Thinking of going outside for some activity to improve your health and fitness? Want to give running a try? To create a successful, enjoyable, positive running experience follow these few tips. THE most important rule to follow is DON’T DO TOO MUCH TOO SOON. You have read that right here numerous times but it is the number one reason people create a negative exercise experience for themselves. It’s also the main reason they give up after the first try. Why? Because it hurts. Going too far, too fast or doing too much of any activity, especially for someone not used to it, will cause post exercise muscle soreness so severe it will take days to recover. Even the most experienced exerciser has felt this. But they no doubt have experienced it before, know that it will go away and perhaps even like to brag about how sore they are from the activity.
If you are new to activity of any kind, begin with running for only 30 seconds then walking for 3 minutes. Repeat this for 30 minutes and then end with a 5 minute cool-down walk and a 10-15 minute stretch. Do it 2 or 3 times a week. Gradually, over several weeks, increase the running time and reduce the walking time. You can also gradually increase the total time but don’t skimp on the time spent stretching. All this will help prevent soreness and injury. Try a 3 minute run alternating with a 1 minute walk if you are used to exercise but not running. Gradually increase the run time. The walk can be dropped or not. Lots of people run an entire distance event as a 10 minute run and a 1 minute walk.
Second tip, DRESS FOR SUCCESS. You can run in almost anything but the right clothing, especially shoes, can also create a more positive experience. Technical, moisture wicking, clothing is great but not necessary, especially for beginning running. A good pair of shoes made specifically for running however are the link between the activity and a positive experience. If the shoes are old (more than 8 months) and worn often they may need replacing. Why? Because it hurts. Foot, ankle, shin, or knee pain during or after a run can be due to worn or incorrect footwear. Run in out dated clothing but don’t skimp on the shoes. Yes they are expensive. Accept it. Spend it. The rest of your body will thank you. Once you make the purchase, only wear them to run in. Don’t wear them to the grocery store. They will last longer if you only wear them for running.
If your budget allows, purchase a few pieces of technical clothing, for comfort sake. The “wicking” feature in fabric is a good one. Choose well fitting comfortable socks. Dress in layers if the temperature is cool. The more running you do the warmer you will be. A runners rule of thumb is if you are cool to start you are dressed correctly. Warm to start you will be too hot. If it is hot out, dress accordingly and be sure to hydrate before during and especially after the run.
To keep you participating in this activity GET A RUNNING BUDDY. Making it a social event will make it more fun. Join a walk/run group or just make a regular date with one other person, you will keep reach other involved and you will have a chance to keep up to date on the local gossip. Keep fit and have fun!!