Running is a highly recommended exercise if you want to lose weight and have a fit and healthy body. In the beginning, it can be difficult and overwhelming, especially if you are used to an inactive, sedentary lifestyle. It can also be nerve-wracking and intimidating, particularly if you are constantly surrounded by more experienced runners.
However, if you are totally serious about turning your life around and start living healthily, you should not let these negative feelings and emotions get the better of you. You should keep in mind the long list of benefits that you can get from a regular running routine, and find motivation and inspiration from that.
Before you get started on your running program, you should be familiar with the basics of it. With this information, you can avoid jumping into it blindly, and you can carve a path that should lead you to your goal successfully.
What is the best way to get started?
On the first day of your running program, you are advised to do a warm-up routine first. For about 10 to 15 minutes, just walk to get the muscles in your thighs, legs, and feet working. If you feel good, and are not feeling any pain or exhaustion, extend your walk to 30 minutes. Otherwise, stop and call it a day. Your body may not be prepared for the sudden increase in physical activity, and forcing it may only put you in danger.
Over the next few days, try to walk faster in the same time span of 30 minutes. It is important to get your body acclimated to being more active. Then, after a week, start inserting short running intervals into your walking. For every 10 minutes of walking, run for about a minute. In about 30 minutes, you should be able to do 3 quick runs. Over the next couple of weeks, start cutting down your walking times while extending your running times in between. Eventually, you will find yourself spending the entire 30 minutes just running.
What kind of shoes should I wear?
Running is one of those good workout regimens that do not break the bank. With only a pair of good quality running shoes, you can run for as far and as long as you want. To find the best footwear for running, you can go online and look up shoe brands that are popular for their durability, or drop by the nearest department store or mall to get to examine them up close.
A good pair of running shoes should fit you right, is properly cushioned, and offers the right kinds of support for your feet and ankles. It should not be sliding and slipping when you are moving, and should not cause blisters or other problems.
Should I run indoors or outdoors?
Where you should run greatly depends on your preference. You should ensure that the location will not put you at risk of getting injured. You have to put your safety first and foremost to enjoy running for a very long time.
If you decide to run indoors, such as on a treadmill at your own home, you can avail of several benefits. You can exercise in private, not having to worry about the judgmental stares of strangers. You can save time and money because you do not have to drive, take the bus, or walk somewhere else. You can watch television series and movies or listen to music that you want. You can also read a book or do some work on your laptop, without having to deal with noises and other disruptions.
On the other hand, if you decide to run outdoors, you are treated to a different kind of adventure. You can enjoy the cool breeze on your skin and the beautiful natural scenery around you. You can meet fellow runners who you can get helpful tips and learn valuable workout advice from. You can also invite friends or family to run with you to spend quality time with each other.
Is pain normal?
Experiencing pain when running is normal. It comes with the increase in time, distance, and intensity of your runs. Usually, it affects the back, hips, knees, or ankles. It should disappear in a few days, when you take a break from your physical activities.
However, if it does not go away even after not doing anything strenuous on your rest days, you should not force yourself to continue. There might be something going on in your muscles, joints, or tissues that require medical attention. If this is the case, you should see a doctor right away to find out what the problem is.
Is there something wrong if I am always out of breath?
Because you are a beginner, you might find yourself already panting so hard even if you have only been running for 10 minutes. This is due to your body working harder than usual. It especially affects your lungs and respiratory system, causing you to take large and deep breaths. To deal with it, you should take a break to rest, and start breathing from deep down your abdomen. Then, when you feel like you have recovered, walk for a few minutes first, slowly building up your speed, before running on your desired pace.
Are side stitches something to worry about?
If you are a beginner, you are very likely to get side stitches. This is a result of your abdomen’s unfamiliarity with all the jostling action that running subjects your body to. Once it strikes you, it is okay to stop and not push yourself. You have to take deep breaths to get the air that has accumulated in your abdomen out, and to stretch out your lungs and diaphragm to eliminate the cramp.
To avoid side stitches, you should apply proper running practices and breathing techniques. Over time, as you become more experienced in running, side stitches will become less frequent. It is also crucial that you do not consume solid foods an hour before you start your run to avoid the problem.