Fitness Friday: 5 Steps to Get Started Running
If you feel like everyone else is a “runner” and don’t think you can compete—you can! The summer is approaching, and that is only one of the many reasons to get outside for a run. Running is one of the top forms of exercise that burns calories fast, and numerous studies have supported its health benefits. According to an article in Women’s Health Magazine, researchers have found that running helps you live longer and stay healthier, and running can also help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and even cancer. So enough with the excuses! Read on for our tips on how to get in running shape.
1. Walk—a lot. Many beginner runners start off too fast, leaving their legs and lungs screaming for help. The key is to build up your endurance with the walk-run. Begin and end each workout with 5 minutes of walking. Then try running for two minutes, then walking for four minutes, and gradually add a minute to each rotation.
2. Always warm-up. You can take a brisk walk to warm-up or do stretches, such as side lunges, walking lunges, butt kicks (jog in place while bringing your heel all the way to your butt), and skipping.
3. Watch your form. Some of the best runners have horrible form, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Try to aim for the following:
- Keep your head up and eyes forward.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed.
- Keep your arms at about 90 degrees swinging front to back. Your arm swing will help propel your run in a straight line.
- Avoid hunching over, and keep your torso straight.
- Your feet should feel light and quick. Land on your heel to mid-foot and push off through the ball of your foot.
4. Take it easy. The goal is to keep moving, but don’t push it. Running too much, too soon, is the classic beginner mistake. When you start out running, the goal is to run every other day. Once you feel you’re running consistently, add on more days.
5. Find inspiration. At the end of the day, running should be fun. Here are some ideas to stay inspired:
- Make a training log. Keeping a journal is a simple way to how to monitor what’s working and what’s not, as well as how far you’ve come.
- Find a running buddy. This is a great way to socialize and get the motivation to work out!
- Listen to music. Music can have a powerful effect on your performance. Certain types of music can lower your perception of how tired you are, as well as enhance feelings of vigor and excitement.
- Fit the part. The beauty of running is that you only need a good pair of shoes. Check out a specialty running store; they will analyze things like how you walk and the size of your foot to find a customized shoe that will enhance your running experience.
On behalf of all of us at the Sports Club at Garden of the Gods Club, we wish you a happy, healthy summer and happy running!