A lot more of us are working from home than ever before, and running has consequently become an exercise that a lot of people have more time to practice. Running has a great number of health benefits and can reduce the risk of illness, improve mood, and contribute to keeping your body at a healthy weight. It’s also an exercise that requires no expensive equipment and that almost anyone can practice. Here are some helpful tips for anyone who is beginning to run for exercise and fun.
1. Start Slowly.
When starting your running practice, it’s best to maintain a constant pace, allowing your body to become accustomed to the new exercise. Your first few weeks of running should be unspectacular, as you shouldn’t be trying to constantly increase your pace. Once your body has settled into a rhythm, you can increase your distance by up to 10 percent each week.
2. Wear the Correct Running Shoes.
It’s best to wear the right shoes from as early on in your running career as possible. Having a running shop perform a gait analysis and recommending a pair of shoes to match your gait can be very beneficial to your performance. This doesn’t mean that you need to buy very expensive shoes; it just means that your shoes should be a very good fit.
3. Don’t Wear Cotton Socks.
Cotton absorbs moisture, and your cotton socks will absorb all the sweat from your feet and then rub against your damp skin. Proper running socks don’t hold onto moisture from your feet, making sure that your feet are far less likely to blister. Your feet are your most important body part where running is concerned and need to be taken care of very well.
4. Always Warm Up and Cool Down.
Before you start running, begin your routine with a brisk five-minute walk as a warm-up. This will safeguard you against injuries. After you have finished your run, slow down with another fast-paced walk, followed by a few static stretches that you hold for at least half a minute.
5. Cross Train.
Try to incorporate other forms of exercise into your daily routine while your body properly adjusts to your running schedule. Yoga is one of the exercises that most runners gravitate to as it assists in strengthening muscles and helps to prevent injury. Other exercises that are beneficial to runners are Pilates and swimming.
6. Sleep Soundly.
Your body becomes acclimatized and adapts to all the exercise you’ve been doing while it sleeps. If you aren’t asleep for the correct amount of hours, your body won’t be able to adapt to all the changes you’ve been making. Sleep is as critical to optimal running performance as nutrition is.
7. Listen When Your Body Talks.
If your body registers pain, it means something is wrong. Don’t carry on with your regular routine while you wince through the pain. Treat all injuries when they occur, as ignoring them will cause more pain and require a longer recovery period.
8. Eat Carbohydrates.
These foods act as fuel for runners, especially those who do long-distance running. Avoid processed carbohydrates such as cereal, white bread, and doughnuts and choose complex carbohydrates like brown rice, oats, and vegetables instead. Your running performance will greatly benefit.
9. Use a Run/Walk
Technique as a Beginner. When you are starting with a new running regimen, work out a running and walking interval that you find comfortable. It can include any amount of running, followed by an equal period of walking. As you become a more confident runner, you can slowly build toward eliminating the walking part.
10. Land Lightly.
The impact that your body sustains from landing heavily on each foot
can easily lead to injury. Practice landing lightly and on your forefoot, not your heel. Landing on the front of your feet can dramatically lower your chances of injury.
11. Take Time Out from Running.
Taking a rest day doesn’t mean that you have to avoid any kind of physical activity. Perform light exercises such as taking a walk or practicing yoga. Also, take time to look after your body by preparing healthy treats to eat.
12. Run on Soft Surfaces.
You should start your running practice by trying to run on softer surfaces. Examples of soft surfaces include a treadmill, grass, or a running track. These will definitely lessen the impact that your body will have to absorb from running on harder surfaces.
13. Tell Someone Your Whereabouts.
Always inform someone of the route you will be taking, how far you will be running, and the expected time you should be back. If you live alone, try to text someone each time you go for a run or leave a note with all of the details of your run on a counter or table.
14. Drink Water.
Always drink plenty of water and add fruit and berries to some of the water to add variety. If your run will be more than an hour, an energy drink might be able to keep you going a bit longer.
Starting a new exercise routine can be challenging at first but can also be very rewarding. Running is a sport that is practiced by millions of people around the world as it is very beneficial to health, doesn’t require any exercise equipment, and is open to people of all ages. Just have a pair of running shoes and a willingness to learn a new skill, and you’re all set.