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Beth Risdon, author of the irreverent and humorous running blog, Shut Up + Run, is a certified running coach (RRCA). Beth's passion is writing about her triathlon and marathon training, and inspiring others to participate in their first endurance event. Beth lives and trains near Boulder, Colorado. You can follow her adventures at www.shutupandrun.net.

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Shut Up and Run!
by Beth Risdon, Running Coach, Health and Fitness Blogger

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Diet.com would love for you to welcome Beth Risdon as our newest expert blogger! We hope you'll love Beth's fun writing, and her fitness expertise as a Certified Running Coach!

runner dietThis is not a ďdietĒ to help you fit into your skinny jeans, although it might. I am referring to the Anti Inflammatory Diet, a regimen to improve your health and to make you a better athlete. This approach might help you heal from injuries more quickly and maybe even aid in preventing them. Many people lose weight on this diet, but that is not the reason Iím focusing on it.

Inflammation (swelling, redness due to injury, irritation or infection) is the culprit of many conditions from weight gain to depression to heart disease to rheumatoid arthritis. It is also the cornerstone of many running injuries:

*Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of a fibrous band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel bone to the toes.

*Achilles tendonitis is an irritation or inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the lower calf that attaches to the back of the heel.

*Iliotibial band syndrome, or ITBS, is due to inflammation of the iliotibial band, a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg.

*Tendonitis and muscle strains are products of inflammation.

Granted, the above running injuries are typically caused by over training, over use and/or incorrect form, they are made worse with inflammation, and continued inflammation may delay healing. A smart athlete would naturally try to reduce inflammation, right? Sure you can start popping NSAIDS (ibuprofen, etc.) like Jelly Bellys, but those can wreak havoc on your system and mask symptoms. Iím proposing another tactic.

But first, letís talk inflammation. Inflammation is not a disease, itís a condition. Sometimes you want your body to elicit an inflammatory response to fight bacterial infections and viruses. It becomes majorly problematic, however, when our bodies are out of balance and we have more inflammation than we should.

Due to lack of exercise, stress, environmental factors, menopause hormones and the foods we eat, we can develop too much inflammation. You can combat excessive inflammation by being active, not smoking and being at a healthy weight for your body type. However, one of the most proactive ways to battle it is with your ...    Continue

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@ 4:54am ET on May 16, 2012 Beth is an amazing runner!
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