Preparing To Start Running For Fitness
Here are some tips for getting ready to begin a running program:
Check with Your Doctor
It may sound like one of those boring disclaimers that are at the start of every diet or fitness program, but in the case of running it actually is pretty important to talk to your doctor before you start. If you have any injuries, for example to your knees or ankles, running can cause further deterioration to the joints or can worsen pain, and you also need to check your heart will be able to handle the level of intensity this form of exercise creates. Your doctor will be likely to fully support the fact you want to get fitter, but they may make some recommendations you should follow, like wearing supportive bandages on weak joints, limiting how long you run for, or starting off with a more gentle form of exercise and working up. If you are overweight, your doctor may also advise you on nutrition to supplement your exercise plan. Go for a check up before you put together your running plan or buy any gear, as his or her advice may impact the choices you make about these.
Buy Proper Running Shoes and Clothes
Not all sport shoes are alike, so don’t even consider putting on your everyday trainers or shoes you’d wear for a low impact or strength workout to run in. You need proper running shoes which are designed to cope with the specific shock running puts on your body each time you hit the ground. You don’t need the most expensive or fancy brand, just buy some that fit properly and are made for runners. You won’t be sorry, you’ll notice the difference as soon as you start to walk or run in them – everything feels bouncy, comfortable and right.
You also need the right clothes, and what you choose will be down to your own preferences and the type of weather conditions you’ll be facing. Do make sure you pick something breathable, and if you’re a woman, you absolutely need a sports bra to run in no matter what your size.
Make a Plan
You are unlikely to hit your goals if you just set out for a run at random, and run until you feel like stopping. Come up with a goal, whether it is distance, time or speed, and work out a plan to get you to it. Like most cardio exercise, you can run pretty much every day if you want to (though at least one rest day is advisable per week), or you can start easy with three days a week, combine it with other activities into a weekly plan – basically whatever suits you and your goals. A personal trainer can help you plan, or there are numerous resources and apps on the web designed to help with designing your running program.
- Sun, Sea, Sand And Sweating… How To Have A Healthy Summer! (healthybodylife.com)
- A Guide to Choosing Running Shoes (everydayhealth.com)
- Fitness profile: Frederick Sheeler (readingeagle.com)
- “How Can I Exercise While Camping?” (crazy4camping.com)