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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Is Chewing Gum While Running a Good Idea?

Mar 22, 2010

Beginning runners and others looking at their running routine might wonder about chewing gum while on the track or street and how it may impact their training sessions.

To some runners, the thrill of running is in practicing a basic human activity that doesn't rely on gear or equipment. Many of these purists are unlikely to want to nosh on a stick of chewing gum during their trek. Others, however, see running as they see other parts of their diet and exercise program. They analyze each aspect of fitness from a scientific perspective, in calorie counts and body system processes. These individuals may be willing to try unorthodox ideas that might tweak their running program just a bit.

When it comes to chewing gum while running, there are some compelling arguments on both sides of the fence.

Ideas About Benefits of Chewing Gum While Running

Some people chew gum on a run because it feels good to them. They may feel like that extra motion of the jaw helps to create a rhythm that drives their motivation and enhances their workout session. Many people believe that the action of chewing helps the metabolism. For others, it's a way to keep from snacking throughout the day, and becomes a simple habit.

There's another argument for chewing gum while running that has to do with the respiratory system. Proponents of the chewing gum method refer to experts who claim that forcing breath through the nose instead of the mouth adds to the workout load and makes the body work harder.

The Other Side: Why Not to Chew Gum While Running

When critics of chewing gum voice their opinions, the idea often relates to the process of running and some of the risks that it presents.

One of the most common criticisms is that because chewing gum tends to be a risk of obstruction of the windpipe, using it in conjunction with intense physical exercise would seem dangerous. Some runners may not agree, but those with concerns point out potential interactions such as falling on uneven sidewalks that could end up causing an emergency reaction where chewing gum could become a choking hazard.

Others who are running enthusiasts say that if you're chewing gum on a run, you're just not running hard enough. Those who like to push their lung capacity and overall body response to "max out" while running often see chewing gum as a distraction. To them, the extra jaw action is not helpful in burning calories or pumping up the mind/body connection - it's just a distraction.

The bottom line is that each individual has their own habits and methods when it comes to physical fitness. Although medical experts would, as a rule, point out the dangers of this method, it's up to those who persevere on a running path to come up with their own conclusions.

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