Running hands down is one of my favorite types of cardio workouts that I implement into my fitness routine. It’s fabulous for circulation, strengthening muscles and heart health. All these are very important to me, because let’s face it, I am one big walking heart. However, like many wonderful things in life, just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement running into your everyday fitness routine. I had always found running a struggle and difficult until I learned from my former supervisor who was an avid runner, how to run the proper way, that can make it enjoyable. Call me a health nerd, but now I get a little, well I shouldn’t say a little, a HUGE thrill out of lacing up my sneakers and stepping outside for a long run soaking in the sunshine and feeling the cool breeze against my face. So, when I noticed that many of you have been hesitant about running, I thought maybe it’s time I write a short article about how I learned to love running. I did some research on my own by asking my former supervisor, pondered back on my days as a beginner, and put it all together to make it a simple and easy read for you.
Here are my tips on how I learned to enjoy running..
If you are someone who is in the contemplation stage and thinking about taking up a new hobby such as running, I will be brutally honest with you, that it won’t be easy at first. Nothing ever is, until you master the skill. It definitely won’t be easy if you don’t learn how to run with proper form. What my former supervisor would always tell me “master the basics.” Start by going on walks or hikes, and continue to increase the distance until you feel comfortable walking at brisk pace for 45 minutes. Another great way to build your cardiovascular endurance is biking or going on the elliptical at the gym. It’s a great way to get your body in shape before you try running. A dear friend of mine has a routine for training for her marathon before she pounds the pavement. She walks, hikes and goes on the elliptical a month before she begins to run.
Once you are comfortable enough to go on a run, the most crucial thing to remember is your gate. Take each step with the BALLS of your feet, not your heels. This will lessen the impact on your joints, and injuries won’t creep up later on.
If you’ve never run or exercised before and you try going for 2-3 miles for your first time, I can almost be certain that you will not enjoy your experience (and probably have a lot of discomfort the following day). I would suggest you to take smaller steps towards your end goal of being a runner. What I mean by taking smaller steps, try utilizing the “Couch to 5K” app which will provide you with a routine that will get you to the pace and distance you want. Or, hire me to be your personal trainer. Do what your body feels comfortable with. Start off slow and gradually work your way up to longer distances with an increase pace. Don’t be silly, take your time.
Not only is running one of my favorite activities to do, but running with good music playlist can change how you feel about running. If you like workout music, creating an assortment of music can make a difference between hating your running experience to absolutely loving it. I choose songs that are positive and have a good steady fast beat because they keep me motivated and pumped.
Running indoors is not one of my favorite running routines, but if I have to I will. I do find that running outside makes it so much easier and enjoyable. I am able to breathe the clean air, view the beautiful landscape and meet people along the way. I also lose track of time and with so many distractions, it makes my run go a lot faster.
One of my love/hate challenges while I run, is running hills. Hills are a challenge, but provide you with a great workout. What I suggest for a beginner is to start off on flat route that loops back to your starting point. This will help you stay motivated throughout your running adventure, because you have to keep going and no turning back. After you master a good running profile, build up endurance and speed then try running hills intermittence with flat surface running.
I’ve come to realize that I didn’t enjoy running until I understood the benefits and the good it was doing for me, mentally, physically and emotionally. What does running do you might ask? Running allows your blood to circulate throughout your body and brain, strengthens your heart (one of my favorite organs), it also releases endorphins (the feel good natural drug), helps you sweat out those nasty built up toxins, and also builds strong leg and abdominal muscles. Once I was able to understand that running did all of those wonderful things for my body, I started to become a running addict.
Running is an excellent exercise and I have learned to love everything about it, but I do know that everyone is different. I have had my days when the last thing I wanted to do on after teaching 3 fitness classes in one day, or working all day is to go for a run. Instead I do gentle exercises like yoga, pilates or go for a walk. If you find that running isn’t for you, try out other workout classes and see what you like, just make sure you incorporate some kind of exercise activity into your lifestyle that keeps you active and healthy. A cardio exercise that gets your heart rate up for 20-30 minutes a day a goal you should aim for.
To keep exercising interesting and to give different parts of your body a workout try to do different types of exercise each week. A weekly exercise routine such as walking , hiking, bike riding , as well as running will help make exercise a fun part of your life style instead of it just being an exercise routine.
I know you’ll make the best decision for yourself! Let me know if you need any motivation, advice, or suggestions on where to start. I am here for you and will not let you fail. I want to see those wings carry you on your journey towards a happier, healthier life.
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