Start out on the right foot with these running tips.
You may love it or you may hate it, but running is a great way to get in shape, lose weight, de-stress, and improve your health. As an added perk, it’s also one of the simplest exercises to do.
You don’t need expensive equipment, a gym membership, or special training. Anyone can grab a pair of sneakers and get moving.
If you’re looking to lose weight fast, running is one of the best ways to burn calories. In fact, if you do it right, you can expect to burn around 600 calories in an hour of running. But it doesn’t stop there. Because of the intensity of running, you’ll keep burning more calories in the hours following your workout.
Running or jogging can be an intimidating thought to someone who’s never done much of it. A beginner runner may have questions about distance, pace, equipment, form, or possible injuries. Let this simple guide get you started. Be careful though. When it comes to running, many people find they don’t want to give it up. So you may have a new addiction in the near future.
Protect Your Feet
Because of the repetitive motion of running, your feet need good support. Wearing old, worn out tennis shoes may cause injury and put a quick end to your running career. Before you hit the pavement, head to a specialty shoe store. Get your foot professionally fitted for a supportive running shoe.
Besides good shoes, wear whatever is most comfortable to you. Depending on the weather, it’s best to wear clothes that pull sweat away from your skin to keep you dry. Women may need to purchase a sports bra for this purpose and maximum support.
Learn Correct Form
New runners often run with poor form. Start running the right way and you won’t develop habits that are hard to break later on. Correct form will also reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance. The key is to run as relaxed as possible. A tense body uses up the energy needed for running.
In a nutshell, here are some tips on the way to move your body. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed, your arms by your sides bent at 90 degrees, and your hands in a loose fist. Swing your arms forward and back with your stride, not from side to side. Look straight ahead, not at your feet. Your foot should touch the ground directly under the rest of your body. Land on the area of your foot that’s between your heel and midsole and roll your foot forward. Run as quietly and effortlessly as possible.
It’s time to go jogging! An easy way to start is to alternate walking and running three days of the week. If you’re out of shape and new to running, the running interval may be fairly short in the beginning. Try walking for one minute, then running for three. Repeat this pattern three times each day during the first week. Each week, aim to increase the length of your run and decrease the time you walk.
Don’t try to run too fast. One of the most common mistakes of beginner runners is to start out too fast. Your muscles, heart, and lungs need to adjust to the increased exertion. You may feel ready to push yourself, but you may regret it later. Set yourself up for success by running at a pace that allows you to still carry on a conversation.
Dealing with Pain
After any new form of exercise, you may experience soreness as your muscles try to adjust to the new demands placed upon them. Take over-the-counter painkillers and apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel several times a day to overcome soreness. Additionally, you can lessen your risk for sore muscles by warming up before your run with a brisk walk, cooling down with a walk, and ending your workout with a good stretch.
Another common complaint of new runners is side stitches. This cramp in your side develops when the diaphragm is overworked. Slow down your pace, press on the area with your fingers, and exhale forcefully whenever the foot on the opposite side of your stitch hits the ground. Cut your risk for side stitches by not eating prior to running.
“No pain no gain” is not the rule for runners. If you experience pain or injury, slow down and take a break. See your doctor if the pain is intense or doesn’t lessen over time.
Run to the Goal
Running is a skill developed by centuries of necessity. Today, while most people no longer have to run after our food or run away from predators, there is something equally important to run toward: good health.
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