Running Basics

Benefits of Running

Running is a healthy activity, enjoyed by millions of people. Running can be a pretty simple form of exercise. All you really need to run is a decent pair of shoes and personal desire to start.

You have learned a bit about why I run. But in general, you may be asking “Why should I run?”

There are many reasons why:

  • It is one of the most efficient methods to reach aerobic fitness
  • It is a great way to lose weight
  • It is relatively inexpensive
  • It is convenient indoors or outside
  • It is a great stress reliever
  • It is a form of exercise that can be done alone or with others

Running gives your heart and lungs a workout. Your blood becomes better at carrying oxygen. Your heart is strengthened and pumps more with less effort. As you continue running, over time, your resting heart rate decreases. Your cholesterol levels tend to be lower.

Running, over time, produces a general good feeling. Once you gain a beginning level of running fitness, you will most likely begin to “feel” like you want to run instead of “feeling” that you have to run. Have you ever hear runner talk about a “runner’s high”? From personal experience, this is real. It is when endorphins are released during exercise and it gives you a feeling of Euphoria. Also the calories that can be burned through running is generally higher than many other forms of exercise.

Starting Out

If you are just beginning the process of running or have taken a significant time away from running, start off easy and gently build up to avoid injury. Adding too many miles or going to fast too early will significantly increase your chances for injury.

Consult with your Doctor. They will be happy you wanting to exercise. However, they will likely have some guidelines for you to follow, based on your specifics.

Running shoes. When running, it is important for you to wear proper shoes. I would encourage you to locate a nearby running store. They should be able to do what is known as a Gait analysis on your running motion. This will allow you to purchase a pair of shoes that matches your motion, decreasing your risk of injury.

Stretching and warm up time. Before your daily workout, please allow some time for stretching and to warm up. This will help you enjoy a more quality run and will decrease your risk of injury. Learn from my experience, this is important. You may “feel” as though you can skip this step. However, lack of stretching and warm up time will eventually catch up to you..

Walk, then Run. When first starting to run, it is imperative to mix walking with running. Time spent running will lengthen over time, as your fitness level increases and your body adapts. Perhaps walk a neighborhood block followed by running the next block. Or walk for a couple minutes and then run for a couple minutes. As your comfort level grows, you can switch over to more time running.

Be intentional with your pace. As you begin to run, this may not be natural for you. It is pretty important though. There may be small aches and pains. Running too fast, too soon could make it worse. Running at a conversational pace will help. If you are not able to hold a conversation during the run, you are going too fast. Slow down.


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