Are you exercising regularly already? Have you mastered the walking and want to step it up a bit and add running to your fitness routine? Then you might want to start in a particular way.
The best bet is to start running if you have been exercising regularly for at least two weeks – whether that is walking, using a stationary bike, or going to fitness classes. Aim for two weeks with 30 minutes of exercise per day at least four times per week.
When you are just starting to run, you have to go about it in a very specific way. This will help you to be successful and start a routine that you will look forward to each and every day. Here are the best ways to start:
Walk and Run: If you lack the physical stamina to run for a few miles, consider starting with walking and running. You can build your way up to completely running in a few weeks. Start by adding one minute of running for every four minutes of walking. Then you can start to increase your running time by 30 second intervals and eventually you will be able to start running for a longer time. Listen to what your body is telling you and don’t be afraid to stay at the same interval for a few days.
Be Careful: Don’t go too far when you just start. Don’t go too fast when you just start out. If you push yourself too much, you will put yourself in extreme danger. Pushing your body might seem like a good idea, but it can lead to broken bones and pains that can hinder your success.
Listen to Your Body: If your body hurts, you have shin splints, your muscles hurt, and you cannot wait to sit down, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Don’t ignore any sharp pains or something that just doesn’t feel right. Your body knows when it has had too much and it will tell you early on so that you don’t do more damage.
Go Shopping: Get a good pair of sneakers for running. Get the right pants so that you don’t hurt yourself when you run. Replace your shoes as often as they need to be replaced. You will be able to run better and longer when you use the right equipment.
Make It Interesting: Don’t always run on the same roads if you like to run outside. Go through different neighborhoods and listen to different music when you decide to run. This will make it seem like you are having more fun. You could also add a few days of treadmill workouts to your routine.
Train Your Brain: Make your brain happy by running until it is something you need to do for your day to feel complete. After you make this part of your routine, you will start to get ready and go for your run without having to convince yourself to do it. For the first few weeks, this might mean putting your clothing out next to your bed so that you have to do it; rewarding yourself with a nice bubble bath after you do it; or use the same music to amp yourself up. Whatever you do, train your brain to see running as a good thing and not a bad thing.
Run Tall: Make sure that you are running with proper form. This means standing tall and lean with your back straight. Once you are in that position, you want to relax into it. Keep your elbows flexed to 90 degrees, don’t clench your fists, and envision yourself running straight. This will help you to move smoothly and cover the most ground. Whatever you do, do not look at your feet.
Take Breaks If You Need To: Don’t allow yourself to get so out of breath and so worked up that you almost pass out. Once again, listen to your body and stop when it says you need to stop. Either slow into a walk or pause for a few seconds to recollect yourself, breathe deeply, and get the stamina to continue onward.
Remember Your Calories: When you start running, you want to add some calories into your diet so that you stay energized. However, you want your calories to work for you. Make sure to add more protein and hearth healthy foods. Consider eating lean poultry with avocados or fish and edamame.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself: You won’t turn into a runner overnight. Make sure to not put too much pressure on yourself. The body takes some time to get used to running and it takes the brain even longer. When you aren’t patient, you risk burning out or doing too much and hurting yourself.
Most importantly, do what you want to do and run. Make sure to listen to your body and stay positive whenever you are running – even if you have a few miles to go and don’t really want to do it.