Before we were all confined to our homes during the COVID-19 epidemic, most of us were already victims of dead butt syndrome. You may read that term and giggle, however, this is a legitimate medical condition otherwise known as gluteal amnesia. To make a long story short, we are so used to sitting on our butts, our glutes have forgotten what their purpose is!
Our butts were designed to support our lower back and as a result of ignoring these muscles, gluteal amnesia is the cause of many health-related problems such as back pain, heart disease, and diabetes. Though sitting for the majority of our workday is not necessarily fault of our own, dead butt syndrome should be a growing concern - especially now that we have nowhere to go and all the time in the world.
The most wonderful thing about living in seclusion is that we finally have the opportunity to reflect on what we have or haven’t done with our time. Maybe we were working too much and couldn’t make it to the gym. Maybe when we finally did get home, the sun had already set and we missed another day of sunlight because we were stuck inside. Although we have meant well, perhaps by putting everyone else first, we lost sight of making our own health a priority. Whatever the case, now more than ever, we have a chance to wake up our butts!!
Instead of focusing on what we can’t do, let's focus on what we can do. We can get outside. We can bike. We can walk. We can run. We should be running. We should be working our glutes! Whatever level of fitness you are at, you should be running.
Most of us run to be better than we were yesterday. We set small goals, achieve them, and move on with an incredible runner’s high we take with us for the rest of the day. I’m sure a lot of you agree, that right now, we should be focused on being better people. We should be using this time to be better than what we have been, not only to ourselves, but to our neighbors, strangers, the planet, and so on. But before we can do that, we have to start with ourselves. We have to get off our butts.
For those of you new to the sport, here are some basic running guidelines that hopefully inspire you to get up and get moving.
- Let go of your insecurities. Allow yourself to be a beginner. Although some runners are competitive, the point of running is to compete with yourself, no one else.
- Don’t worry about what other people think. Chances are, people who are passing by are too preoccupied with their own thoughts that they aren’t even paying attention to what you are doing.
- Use what you have. Are your running shoes strong and supportive? Good enough. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on shoes quite yet.
Start off Slow
Follow a Learn to Run schedule. At Soul Runners, we use a training plan similar to this:
- Day 1 – 30 mins
- Alternating periods of walking and running
- Day 2 – 45 mins
- 45 minutes of power walk
- Day 3 – 25 minutes
- Walk - jog - run intervals
- Day 4 – 30 minutes
- Day 5 – 30 minutes
- Continuous easy jogging (breathing hard but still able to talk)
- Day 6 – 45 minutes
- Power walk
- Day 7: Rest
Enjoy the process
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Get out there, enjoy the beautiful Spring weather, listen to your own epic playlist, and appreciate the me time.
Not only does running improve our physical health, but it improves our mental health as well. We are all human. Being stuck inside 24/7 for 85 days with the same people (but really, who’s counting anymore?!) can be irritating and stressful. Running eliminates stress. Now that we are sitting indoors all day, getting outside is more important than ever because a lack of sunshine is proven to cause depression. The endorphins that are released from running are known to alleviate symptoms of depression. So yes. We should be running more. Running improves sleep, our ability to focus, and gives us that runners high that will let you feel at the top of the world. Running works the big major muscle groups that burn the most calories like your hips, calf muscles, hamstrings, quads and…yes, you guessed it….your glutes.
Although we may be confined to our homes, for the time being, we do have a choice as to how we spend every moment. We do have what it takes to get better and we do have the chance to be a role model for the people who watch us every day. It’s up to us to get off of our butts.
By Kristen Chalmers
Owner of Soul Runners 😍