinking water is so important before, during and after any physical workout. If you can’t carry water with you, make sure you hydrate before. Do not leave for your run thirsty. Water lubricates your joints, tendons and ligaments and helps carry blood and oxygen to all your major organs.
WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES
Don’t wear anything ill-fitting. There’s nothing worse than shorts that ride up, pants that are too tight or an itchy T-shirt tag that will kill the overall mood of your run.
GOOD RUNNING SHOES
This is one of those investments that will pay off time and time again. Not all sneakers are meant for running — so when choosing that all-important pair of shoes, make sure you have plenty of wiggle room in your toes and make sure they’re not too tight on your heel. Otherwise, you could wind up with blisters before you clock your first mile. A good pair of running shoes should give you 400-500 miles — and your feet, knees and back will all thank you along the way.
Though there are conflicting reports about whether or not stretching is beneficial to a run, take it from a girl who does roughly eight miles a day and stretch! Just five minutes of pre-run stretching should do it. Not so much that you fatigue or overdo the muscles, but enough for your legs to be loose and ready to hit the pavement.
You want to make sure to loosen up your hamstring, groin muscles, calves, shins and quads. See the photos and captions for a few simple stretches that can be done without apparatus, for a few minutes before you begin running.
Enjoy your run!
Devon Cormack and Heather “The Heat” Hardy work as personal trainers, while prepping for fights — at Gleason’s Gym (77 Front St., Brooklyn). Hardy, a single mom, is currently a professional boxer with a 6-0 (and 1 TKO) record. Before turning pro, she won championships in Muay Thai and Kickboxing. As a Golden Gloves contestant, she won silver in 2011 and gold in 2012 (125-pound division). Chelsea resident Devon Cormack is a three-time World Kickboxing Champion who coordinates fight scenes for film & TV. If you have a fitness or nutrition question for Heather or Devon, send an email to email@example.com. Visit heathertheheathardy.net and follow her at facebook.com/TheHeatHeatherHardy. Also visit gleasonsgym.net.