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The neighborhood gym had closed, so Princess had decided to start running for the first time. But the first step for Princess was just to try and ‘learn to run’ and to learn to like running. So, when she stepped outside for her first run and her feet hit the tarmac, she did not want to think about how many calories she could burn. Neither how fast she should be going nor how to push herself.
Instead, she simply wanted to focus on enjoying the experience. Run gently, run slowly, and look around.
Take in the environment, take her time and just experience running. She figured that once she got too tired, she would just come home.
If you are like Princess, it will not feel like you have done anything. But trust me – this will still have been quite intensive if you currently are not exercising regularly at all.
However, running too much too soon can leave you frustrated and sore. You might injure your knee or hang up your sneakers before you cover any real distance. Rather, have fun and increase your fitness by taking a gradual approach.
Use these tips to start running or create your own running program.“What seems hard now will one day be your warm-up.” —Unknown Click To Tweet
Make a Run for It!
More than 49 million people in the United States went running or jogging at least once in 2021, according to the research firm Statista. There are many reasons why you might want to start running. Knowing your purpose will help you to persevere and succeed.
Consider these benefits:
- Protect your heart. Running provides an excellent cardio workout because it increases your heart rate and enhances your circulation. Some studies suggest that just a few weeks of training is enough to lower your resting heart rate by as much as 10 beats.
- Lose weight. Doing laps can also help you to manage your weight. Slimming down increases your mobility and lowers your risk for many serious conditions, including diabetes and some cancers.
- Manage stress. Chronic tension causes inflammation and makes your life less joyful. Physical exercise delivers relief without the potential side effects of relying on alcohol or shopping.
- Build confidence. Many runners enjoy a sense of accomplishment once they start running. Find fulfillment in bringing home trophies or starting your day with a solo run.
Preventing Running Injuries
Knee pain and shin splints are common, but simple precautions can help you avoid becoming sidelined.
Learn to prevent and treat running injuries with these tips:
- Ask a trainer. If possible, work with a certified trainer to create a personalized routine that matches your abilities and ambitions. Friends and family with more experience may be helpful too.
- Walk a while. Start out with alternating between running and walking. You might run for 3 minutes and then slow down for 2 minutes, or as long as you need to recover. In general, increase your performance by 10% or less each week to avoid overdoing it.
- Rest up. Most minor injuries can be treated at home with the RICE formula. That includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Check the weather. Exercise indoors during extreme cold, heat, and humidity. On milder days, dress in layers so you can adjust quickly.
- See your doctor. Consult your physician if you have any concerns. That’s especially important if you’ve been sedentary for a while or have chronic conditions like diabetes.
Start Running 101
Make it automatic. It’s easy for one missed workout to snowball into a month of inactivity. Turn running into a habit by giving yourself meaningful rewards and storing your sneakers by the front door.
Try these tips:
- Log your progress. Tracking your performance strengthens motivation and accountability. Use an app or a paper journal to log your mileage, speed, diet, and other factors.
- Play music. There will be days when running seems effortless, and days when it’s grueling. A lively soundtrack increases the pleasure and takes your mind off any discomfort.
- Stay safe. Choose your running sites carefully. Pay attention to your surroundings and stick to well-lit areas. Turn your music down if it interferes with your hearing.
- Check local guidelines. Each community has its own rules. Most experts agree that exercising outdoors is okay if you maintain physical distance from others and stay home if you feel sick.
Running Shoe Guide
Running is a great way to keep fit and can be a lot of fun, too. It is very important to make sure you have the correct equipment before you start and one of the most important investments is a good pair of running shoes. They can improve your running gait and prevent injuries.
There are thousands of different running shoes to choose from and most of the big sports manufacturers invest money into the science and technology of running shoes.
Running Shoe Components
A running shoe comprises an outsole, a midsole, an upper, a heel counter, and a post or footbridge. Apart from that, running shoes vary enormously in design and color. A running shoe must be flexible and durable, control motion, and absorb shock.
It is best to buy your shoes from a specialist running shop, or at least a sports shop, so you can get good advice from the sales staff. Try on shoes in the afternoon, when your feet are slightly larger.
Each person has slightly different feet, so a great shoe for someone else might not necessarily be the best one for you. The shape of your feet, your weight, any foot problems, your running style and running surfaces (tarmac, sand, treadmill, etc.), and various other factors can affect which running shoe is going to suit you and your lifestyle the best.
Types of Running Shoes
You can divide your feet into one of three basic types normal, flat, or high-arched. Have a look at your wet footprint on the bathmat when you get out of the bath. If you see a full imprint, this means you are flat-footed. If there is an arch cutaway, your foot is normal. If there is a very narrow band or no band between the front and back of the foot, you have high arches.
Foot type affects which sort of running shoes will be better for you. The normal foot tends to be the most biomechanically efficient and you will need shoes with moderate motion control. If you have high arches, avoid stability or motion-control shoes, as these will limit foot mobility.
If your feet are flat, high stability or motion control shoes with firm midsoles will reduce the amount your foot naturally rolls in and be more comfortable and better for you. Avoid highly curved or cushioned shoes if your feet are flat, as they will restrict stability.
When trying on running shoes, make sure they feel good as soon as you put them on. The average pair of running shoes should be able to run 1000 km so comfort is a must!
Before You Start Running
Running is an exercise from which wonderful cardiovascular and aerobic benefits are gained. A popular choice for men and women, it can be done almost anywhere. Yet, just as a carpenter requires the right tools for his trade, the right pair of running shoes is essential for both the casual and the serious runner.
Runners have a wide selection of styles, colors, and levels of comfort from which to choose when looking at running shoes. Remember, whether you are a casual runner or a serious runner, comfort and excellent support are essential for the best performance!
Running is an excellent choice to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors. Start off gradually and vary your workouts to reduce the risk of injuries and maximize your physical and mental well-being.