We’re way past the mid-year mark and I’m sure most of you are looking back on your New Year’s resolutions to find out which of those you can cross out of the list. Possibly you have written down something along the lines of exercising more or getting physically fit. If hitting the gym is not something that you can adapt to your lifestyle, then you can try running as an alternative. Running is cheaper than getting a gym membership, and requires less equipment. Here are a couple of basics you need to know before you start hitting that pavement.
Find the right running shoes for your feet. That ratty, old tennis shoes or sneakers just won’t do. Go inside a running specialty store and have a gait test done. Listen to the sales assistant’s recommendations and read up on running blogs. When choosing the right footwear, remember that quality will always trump over form. Second, find a scenic path to run into. Be it in a park or an actual running oval, the right environment could be an additional motivation for you to run.
Start by taking small steps. If in your mind you have already plotted out your two rounds in the oval, you will be disappointed. If you’re just starting out, don’t expect too much or don’t expect to be running the whole way. Do not overdo or overexert yourself. For starters, it is more practical to do a combination of running and walking routine. Start by walking for 4 minutes, then running flat-out for 2 minutes. Notch up the combination a little until you feel your body getting used to the run.
Warm up and cool down. Give your muscles a chance to get used to all the stretching that will be done. Walk first or do a couple of stretches before going all-out on your run. After the run, give the body time to adjust back to normal. Don’t stop right away. Ease yourself into a little jog before stopping altogether. You will be less susceptible to injury and your body will be a little less sore after the run.
Set your running goals. Why do you run? Are you planning to join a marathon someday? Do you run to lose weight? If so, write down the number of pounds you would like to lose in a number of weeks or months. The important thing is to be specific in your goals. Between the two sentences, which do you think will make you more motivated? “I would like to lose weight,” or “I would like to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks?”
Find a running buddy. And then there are days when there is a slight drizzle, and you would like nothing more than to just laze around. A friend who motivates you to run despite of the less-than-perfect conditions will certainly come in handy. On that note, once you are comfortable with your new-found sport, consider joining running clubs as well.
I love to run with my buddy, I grove to music on the Ipod.
So there you have it! If you find yourself having precious spare time, do yourself a favor and go offline, or get off that couch, sweat it out, and release those happy hormones by way of running!