Running is a great way to get the exercise you need. It can be done almost anywhere, requires minimal equipment and helps relieve stress while also improving your fitness level.
But before you jump into running feet first, here are 5 tips to help keep you motivated and injury-free:
- Be realistic about your starting point. It's important to take into account your current fitness level and other factors that may impact how often, how far or how fast you run.
- Build speed or distance slowly. Increase your speed, time or distance slowly so you don't get injured by doing too much too soon. Aside from risking potential injury, you may burn out too quickly if you try to do more than you're ready to handle.
- Switch things up. You may be so excited to start running that you want to head out with the same goal day after day – to run as far as your body can go. But don't. Your body needs a rest from this activity so sprinkle in some days of cross-training or rest.
- Let your body be your guide. Sore muscles are common when you run. If the soreness lessens as your muscles warm up, you can keep going. But if the pain increases, it's a signal that you need to take a break.
- Don't give up. If you've never run before, it may take time before you feel comfortable running for more than a few minutes. Even if it takes longer than you expect to get to where you want to be, you'll soon be running more than you ever thought possible if you follow a reasonable plan.
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Date Last Reviewed: April 10, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor