“These are decisions,” said soccer coach Miguel Ángel Russo when asked about a change or strategic approach in particular. It will be surprising to many that when leaving work there are people who, instead of going to take advantage of the two-for-one at the breweries, decide to cover the parks with sneakers, T-shirts dri-fitstopwatches and sweat.
Sometimes they are decisions; and sometimes not. Sometimes it is the circumstances that force you to do one thing or another. Like María Teresa Quintana, who works as a security guard in the Buenos Aires subway. “I needed to run for two reasons. For health, because we down there, in the ‘subway’, we have a lot of oxygen loss; and psychologically, because contact with people is quite hard. So, I needed to air my head, above all, and improve my physique”, he says. At 56 years old, Quintana found the ‘Puerto Madero Simply Running Team’ group through Facebook and decided to go for fifteen days to learn about the dynamics. And he was hooked. “She came to my house destroyed, but she told myself that she had to continue because I liked her.” Once in the place, the doubts are over: “Later, when you are already there, you feel free. Now I am happy, more whole, very happy, ”she says.
Leaving work and going for a run also requires foresight and some logistics, because work attire is generally not suitable for physical activity. In the case of Quintana, she changes on the subway, puts on her sports outfit and travels in a bus that leaves her in Puerto Madero; to return home, if you miss the last train, you must take a bus. But she has no doubt that all this is worth it.
Today we are going through the sedentary lifestyle crisis, which is the main cause of death in the world,
and everything that is physical activity helps to counteract this phenomenon
There is also the case of those who take advantage of the facilities of a port terminal to change. This is Francisco Quiroga, a 37-year-old systems engineer who usually works in the Torres de Catalinas, in Buenos Aires. The bathroom of the tourist company executes the metamorphosis: he enters as an engineer, he leaves as a runner. “My girlfriend – whom I met running – annoys me a lot because she says that my priorities are running first, running second and running third.” And it’s true, she acknowledges: “I try to organize my life with those priorities, having my space to run. I run five times a week”, says Quiroga, a runner for ten years and who has been part of the group for five.
(In other news: Salsa caleña is already a cultural and intangible heritage of Colombia).
The man says that he spends 20 percent of his working time in meetings, another 20 percent concentrated on the computer, and the remaining 60 percent, identifying the problems that different companies have and seeing how to solve them. Without being a professional athlete, he has already run long-term races and in places far from the cities. “It is a space that I give to myself. It is a time when I disconnect from what happens at work, from the problems I have and I enjoy my body. It’s a way of connecting with myself. I sleep a lot. The days I run I know that at night I will fall asleep faster and the next day I will be more rested and happier. I sleep between seven and eight hours.
Among the benefits of running, the social part and traveling to run stand out, an increasingly widespread phenomenon: organize vacations based on a particular race and stay a couple of days more to get to know. Quiroga, in particular, has already run in El Salvador, Honduras, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Tandil, Córdoba and, the last one he did, El Salar in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. “I would tell you that he is addictive. Once you start it is very difficult to quit. In the last five years, only once have I been fifteen days without being able to run and I was unbearable. He is an anxiety controller,” he sums up.
what science says
In the delicate limit between sacrifice and pain, the pleasure of the reward appears, with a correlate in hormones —the famous dopamine—, as science explains. The pleasure of achievement and the recognition that the body is better, as Marcelo Ghioldi, a sports doctor, points out. “If there’s one thing that’s going to do your life good, it’s going for a run,” he says. “Today we are going through the sedentary lifestyle crisis, which is the main cause of death in the world, and everything that is physical activity helps to counteract this phenomenon. You can dance or do functional training or cross fit or walk with a little incline or climb stairs, but running is one of the best possibilities. The evidence is overwhelming regarding the decrease in colon cancer, bladder cancer, cardiovascular diseases, strokes. There is also a significant cognitive improvement, in addition to the fact that you are going to perform better at work, ”he lists. But he warns of certain limits and that it is “crazy” to want to go running at all costs, without having eaten, for example, or without having the necessary energy.
Ghioldi explains the ABC of what to do before running: have a physical fitness —the medical certificate that certifies physical fitness before any activity— and be physically and nutritionally prepared; eat a good meal, try to cover your sleeping hours, and stretch your muscles.
Is it suitable in the afternoon, after work, or in the morning before office hours? “It depends on what are called chronotypes, which has to do with schedules and the metabolism itself, which indicates, first, that we are not all the same and that there are people who work much better in the morning and others after noon. In this case, each one should adapt to their chronotype”, he explains. “Running in the evening hours after work is good for most people. It is also good to have some flexibility and run in the morning too, to motivate the body to look for different tools; just as changes in the routine are important, one day doing slopes, others speed, other funds, ”adds the athlete.
“The running it’s like that —says D’Aloisio—, it gives you that adrenaline rush of permanent self-improvement. It’s addictive. You always want more. You always end up doing different and new races. There are weeks that I can go three times a week. There are others that I can’t and I feel that I need to run, the group, your body to the limit. you need to run At work you accumulate stress and when you run you discharge tensions”.
(You can read: How our brain deals with speaking more than one language).
a social motivation
What is the position of the coach, why does the running craze not stop? “90 percent of the people who come to the group to run outdoors do it for the social part. And then you find that you can do it. It starts to feel good. That he didn’t even run the bus and he begins to realize that he can run 100 meters or a kilometer. Then it’s five kilometers. And there you have the person who came for the social now not for more and it motivates her to continue growing”, says Pepe Amoroso, coach of the Simply Running Team. “They come with all their personal and work problems and forget about life and work. In those two hours that the problems are still there, but if they at least do something, they run, jump, are with other people, they forget about them and get them out of their heads. Amoroso does not mention beer as a rejected option, but almost: “And at least you are not sitting for two hours drinking mate and eating biscuits.”
MARTIN OF AMBRODIUS
THE NATION (ARGENTINA) – GDA
Bogotá and Mexico City, on the same line
The capitals of Colombia and Mexico have also become great tracks for amateurs and professionals to run after work hours. Both cities coincide in having wide spaces, numerous parks and a variety of options for those who choose to exercise in the afternoons and evenings every day.
Another point in common, as happens in Buenos Aires, is the existence of specific communities and circuits. In these large Latin American cities, something key and functional, especially because it helps create safe spaces.
In Bogotá there are numerous options. There, something that has become popular is the consolidation of running groups. There is a community called Midnight Runners, in which 15 captains voluntarily are in charge of drawing two routes of five and ten kilometers so that dozens of people run after the office. Meeting points are defined to start, such as the Parque de la 93. This is a proposal that is made in other cities around the world, such as Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires and London. His reach has been such that Reebok sponsors him. Each tour is done with music and with technical stops for hydration. It is a unique and recommended environment to meet people and release dopamine and endorphins.
(Also: ‘We should make people literate about mental health.’)
A night race is also held in the Colombian capital. This year it was on March 20, 2022, sponsored by Enel and starting at Simón Bolívar Park, one of the ideal places to run at any time of day. It is common to see several people exercising after work at sunset.
Another of the places that Bogotans prefer is El Virrey Park, located in the north. It has pedestrian crossings and small squares. In addition, there is an outdoor gym area and calisthenics bars. These last elements are common to find in several city parks, in all locations, which allows those who go running to complement the routine.
For its part, in Mexico City there are several places that are acclaimed by runners. The Chapultepec forest, for example, has El Sope, a famous track made up of two circuits of 1,200 and 850 meters, as well as one of 100 meters. There is bicycle parking there.
To the south are the Viveros de Coyoacán. You can run in the middle of trees on a track of just over two kilometers. There is also the La Mexicana park, which includes a 3.4 kilometer track. It has an artificial lake and a space to play with pets. Parque de los Venados is another option: it has a 1.1-kilometer track on clay. In Polanco, there is an illuminated track in Gandhi Park. It is one of the places that people like the most after the office.
Benefits of running at night
- Running after a long day at work can help you clear your mind, release tension, and focus on something other than the daily grind between work and home.
- At night, the temperature is lower and this, in addition to making training longer, because your body more easily resists the outside temperature, also makes dehydration less likely.
- The carbohydrates and fats you consume throughout the day are used for energy during your workout, which means your body puts them to optimal use.
- If you’re used to running before your last meal of the day, this will allow you to burn fat more easily, according to experts, because it keeps your metabolism accelerated for longer and therefore you continue to burn calories afterward.
- The biggest advantage of running at night is that if you are one of those people who find it difficult to get up early, a night schedule is perfect for you to fulfill your physical purposes. Remember that for safety it is best to go out in a group.
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