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The post Win 3 months worth of fruit & veg boxes from Abel & Cole! appeared first on Women's Running.

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From the early days of endless nappies and feeding on demand, to the years of school runs and constant ferrying to play dates and after-clubs, grabbing a few minutes for yourself can seem impossible. In fact almost a third of mothers (30%) said that they had less than an hour to take for themselves each day.

The latest research from Sport England has revealed that not only do mums feel that they don’t have time to exercise but that 61% of mums feel guilty about taking time out to exercise. The survey of over 1,000 mothers of children up to 6 years old, showed that most would prioritise being with family, cooking and housework over time for themselves to workout. This is despite 77% of mothers wanting to do more exercise.

Mum, Natalie Lee said, “Feeling guilty and motherhood are undoubtedly synonymous. Exercise is another thing on the long list of stuff to feel guilty about.”

The new research will inform the latest campaign from This Girl Can. It is set to help busy mums fit exercise into their hectic schedules, providing them with a series of tips, advice and home work out ideas.

This Girl Can: Fit Got Real - YouTube

Lisa O’Keefe, Insight Director at Sport England commented, “Our insights show that children with active parents – particularly mothers – are more likely to be active themselves. And children who have positive experiences of sport and physical activity early on are also more likely to prioritise being active in later life.”

Findings suggest that active mums have more active children and that the mothers have a greater influence on children’s activity levels compared to fathers. Sport’s England found young people aged between 11-15 with an active mother are more likely to be active, than those with a non-active mother. By taking time to keep active, mothers actually benefit the health of their whole family.

Psychologist, Emma Kenny said, “This research gives mums a really powerful message about the importance of self-care. As a mum, you may believe that looking after everyone else’s needs is your main priority, but the truth is that you need to take care of yourself first and foremost, because that ensures you have the energy to look after those you love.” 

The Minister for Sport and Civil Society , Mims Davies added, “This research makes clear just how influential mums can be on their children’s physical activity levels, which is so important for mental wellbeing, educational outcomes and development of important life skills like teamwork and leadership. We are determined to get half a million more people into sport and physical activity across England by 2020, with at least half of these being women.”

For more information about This Girl Can, visit their website.

To see Sport England’s research, visit their website.

If you want to get more active, see our 12 running hacks for busy mums.

The post Over 60% of mums say exercising makes them feel guilty appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women's Running Magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 1w ago

For those runners who pronate (your foot rolls inwards when you run), these support shoes will ensure both comfort and speed.

Brooks Ravenna 10

£110| brooksrunning.com

The Brooks Ravenna 10 have a new GuideRails holistic support system, and with an updated midsole with additional foam under the forefoot, this shoe offers a longer-lasting and energising run experience. Considering they are support shoes, they felt almost too light on first wear. True to size, with a comfort level that will rival your slippers, they look stunning, feel instantly comfortable and offer solid support to overpronators without looking bulky and built up. As they are lighter shoes, they are probably best suited for shorter distances, road or light, dry trails – although on an eight-mile run they were consistently comfortable and performed exceptionally well. They have a soft upper, which offers great breathability, with laces which stay tied and they have a good tread too. Overall, the Ravenna 10 is versatile; it’s available in three colours and two different widths, and is suitable for racing, training or just wearing with summer shorts.

HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 3

£115, hokaoneone.com

The Arahi 3 has a fantastically supportive ride. For runners with mild to severe pronation, these shoes provide dynamic stability, supporting the foot by guiding it through its natural gait cycle. They do that without being too bulky or rigid. The sole is wonderfully cushioned, with a heel rocker that really encourages correct alignment of the mid-foot with great propulsion for a smooth ride. What is really impressive is how they offer maximum cushioning and support while being supremely lightweight. It’s almost like you’re running on air. A lightweight upper, engineered with a breathable mesh, keeps your foot cool and dry on longer runs. These trainers look fantastic, coming in a gorgeous pink and indigo colour and all at a really reasonable price too.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080V9

£135, newbalance.co.uk

The full-length Fresh Foam midsole along with the Orthalite insole gives a comfortable, relaxed ride. The superior arch support inspires confidence on multi-terrain runs and we found the toe-box to be very roomy too. In changeable seasonal weather, feet stay remarkably dry, which may be in part down to the snug double-jacquard upper which is super stretchy and comfortable on the top of the foot. This shoe is light, but being a serious support shoe, it’s not as lightweight as some, so you don’t feel that great propulsion so much on the strike. But you will get 100% reassurance that your foot is hitting the ground correctly by stopping your over-pronation, making your runs feel effortless.

Saucony Hurricane ISO 5

£140, saucony.com

This shoe is excellent for extra support and stability. The full length Everun midsole plus topsole offers good energy return and a luxurious cushioned feel underfoot. Designed for runners with mild to severe pronation, the ISOFIT system adapts to the shape and motion of the runner’s foot. It has a breathable mesh upper with ISOFIT that wraps your foot and reduces excess motion. The shape and style may look wide on first outing, but you soon enjoy the extra breathability and comfort. These shoes come in two striking colourway options; whether it’s blue/turquoise or the gunmetal/navy shoe, they certainly make a statement. These are running shoes you will want to wear all the time straight out of the box and they need little time to be broken in because they adapt immediately to your foot.

On Cloudace

£170, on-running.com

These are a stylish, super-comfortable road shoe that offer maximum support and comfort plus a smooth ride. Although not overly lightweight, they have great bounce thanks to CloudTec, which provides great landing and cushioning, particularly when pounding the streets on long runs. They tend to be on the narrow side, so you want to purchase a size larger. They initially feel slightly stiff, but once the laces are adjusted correctly and you’ve completed a few break-in runs, this shoe moulds beautifully to your foot, offering great support in midfoot without being restrictive. They’re adequately waterproof and breathable, thanks to the upper mesh and have useful reflective logos. As a bonus, these shoes are an attractive design, so wouldn’t look out of place worn casually with jeans

Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 111 May 2019.

How we test: These road shoes have been tested by real runners: passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathoners to happy plodders. Our group testers have run in the shoes our their usual runs to see if they go the distance. They give each piece of kit a star rating.

Looking for a pair of road shoes instead? Check out our top picks.

The post Best support shoes for runners appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women's Running Magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 1w ago

Road shoes are the workhorses of our running wardrobe: it’s essential to choose carefully, as you’re going to be in them a lot! These road shoes have been tested by real runners: passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathoners to happy plodders. Our group testers have run in the shoes our their usual runs to see if they go the distance. They give each piece of kit a star rating.

Altra Torin 3.5

£120, altrafootwear.co.uk

These shoes fit perfectly for long runs, due to the breathable mesh upper which keeps your feet cool, while the ingenious foot shape toe box enables toes to relax and spread out naturally. It has a zero- drop platform that places your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground to encourage proper, low-impact form throughout your run, and it cleverly customises to the foot for a bespoke fit.

UnderArmour Hovr Infinite

£120, underarmour.co.uk

There’s plenty of plush padding around the heel and in the tongue of these shoes, making them an extremely comfortable ride. They feel true to size, though there’s a good amount of space for the foot to expand, which may not appeal to runners who like a tight, snug fit. The HOVR cushioning feels great to run in, and this is a versatile shoe that will probably see you run happy at any distance.

On Cloud Surfer

£135, on-running.com/en-gb

The love affair with ONs continues. Running with the cloud surfer is truly like running on air. This shoe is super responsive, enabling a quicker foot strike. It’s a good-looking shoe, comfortable from the moment you wear it. It’s light and provides outstanding grip and traction. This is the perfect shoe for a speed session, racing or road running both long and short distances.

Asics Dynaflyte 3 Lite Show

£140, asics.com

This shoe is recommended for a fast, neutral runner. They are light, comfortable and feel very springy. Ideal for speed sessions but also for those longer runs. The flight foam cushions the impact of running without losing the connection with the ground. It has a smooth heel to toe transition and is extremely comfortable during long runs. The gel cushioning provides lightweight support and protection against any rubbing.

Salomon Predict RA

£140, salomon.com

The Salomon Predict running shoe has created a whole new structure. It features new bespoke cushioning that supports you where and when you need it, building a platform that moves with the human foot. Your foot will feel snug all round as it has 360° upper fit, a firm moulded heel and a highly cushioned base giving great support without restriction. Secure, stable but soft, you will experience a smooth run with these.

Brooks Transcend

£140, brooksrunning.com

The Brooks Transcend is a great choice for the longer distance road runs. The fit is aimed with comfort in mind and runs seem effortlessly supportive. The stretch knit upper provides flexibility and freedom, while the sturdy supportive heel propels you with confidence in its rigidity. This stylish shoe will transcend you to the finish line.

Mizuno Wave Inspire

£125, mizuno.eu

This upgrade boasts a new heel wedge and de-coupled sole design with more flexibility so you can feel the extra support on the heel area as you run. The cosy fit toe box adjusts to a stretchier fit after a few runs, but this is a solid every day running shoe. A fun and eye-catching design.

Reebok Floatride

£84.95, reebok.co.uk

This shoe is good for any speed or distance. It has a lightweight, flexible upper and a comfy but responsive sole. Full midsole contact keeps it flexible and lightweight. It’s quite narrow in the toe and heel, but once laced through the back eyelets it’s secure. A shoe for all occasions.

361 Feisu

£99.99, 361europe.com/en

Featuring a stable sole with a guide line to reduce lateral movement and high heel-toe drop (10mm). The grip is good, with durable rubber under the heel, and it has a generous toe box. To keep the weight low the upper is minimal. This could be a perfect choice in racing shoe for heel strikers.

Saucony Liberty ISOr

£140, saucony.co.uk

This shoe is a great choice for the road, its responsive and alert with every stride. The fit is snug as the frame design adds support all around the foot on the strike. The toe box has plenty of room for the wider foot and the higher laces and upper add to the confidence you have when running in these shoes. The Everun sole puts emphasis on support and comfort over flexibility of the shoe.

Hoka Clifton 5

£115, hokaoneone.com

The Clifton 5 are light, superbly cushioned and very fast. They have technology unique to Hoka that provides midsole geometry, which feels great underfoot – even in the later miles of a long run. They have a mesh upper construction, which aids breathability and comfort to keep your feet nice and cool. The full ground contact design provides great traction on all surfaces, even muddy ones! It’s a stylish trainer.

Adidas Ultraboost 19

£159.95, adidas.co.uk

The PrimeKnit upper feels so supportive in these shoes, so you’re getting a very snug and highly breathable all-over fit. The Boost midsole is probably the bounciest you will run in and just makes you feel that you have so much more energy in every stride. With Continental Rubber on the outsole the traction is superior. It’s a very flexible shoe but there’s enough support and structure that you feel confident to really fly.

Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 111 March 2019.

The post Best in test: road shoes appeared first on Women's Running.

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Inspiring, entertaining (and free) podcasts to keep you focused during each run, and encourage you to keep going.

How we test:

Our kit and tech reviews are tested by real runners: passionate women with diverse running experiences from dedicated marathoners to happy plodders!

Running For Real

Tina Muir

The awe-inspiring Tina Muir and her guests are so engaging. This podcast is more than worthy of your time. Tina knows about running, and her bubbly personality and enthusiasm shine through the talks. These are down to earth interviews, which provide a lot of advice and motivation for runners of all abilities. If you’re new to podcasts, you will definitely take something from Running For Real. There is a wide range of topics covered, all issues we face as runners. An excellent podcast!

Run Selfie Repeat

Kelly Roberts

Inspiring runner Kelly Roberts shares a broad range of interesting and thought-provoking ideas in her Run, Selfie, Repeat podcast. You may find yourself with a renewed sense of purpose and acceptance, not just as a runner, but overall as a person. Subjects and themes explored include; grief and loss, ‘do what you’re bad at’ (encouraging you to take risks and step outside your comfort zone), resolutions, realistic and unrealistic goals, positive body image and talks with a sports psychologist.

I’ll Have Another

Lindsey Hein

Amazing runner and broadcaster Lindsey Hein hosts a series of conversations and interviews that leave you feeling inspired and entertained. Each episode features Lindsey talking to different friends, athletes, entrepreneurs, social justice seekers and comedians. The podcast is light and often funny but with a side of serious. With over 150 episodes to pick from there is sure to be one that interests you. From each one you will come away with a different way to look at things or a few new ideas.

Run To The Top: Beginners to Masters

Stephanie Atwood

This shoe is recommended for a fast, neutral runner. They are light, comfortable and feel very springy. Ideal for speed sessions but also for those longer runs. The flight foam cushions the impact of running without losing the connection with the ground. It has a smooth heel to toe transition and is extremely comfortable during long runs. The gel cushioning provides lightweight support and protection against any rubbing.

If music is your motivation, be sure to check out the Women’s Running Spotify playlist on your next run.

The post 4 of the best (and free) podcasts to run to appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women's Running Magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 2w ago

Running, weight, food and health: the ideal is to have a perfect balance between all these things. But alarmingly, all too frequently this balance can tip in the wrong direction. We uncover the truths about running and disordered eating, and find out what we can do to help us all achieve the right balance.

Running is a fantastic way to look after ourselves as part of an all-round healthy lifestyle. But sometimes the balance can swing and we find we’re running for reasons other than for the enjoyment and strength that running brings; running purely to burn calories, running to justify what we eat. It’s easy to develop a negative relationship between running and food. The topic of disordered eating in runners is a sensitive one, but it’s important that we understand it – for our own health, for the health of those around us who may need our support, and to ensure that we’re encouraging the next generation to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise.

Disordered eating

The term ‘disordered eating’ describes a range of eating behaviours including the most commonly known eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. An eating disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis, made by a specialist, when behaviours fit certain criteria. When behaviours don’t align with these criteria, then they may be called disordered eating.

Disordered eating can still be serious, have an effect on physical and mental health and need expert help. Orthorexia is an example of disordered eating not currently classified as a separate eating disorder. Orthorexia is the obsession with eating ‘correctly’; not focusing on the calorific value of foods but on their composition and whether it is perceived as healthy, ‘clean’ or ‘pure’, to an extent that the focus becomes obsessive and harmful.

It’s crucial to know that you can’t tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them. Weight can be normal, many underweight people do not have eating disorders and many overweight people do. We should never assume. This means it’s vital that we understand and recognise the different types of eating disorder and the warning signs that might mean we or someone close to us needs support.

Eating disorders

Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, estimates that 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder. Women make up 75%, with the highest risk being between the age of 12 and 20. 25% of eating disorder sufferers are men, though this number may be higher, with men feeling less able to approach a doctor for diagnosis. We don’t fully understand what causes eating disorders, but we do know that it’s usually a complex mix of psychological, environmental and possibly genetic factors. Traumatic life events, difficult close relationships and external pressure from society can all contribute. Importantly, eating disorders are not just about food per se, rather they are about the feelings of the person who has the disorder, and how those feelings make them behave with respect to food.

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses and shouldn’t be underestimated. A full recovery is possible though, with the right treatment and support. There are many different types of eating disorder but they include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Sometimes a person’s symptoms don’t fit into these categories and they may be given a diagnosis of OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder).

Anorexia

With anorexia (also known as anorexia nervosa), a person restricts their food and energy intake to the point where their low weight becomes harmful to their health. Around 10 per cent of people with an eating disorder have anorexia and it has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, so it’s very serious.

Who gets it?

Women are 10 times more likely to develop anorexia than men and it typically starts in the mid-teens.

Characteristics

Distorted body image. Despite being underweight, people with anorexia perceive themselves as overweight and deliberately try to lose weight. Fear of weight gain. Thoughts of gaining weight and becoming fat
can induce feelings of fear and a dread of eating. Reduced intake. Sufferers minimise eating and drinking. They may pretend to eat, lie, hide food and miss meals. Vomiting after eating, taking appetite suppressants or using laxatives are typical behaviours used to minimise calorie intake. Increased output. Excessive exercise and movement is a common way to use up calories and induce weight loss.

Bulimia

Bulimia (also called bulimia nervosa) describes a cycle of binge eating followed by a behaviour to rid the body of the excessive calories. Approximately 40 per cent of people with eating disorders have bulimia and like anorexia, it should be considered a serious mental illness.

Who gets it?

Bulimia is becoming increasingly common in men and boys. Around two in 100 women in the UK have bulimia and it tends to start in adolescence or early adulthood and a little later than anorexia.

Characteristics

Bingeing. Consuming large amounts of food quickly, with a lack of control and sometimes a disconnection from the behaviour. Purging. Self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, periods of starvation and laxative or diuretic (water tablets) can be used to try and get rid of the consumed calories.

Distorted body image. People with bulimia often view themselves as much larger than they really are.
Altered behaviour. Mood swings and irritability are common, especially at meal times or after bingeing or purging behaviours, which can be distressing and cause guilt and shame.

Binge eating disorder

Binge eating is not as simple as over-indulgence. It’s a mental illness where people consume large quantities of food on a regular basis and feel unable to control this.

Who gets it?

Anyone, male or female, can develop binge eating disorder. It tends to start a little later in life, usually in the 30s and 40s.

Characteristics

Bingeing. Either in a planned way or spontaneously, usually alone, sufferers consume large quantities of food very quickly. Even if they don’t feel hungry they can’t stop themselves and eat until they are over full.

Altered behaviour. Mood swings, irritability and isolation are warning flags that something is wrong. Behaviours to enable bingeing may be hidden but include buying large quantities of food and planning the day around binges.

“I find it hard to balance my weight due to binge eating and lack of exercise,” says Sasha. “When I overeat I have feelings of guilt and shame which impact on my motivation to exercise. If I do feel positive enough to exercise, I notice how ‘bad’ I am, which again leaves me with feelings of guilt and shame – so I binge and the process starts all over again.

“I am working closely with mental health professionals to try and break the cycle. I know the path could be a very long one, but every day I can see some small improvements.”

The consequences

Almost every part of the body can be affected by eating disorders, especially if the condition has been present for years. Effects include:

• Constipation, abdominal pain and bloating.
• Weakness and dizziness from periods of starvation.
• Tiredness yet difficulty sleeping.
• Poor concentration, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
• Anxiety and depression.
• Isolation and social withdrawal.
• Other forms of self-harm such as cutting or alcohol misuse.
• Tooth enamel and vocal cord damage by repeated contact with acid vomit in bulimia.
• Irregular or absent menstrual periods (amenorrhoea) in bulimia and anorexia.
• Infertility and difficulty conceiving.
• Reduced bone density (osteoporosis).
• Liver, kidney and heart damage due to chemical imbalances in the body induced by anorexia and bulimia.
• Obesity from excessive calories in binge eating disorder leading to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.
• Death. It’s very rare to die from bulimia, but anorexia can be a life threatening condition if not treated.

Treatment for eating disorders

The earlier someone gets treatment for their eating disorder, the higher the chance of success. Treatment focuses on understanding the thoughts and feelings behind the disorder and developing healthy coping strategies and a different relationship with food. This needs to be carried out by specialists using psychological therapies and to access these you need to see your GP.

“It’s really important to seek help if you have, or think you may have an eating disorder,” says GP, Dr Kate Breckon. “It’s very difficult to tackle alone and can be hard to admit, even to yourself.” Seeing your GP can feel daunting so Dr Breckon explains what you can expect. “A good GP will listen to your story, ask about your eating, your day to day life, and your mood. They will enquire about your physical health, your periods, and any changes in your body. They may examine you, take your blood pressure and suggest you have some blood tests. At some stage they will ask to weigh and measure you. This can be difficult to accept, but it’s important to do every so often, to monitor the severity of the disorder. This doesn’t all necessarily need to be done on the first meeting. Your GP can direct you to national and local charities that will support you and refer you onto specialist services. Your GP will always be happy for you to take someone with you, and writing down what you want to say before you go can help. The first time you talk about it is hard, but can bring a sense of relief that it’s shared and hope for a better future.”

RED-S

In any type of disordered eating there can be a mismatch between the energy taken in and the energy expended.

When the mismatch is a negative one there can be serious consequences on the body. Dr Nicky Keay, Sports and Dance Endocrinologist and Honorary Fellow of the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University, is an expert on RED-S – which stands for Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport – and leads the RED-S clinic at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

“Essentially RED-S means that energy intake is insufficient to cover the energy demands of training and basic body function,” she says. “Preferentially, energy intake goes to cover training demands. The residual energy is known as energy availability and is used to cover life processes to keep healthy.

If energy availability is insufficient, then the body goes into energy saving mode and switches off some biological systems. For example, in women, menstrual cycles become disrupted or stop, digestive function becomes impaired and bones weaken.”

Low energy availability will result in adverse effects on both performance and general health. “Specifically for female runners, lack of menstrual cycles due to RED-S doubles the risk of two or more stress fractures due to progressive bone weakness.

“In addition to increased injury risk, there are many potential health issues, such as adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, immune function and mood. RED-S also limits your running performance and the ability to reach your full potential as an athlete.”

If you think you may be affected by RED-S then you need to seek a diagnosis from your GP. “In the first instance, other medical conditions need to be ruled out,” explains Dr Keay. “And if RED-S is confirmed as the diagnosis, appropriate management discussed.”

Achieving a healthy relationship with food

So how can we get the right balance between our eating and running? “As soon as food or training becomes an obstacle in everyday life, then it’s a warning sign to take stock,” says Renee McGregor, Sports and Eating Disorder Specialist Dietician and author of Orthorexia, Training Food and Fast Fuel books. She offers these tips:

  • Listen to your body. As a society we are losing the ability to use internal cues to make decisions. We look at other people, social media and fitness trends, and make decisions based on these external cues rather than what will work for us. We need to listen to what our body needs. When our body is working well and is balanced and in harmony, then it works with us to naturally regulate our appetite.
  • Stop feeling you need to earn your food. Your daily run only accounts for a small percentage of the energy your body uses each day. Therefore missing a run will not have as big an impact on your weight as you might think it does.
  • Ask yourself if you are really in control. While you may feel like you’re in control, you’re only really in control when you have choices. So if you can choose to run or not run, eat a pizza or not eat it and not feel controlled by what you’re doing, only then are you truly in control.
  • Know that just being you is enough. You don’t have to prove yourself through times and distances or the shape of your body. Particularly as women, we often don’t feel worthy, that we have to prove our place.
  • Running should be one part of you. Your happiness shouldn’t just depend on running; you should be happy both with it and without it. Family, friends, work and other hobbies should be fulfilling you too. It’s a warning sign if running is your sole focus.
  • Take time out. Make time to be present and mindful, to calm the anxious mind. Try swapping a run for yoga based activities to reduce anxiety and increase strength.

The warning signs

Do you have disordered eating patterns? Ask yourself these questions to find out if you should seek support.

#1 Is food dominating your life?

#2 Do you think you are fat when other people say you are too thin?

#3 Do you feel you have lost control of your eating?

#4 Have you lost a stone or more in weight over the last three months?

#5 Do you ever make yourself sick or take laxatives because you feel uncomfortably full?

These are the signs to look out for in others.

#1 Altered mood, irritability and withdrawing from social activities.

#2 Losing weight or wearing baggy clothes to hide body shape.

#3 Secretive behaviours such as shutting themselves in the loo after eating, and hiding food, wrappers and laxatives.

#4 Avoiding family meal times, being fussy, eating slowly, moving food around the plate.

#5 Spending lots of time reading food labels and calorie counting.

#6 Becoming distressed if unable to exercise, or exercising when injured.

Help is at hand
  • If you think you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, then go to the Beat website for further information and advice.
  • Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity. It raises awareness and understanding of eating disorders as well as offering support and advice for anyone affected.
  • It hosts an  and helpline (0808 801 0677) because Beat knows that the faster people get help, the greater their chance of making a full recovery.
  • The NHS now has a dedicated RED-S clinic at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, in London. You can ask your GP to refer you directly to Dr Wolman’s RED-S clinic.
  • The EN:SPIRE clinic (Endocrine Nutrition, Specialist Practice In Restoring Equilibrium) will open soon in Bath. It will be the first Sports, Dance and Eating Disorders recovery clinic in the UK and will be designed to cater for anyone who feels they have RED-S, Over Training Syndrome or an eating disorder.
Further reading

Online
For information on RED-S visit health4performance.co.uk the world’s first open-access educational resource on RED-S, written by Dr Nicky Keay and hosted by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine website.

#TRAINBRAVE
Sharing stories, raising awareness and providing resources and support about eating disorders and RED-S for athletes and coaches.
trainbrave.org

Books
Overcoming Amenorrhea: Get Your Period Back. Get Your Life Back by Tina Muir
Orthorexia: When Healthy Eating Goes Bad by Renee McGregor and Bee Wilson

The post Running and disordered eating appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women's Running Magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 2w ago


Running, weight, food and health: the ideal is to have a perfect balance between all these things. But alarmingly, all too frequently this balance can tip in the wrong direction. We uncover the truths about running and disordered eating, and find out what we can do to help us all achieve the right balance.

Running is a fantastic way to look after ourselves as part of an all-round healthy lifestyle. But sometimes the balance can swing and we find we’re running for reasons other than for the enjoyment and strength that running brings; running purely to burn calories, running to justify what we eat. It’s easy to develop a negative relationship between running and food. The topic of disordered eating in runners is a sensitive one, but it’s important that we understand it – for our own health, for the health of those around us who may need our support, and to ensure that we’re encouraging the next generation to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise.

Disordered eating

The term ‘disordered eating’ describes a range of eating behaviours including the most commonly known eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. An eating disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis, made by a specialist, when behaviours fit certain criteria. When behaviours don’t align with these criteria, then they may be called disordered eating.

Disordered eating can still be serious, have an effect on physical and mental health and need expert help. Orthorexia is an example of disordered eating not currently classified as a separate eating disorder. Orthorexia is the obsession with eating ‘correctly’; not focusing on the calorific value of foods but on their composition and whether it is perceived as healthy, ‘clean’ or ‘pure’, to an extent that the focus becomes obsessive and harmful.

It’s crucial to know that you can’t tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them. Weight can be normal, many underweight people do not have eating disorders and many overweight people do. We should never assume. This means it’s vital that we understand and recognise the different types of eating disorder and the warning signs that might mean we or someone close to us needs support.

Eating disorders

Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, estimates that 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder. Women make up 75%, with the highest risk being between the age of 12 and 20. 25% of eating disorder sufferers are men, though this number may be higher, with men feeling less able to approach a doctor for diagnosis. We don’t fully understand what causes eating disorders, but we do know that it’s usually a complex mix of psychological, environmental and possibly genetic factors. Traumatic life events, difficult close relationships and external pressure from society can all contribute. Importantly, eating disorders are not just about food per se, rather they are about the feelings of the person who has the disorder, and how those feelings make them behave with respect to food.

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses and shouldn’t be underestimated. A full recovery is possible though, with the right treatment and support. There are many different types of eating disorder but they include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Sometimes a person’s symptoms don’t fit into these categories and they may be given a diagnosis of OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder).

Anorexia

With anorexia (also known as anorexia nervosa), a person restricts their food and energy intake to the point where their low weight becomes harmful to their health. Around 10 per cent of people with an eating disorder have anorexia and it has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, so it’s very serious.

Who gets it?

Women are 10 times more likely to develop anorexia than men and it typically starts in the mid-teens.

Characteristics

Distorted body image. Despite being underweight, people with anorexia perceive themselves as overweight and deliberately try to lose weight. Fear of weight gain. Thoughts of gaining weight and becoming fat
can induce feelings of fear and a dread of eating. Reduced intake. Sufferers minimise eating and drinking. They may pretend to eat, lie, hide food and miss meals. Vomiting after eating, taking appetite suppressants or using laxatives are typical behaviours used to minimise calorie intake. Increased output. Excessive exercise and movement is a common way to use up calories and induce weight loss.

Bulimia

Bulimia (also called bulimia nervosa) describes a cycle of binge eating followed by a behaviour to rid the body of the excessive calories. Approximately 40 per cent of people with eating disorders have bulimia and like anorexia, it should be considered a serious mental illness.

Who gets it?

Bulimia is becoming increasingly common in men and boys. Around two in 100 women in the UK have bulimia and it tends to start in adolescence or early adulthood and a little later than anorexia.

Characteristics

Bingeing. Consuming large amounts of food quickly, with a lack of control and sometimes a disconnection from the behaviour. Purging. Self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, periods of starvation and laxative or diuretic (water tablets) can be used to try and get rid of the consumed calories.

Distorted body image. People with bulimia often view themselves as much larger than they really are.
Altered behaviour. Mood swings and irritability are common, especially at meal times or after bingeing or purging behaviours, which can be distressing and cause guilt and shame.

Binge eating disorder

Binge eating is not as simple as over-indulgence. It’s a mental illness where people consume large quantities of food on a regular basis and feel unable to control this.

Who gets it?

Anyone, male or female, can develop binge eating disorder. It tends to start a little later in life, usually in the 30s and 40s.

Characteristics

Bingeing. Either in a planned way or spontaneously, usually alone, sufferers consume large quantities of food very quickly. Even if they don’t feel hungry they can’t stop themselves and eat until they are over full.

Altered behaviour. Mood swings, irritability and isolation are warning flags that something is wrong. Behaviours to enable bingeing may be hidden but include buying large quantities of food and planning the day around binges.

“I find it hard to balance my weight due to binge eating and lack of exercise,” says Sasha. “When I overeat I have feelings of guilt and shame which impact on my motivation to exercise. If I do feel positive enough to exercise, I notice how ‘bad’ I am, which again leaves me with feelings of guilt and shame – so I binge and the process starts all over again.

“I am working closely with mental health professionals to try and break the cycle. I know the path could be a very long one, but every day I can see some small improvements.”

The consequences

Almost every part of the body can be affected by eating disorders, especially if the condition has been present for years. Effects include:

• Constipation, abdominal pain and bloating.
• Weakness and dizziness from periods of starvation.
• Tiredness yet difficulty sleeping.
• Poor concentration, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
• Anxiety and depression.
• Isolation and social withdrawal.
• Other forms of self-harm such as cutting or alcohol misuse.
• Tooth enamel and vocal cord damage by repeated contact with acid vomit in bulimia.
• Irregular or absent menstrual periods (amenorrhoea) in bulimia and anorexia.
• Infertility and difficulty conceiving.
• Reduced bone density (osteoporosis).
• Liver, kidney and heart damage due to chemical imbalances in the body induced by anorexia and bulimia.
• Obesity from excessive calories in binge eating disorder leading to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.
• Death. It’s very rare to die from bulimia, but anorexia can be a life threatening condition if not treated.

Treatment for eating disorders

The earlier someone gets treatment for their eating disorder, the higher the chance of success. Treatment focuses on understanding the thoughts and feelings behind the disorder and developing healthy coping strategies and a different relationship with food. This needs to be carried out by specialists using psychological therapies and to access these you need to see your GP.

“It’s really important to seek help if you have, or think you may have an eating disorder,” says GP, Dr Kate Breckon. “It’s very difficult to tackle alone and can be hard to admit, even to yourself.” Seeing your GP can feel daunting so Dr Breckon explains what you can expect. “A good GP will listen to your story, ask about your eating, your day to day life, and your mood. They will enquire about your physical health, your periods, and any changes in your body. They may examine you, take your blood pressure and suggest you have some blood tests. At some stage they will ask to weigh and measure you. This can be difficult to accept, but it’s important to do every so often, to monitor the severity of the disorder. This doesn’t all necessarily need to be done on the first meeting. Your GP can direct you to national and local charities that will support you and refer you onto specialist services. Your GP will always be happy for you to take someone with you, and writing down what you want to say before you go can help. The first time you talk about it is hard, but can bring a sense of relief that it’s shared and hope for a better future.”

RED-S

In any type of disordered eating there can be a mismatch between the energy taken in and the energy expended.

When the mismatch is a negative one there can be serious consequences on the body. Dr Nicky Keay, Sports and Dance Endocrinologist and Honorary Fellow of the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University, is an expert on RED-S – which stands for Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport – and leads the RED-S clinic at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

“Essentially RED-S means that energy intake is insufficient to cover the energy demands of training and basic body function,” she says. “Preferentially, energy intake goes to cover training demands. The residual energy is known as energy availability and is used to cover life processes to keep healthy.

If energy availability is insufficient, then the body goes into energy saving mode and switches off some biological systems. For example, in women, menstrual cycles become disrupted or stop, digestive function becomes impaired and bones weaken.”

Low energy availability will result in adverse effects on both performance and general health. “Specifically for female runners, lack of menstrual cycles due to RED-S doubles the risk of two or more stress fractures due to progressive bone weakness.

“In addition to increased injury risk, there are many potential health issues, such as adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, immune function and mood. RED-S also limits your running performance and the ability to reach your full potential as an athlete.”

If you think you may be affected by RED-S then you need to seek a diagnosis from your GP. “In the first instance, other medical conditions need to be ruled out,” explains Dr Keay. “And if RED-S is confirmed as the diagnosis, appropriate management discussed.”

Achieving a healthy relationship with food

So how can we get the right balance between our eating and running? “As soon as food or training becomes an obstacle in everyday life, then it’s a warning sign to take stock,” says Renee McGregor, Sports and Eating Disorder Specialist Dietician and author of Orthorexia, Training Food and Fast Fuel books. She offers these tips:

  • Listen to your body. As a society we are losing the ability to use internal cues to make decisions. We look at other people, social media and fitness trends, and make decisions based on these external cues rather than what will work for us. We need to listen to what our body needs. When our body is working well and is balanced and in harmony, then it works with us to naturally regulate our appetite.
  • Stop feeling you need to earn your food. Your daily run only accounts for a small percentage of the energy your body uses each day. Therefore missing a run will not have as big an impact on your weight as you might think it does.
  • Ask yourself if you are really in control. While you may feel like you’re in control, you’re only really in control when you have choices. So if you can choose to run or not run, eat a pizza or not eat it and not feel controlled by what you’re doing, only then are you truly in control.
  • Know that just being you is enough. You don’t have to prove yourself through times and distances or the shape of your body. Particularly as women, we often don’t feel worthy, that we have to prove our place.
  • Running should be one part of you. Your happiness shouldn’t just depend on running; you should be happy both with it and without it. Family, friends, work and other hobbies should be fulfilling you too. It’s a warning sign if running is your sole focus.
  • Take time out. Make time to be present and mindful, to calm the anxious mind. Try swapping a run for yoga based activities to reduce anxiety and increase strength.
The warning signs

Do you have disordered eating patterns? Ask yourself these questions to find out if you should seek support.

#1 Is food dominating your life?

#2 Do you think you are fat when other people say you are too thin?

#3 Do you feel you have lost control of your eating?

#4 Have you lost a stone or more in weight over the last three months?

#5 Do you ever make yourself sick or take laxatives because you feel uncomfortably full?

These are the signs to look out for in others.

#1 Altered mood, irritability and withdrawing from social activities.

#2 Losing weight or wearing baggy clothes to hide body shape.

#3 Secretive behaviours such as shutting themselves in the loo after eating, and hiding food, wrappers and laxatives.

#4 Avoiding family meal times, being fussy, eating slowly, moving food around the plate.

#5 Spending lots of time reading food labels and calorie counting.

#6 Becoming distressed if unable to exercise, or exercising when injured.

Help is at hand
  • If you think you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, then go to the Beat website for further information and advice.
  • Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity. It raises awareness and understanding of eating disorders as well as offering support and advice for anyone affected.
  • It hosts an  and helpline (0808 801 0677) because Beat knows that the faster people get help, the greater their chance of making a full recovery.
  • The NHS now has a dedicated RED-S clinic at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, in London. You can ask your GP to refer you directly to Dr Wolman’s RED-S clinic.
  • The EN:SPIRE clinic (Endocrine Nutrition, Specialist Practice In Restoring Equilibrium) will open soon in Bath. It will be the first Sports, Dance and Eating Disorders recovery clinic in the UK and will be designed to cater for anyone who feels they have RED-S, Over Training Syndrome or an eating disorder.
Further reading

Online
For information on RED-S visit health4performance.co.uk the world’s first open-access educational resource on RED-S, written by Dr Nicky Keay and hosted by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine website.

#TRAINBRAVE
Sharing stories, raising awareness and providing resources and support about eating disorders and RED-S for athletes and coaches.
trainbrave.org

Books
Overcoming Amenorrhea: Get Your Period Back. Get Your Life Back by Tina Muir
Orthorexia: When Healthy Eating Goes Bad by Renee McGregor and Bee Wilson

Words by Juliet McGrattan

The post Running and disordered eating appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women's Running Magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 2w ago

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Women's Running Magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 2w ago

Road shoes are the workhorses of our running wardrobe: it’s essential to choose carefully, as you’re going to be in them a lot! These road shoes have been tested by real runners: passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathoners to happy plodders. Our group testers have run in the shoes our their usual runs to see if they go the distance. They give each piece of kit a star rating.

Altra Torin 3.5

£120, altrafootwear.co.uk

These shoes fit perfectly for long runs, due to the breathable mesh upper which keeps your feet cool, while the ingenious foot shape toe box enables toes to relax and spread out naturally. It has a zero- drop platform that places your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground to encourage proper, low-impact form throughout your run, and it cleverly customises to the foot for a bespoke fit.

UnderArmour Hovr Infinite

£120, underarmour.co.uk

There’s plenty of plush padding around the heel and in the tongue of these shoes, making them an extremely comfortable ride. They feel true to size, though there’s a good amount of space for the foot to expand, which may not appeal to runners who like a tight, snug fit. The HOVR cushioning feels great to run in, and this is a versatile shoe that will probably see you run happy at any distance.

On Cloud Surfer

£135, on-running.com/en-gb

The love affair with ONs continues. Running with the cloud surfer is truly like running on air. This shoe is super responsive, enabling a quicker foot strike. It’s a good-looking shoe, comfortable from the moment you wear it. It’s light and provides outstanding grip and traction. This is the perfect shoe for a speed session, racing or road running both long and short distances.

Asics Dynaflyte 3 Lite Show

£140, asics.com

This shoe is recommended for a fast, neutral runner. They are light, comfortable and feel very springy. Ideal for speed sessions but also for those longer runs. The flight foam cushions the impact of running without losing the connection with the ground. It has a smooth heel to toe transition and is extremely comfortable during long runs. The gel cushioning provides lightweight support and protection against any rubbing.

Salomon Predict RA

£140, salomon.com

The Salomon Predict running shoe has created a whole new structure. It features new bespoke cushioning that supports you where and when you need it, building a platform that moves with the human foot. Your foot will feel snug all round as it has 360° upper fit, a firm moulded heel and a highly cushioned base giving great support without restriction. Secure, stable but soft, you will experience a smooth run with these.

Brooks Transcend

£140, brooksrunning.com

The Brooks Transcend is a great choice for the longer distance road runs. The fit is aimed with comfort in mind and runs seem effortlessly supportive. The stretch knit upper provides flexibility and freedom, while the sturdy supportive heel propels you with confidence in its rigidity. This stylish shoe will transcend you to the finish line.

Mizuno Wave Inspire

£125, mizuno.eu

This upgrade boasts a new heel wedge and de-coupled sole design with more flexibility so you can feel the extra support on the heel area as you run. The cosy fit toe box adjusts to a stretchier fit after a few runs, but this is a solid every day running shoe. A fun and eye-catching design.

Reebok Floatride

£84.95, reebok.co.uk

This shoe is good for any speed or distance. It has a lightweight, flexible upper and a comfy but responsive sole. Full midsole contact keeps it flexible and lightweight. It’s quite narrow in the toe and heel, but once laced through the back eyelets it’s secure. A shoe for all occasions.

361 Feisu

£99.99, 361europe.com/en

Featuring a stable sole with a guide line to reduce lateral movement and high heel-toe drop (10mm). The grip is good, with durable rubber under the heel, and it has a generous toe box. To keep the weight low the upper is minimal. This could be a perfect choice in racing shoe for heel strikers.

Saucony Liberty ISOr

£140, saucony.co.uk

This shoe is a great choice for the road, its responsive and alert with every stride. The fit is snug as the frame design adds support all around the foot on the strike. The toe box has plenty of room for the wider foot and the higher laces and upper add to the confidence you have when running in these shoes. The Everun sole puts emphasis on support and comfort over flexibility of the shoe.

Hoka Clifton 5

£115, hokaoneone.com

The Clifton 5 are light, superbly cushioned and very fast. They have technology unique to Hoka that provides midsole geometry, which feels great underfoot – even in the later miles of a long run. They have a mesh upper construction, which aids breathability and comfort to keep your feet nice and cool. The full ground contact design provides great traction on all surfaces, even muddy ones! It’s a stylish trainer.

Adidas Ultraboost 19

£159.95, adidas.co.uk

The PrimeKnit upper feels so supportive in these shoes, so you’re getting a very snug and highly breathable all-over fit. The Boost midsole is probably the bounciest you will run in and just makes you feel that you have so much more energy in every stride. With Continental Rubber on the outsole the traction is superior. It’s a very flexible shoe but there’s enough support and structure that you feel confident to really fly.

Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 111 March 2019.

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