Whether you are going to take up running to lose weight, to improve cardiovascular fitness, to relieve stress, to compete, or just to kill time, you’ll find that the benefits are many. Running is among the best aerobic exercises for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs.
Before you start running, take care of the below important points:
- Select proper running shoes: Be very wise while selecting shoes for running. Go for proper running shoes having proper arch support and must be light weighted. They protect you from injuries, absorb shock while running thus lesser impact is put on your feet.
- Choose right surface to run: You can start with park floor as they provide better cushioning to your feet. Later you can progress to running on pavement, concrete track or sandy surface as they are hard on your calf muscles.
- Start with short running intervals: Break the complete distance into intervals of running and walking. Over time and with training, you can keep decreasing the walking time and increasing your running time.
- Warm up and slow start: Warm up is very important before any physical work out. Give yourself 5 mins of stretches and jogging at a slower speed before starting the actual run. This increases the flexibility, distributes blood flow to all body parts and thus prevents you from injuries.
- Cool down and recovery: Don’t forget the fact that cool down is as important as your work out. Adding 5-10 mins of cool down is necessary after running. Dynamic stretches and walking at a slower speed can be done for that.
- Give yourself time to get acclimated: Not surprising that most of the beginners give up after few days. The excuse is that they feel tired, wiped out and drained. Understand the fact that it takes around 6 weeks for our body to acclimate for new demands. So just relax and keep going because if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.
- Keep yourself well hydrated: Take plenty of water and replace it with sports drink if going for a long run to provide body with sodium, potassium and magnesium which are drained off in sweating during a long run.
- Work on your flexibility: Dynamic and static stretching is preferable 5-6 times per week. You can also add foam rolling in your schedule. It helps increasing flexibility of your body by loosening up muscles and increasing range of motion.
- Strength Training: Indulge in strength training 2-3 times per week, focusing more on your core. It helps keep you strong and stabilizes your body while running.
- Go for Prehabilitation: Consult a Sports Medicine Doctor and get your strength, flexibility and biomechanics assessed and enrol for a sports-specific conditioning program.