We are 3 weeks into 2020 and if you havn’t figured out what habits you’ll take on, I have an idea! Why not give yourself the goal this year to move around more? It’s a goal we all should have.
Cardiovascular exercise, or basically anything that gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing, is so important for staying in shape, staving off health problems and burning fat. It’s something we should all aim to do a little bit of during the week.
Why not go with the old standby of running? Now before you groan about not wanting to pound pavement or thinking it’s something you’re not naturally gifted at or just have no interest in, hear me out. It’s a new era for running! There are so many ways these days you can make running fun or ease into it.
With running groups, fun themed 5k’s happening in your area, and treadmills that can give you the illusion of running anywhere in the world, it’s a great time to get into running.
Our bodies and their stories are all different, so you might want to consult a doctor or personal trainer to determine if running is right for you. There are plenty of other lower-impact forms of cardio out there so don’t be quick to dismiss running! Despite all the technology and workout fads that have developed over the centuries, running has stood the test of time. According to some, it’s the form of exercise that burns the most calories. It doesn’t necessarily require much time or money to get started. So what do you have to lose? Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re embarking on a running journey.
Your feet are the vehicle that are going to take you from couch potato to runner, so you may want to treat them right by investing in good shoes. Now, we just said getting started running doesn’t necessarily cost you anything financially. If you’re just casually jogging every once in a while or already have some good sneakers, stick with them. If you’re doing more than that, and especially if you decide to train for a race, new shoes are a good idea.
Go to a sporting goods store, or better yet a running store, and ask for some guidance. Proper running shoes can be a bit of an investment, but they’re a worthy one if you want to commit to regular running. They’ll help you avoid injury and set your feet and the rest of yourself up for running success.
Socks are another piece of gear that are often overlooked. Running in normal socks is not the end of the world, but there are better choices. Upgrading to a slightly thicker sock with a bit of a “tongue” in the back that goes up farther on your heel, will reduce the chances of getting blisters.
Set a goal for yourself and stick with it. Running a 5k is a great one that nearly anyone can do. It’s best to start training at least nine weeks in advance. This will give you ample time to gradually work up to being able to run the full 3.1 miles without injury or excessive strain. And go with a training plan, rather than just winging it. The app Couch to 5k is a great free tool that will have you run three days a week in the early weeks with shorter workouts that alternate running with brisk walking. It then gradually increases the times of uninterrupted running, with fewer walk breaks, ultimately having you run 30 minutes straight. You may want to give yourself an extra week or two in case you get to the end of the training program and aren’t running the full 5k in 30 minutes. However this should get you close, and on race day you’ll probably have extra stores of adrenaline from jitters and the motivation of all the others running alongside you.
Ease into it, make yourself a training plan and stick with it, and you’ll do great. Your body will cooperate with you even more if you eat well, thoroughly stretch and don’t overdo it. Don’t run every single day and perhaps even do some further cross training or lower body and core-strengthening exercises. Make sure to stay hydrated.
Truly, anyone can get started running and there’s nothing to fear. Even if you’re just casually running regularly, you’ll be doing your body good. And signing up for an organized 5k where you’ll have the rewards of crossing a finish line and receiving a medal can be great motivation. Most races like this have a very festive, casual, fun atmosphere. Give yourself a realistic goal and push yourself to do the best you can for where you’re at. Running is one of the best things you can do to improve heart health, lose some weight and accomplish your body goals in 2020. Good luck!