SHOULD YOU START RUNNING?

While running is very popular, it can also be one of the most intimidating physical activities to get into! With things like marathons and triathlons, running can seem like something that only the most elite should participate in. But, the truth is that anyone can and should run! Today we’ll talk about the benefits of running and why you should start.

BENEFITS OF RUNNING

One of the greatest things about running is that it requires no extra equipment. While you can always supplement it with weights or a treadmill, as long as you have a safe space to run in, you’re ready to get started! It’s also a great way to build strong muscles and bones, since it’s a weight-bearing form of exercise. 

In addition to strengthening muscles and bones, running is also a great exercise for lung and heart health. When these two organs are being worked hard as you run, they’ll get stronger. This will make exercise easier in general, as your stamina and endurance will have increased.

HOW TO GET STARTED

It’s important before starting any new exercise to talk to your doctor first. They will know whether running is a good option for your specific health needs, and will also have advice specific to your exercise needs. Once you have the go-ahead, it’s important to prepare yourself in order to stay safe! Start off slow. Begin by going on walks and adding periods of jogging or running. Once you have built up your endurance, start running more frequently.

It would also be worth looking into getting running shoes. These will help support your feet and reduce shock and injury. They don’t have to be expensive—especially when you’re just starting out! Look at reviews and try and find a pair that suits your specific needs.

Here are some more running tips:

  • Find something you love listening to, but be sure that you can hear what’s going on around you! Stay alert to stay safe.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your run. 
  • Load up on foods full of potassium (like bananas) to avoid muscle cramps and spasms.
  • Make sure to stretch lightly before and after your workout to reduce muscle damage. A light cool down after a run can also help your body readjust to a more stagnant environment and reduce muscle soreness!
  • Listen to your body. If you ever experience an injury, don’t continue to run on it. Allow yourself a break!
DON’T SET YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE

While it’s great to get excited and set big goals, it’s important that you aren’t setting yourself up for failure. Expecting to be able to run a full marathon after only running for two weeks can cause you disappointment or injury. Start small. A 5K is a great option for someone just starting out! Remember, the more you run, the better you’ll be able to do it. Even though you might not be able to do something now, doesn’t mean you never will. Start off slow, work your way up, and listen to your body. 

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