Did you know that running burns off more calories than any other mainstream exercise? If you are on a low budget, or simply cannot commit to a gym session, running would be a good choice, as you can do it anywhere and it is free! You can do it for any length of time and at any pace you choose.
Benefits of running
- It can reduce your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
- It can boost your mood - it produces 'endorphins' which counteracts stress hormones such as 'adrenalin' and 'cortisol'
- It can assist in weight loss and weight management
- It is the best 'mainstream' exercise calorie-burner!
- It assists to 'tone -up' muscles
If you are thinking of taking up running/jogging to get fitter or just for fun, here are some handy hints and ideas:
- Use the Pace Calculator/Split Times Calculator/Sports Calculator/Running Calculator to track your 'stats' and to encourage you to improve. There is nothing quite like boosting your confidence to see the progress that you make. This tool is really useful for letting you know exactly what you have done! (You can use the Calorie Calculator to see what calories you've burnt during your run too!).
- Warm-up! You don't want to 'pull' any muscles. Take about 5 minutes. You can; *walk/march on the spot, * lift knees, * step side to side * walk up and down stairs.
- Build up gradually - Start at a slow pace if you haven't done any form of exercise for a while. Maybe start with a brisk walk for a few days. around 3 miles per hour. * If you are 'out of shape'/recovering from an injury/have an underlying medical condition, you should seek medical advice before undertaking any form of exercise.
- Wear running shoes! A decent pair of COMFORTABLE trainers really helps with your rhythm and pace. They also keep your feet in better condition!
- Map out your 'running route'. It helps to know where you are going to run and how long you want to run for. The benefit of using the Pace Calculator/Split Times Calculator/Sports Calculator/Running Calculator, is that it can identify how long or what distance you have run, dependent on the input, which allows you to track your improvement more effectively i.e. If you run to the park which is 1 mile away and then put in how long you ran for, the calculator will tell you your average Miles Per Hour/Kilometres Per Hour. That is a great way to show any improvement over a period of time, say 4 weeks.
- Plan when and how often you are going to 'run'. Be realistic. E.g. Don't commit to run at 05:00 if you know that you are not really an early riser! Don't plan to run every day, if your other commitments won't facilitate this. If you set unrealistic targets, you will find it hard to achieve them, which will leave you feeling 'down' if you fail and so is counter-productive to your well being. Aim for around twice a week to start off.
- Buddy-running - Running with a friend or colleague is a great way to stay motivated. You don't want to let people down and it is great for those with a competitive streak!
- ENJOY IT! If you don't enjoy it, you are not likely to stick at it! Try things like listening to your favourite 'playlist', think of things you like, such as holidays. This really does enhance your run if you are struggling to keep motivated. Keep focused on your goal!