Walk, jog or run yourself to better health
Jogging or Walking…
A great way to improve your health
Some say that we were “born to run,” and as a child it comes so naturally. Yet in later life, running, jogging or even walking for many people is seen as more of a chore, and it’s as though we have forgotten how to do it.
How many times, when seeing a runner go speeding past you, have you thought about your New Year’s resolution or said to yourself “I’ll start tomorrow.” The intention is there, but inevitably come the evening after a long day at work, the couch looks far more attractive than putting on your running gear and taking to the road.
Don’t let these excuses bring you down again. If you’re planning to change your health habits for the better, running, jogging or walking can be easy and accessible even for beginners.
Everybody can do it and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.
Walking, Jogging or Running can be a great way to stay Fit-2-Work!
Just follow these 10 simple rules to improve your health and have fun whilst you walk, jog or run:
1. Don’t use just any footwear
This doesn’t mean that you have to buy the latest or a super expensive pair, but if they’re called running shoes this must be the case for a reason, right? Especially for beginners who’s bodies may have to get used to running, it’s important that your bones, joints and feet are well protected.
If you’re unsure about which pair you should get, just go to any running shop and get some advice. Specialist shops will give you the chance to try your trainers on the treadmill so that you know exactly what you’re buying.
2. Always warm up well
Try to avoid running too fast straight away, but always remember to start with a moderate jog or lower intensity activity for at least 3 to 5 minutes. This way, your body knows that you’re about to start some sort of physical activity and you’ll reduce any potential injury.
The same thing applies when you finish, don’t just stop running abruptly but gradually cool down and go back to a light jog or walk.
3. Move step by step
Especially at the beginning, it’s perfectly normal that you feel breathless and tired after just a few minutes of running. The best thing that you can do is take it step by step and progress gradually until you find your pace and rhythm. This way, you’ll steadily start completing a longer distance without putting too much stress on your body.
4. Focus on your breathing
Breathing difficulty and side stitches are common problems when running, especially for beginners, and there are many theories regarding the best practice for both. The best piece of advice is not to force or change your breathing but try to do what comes naturally. The trick is to inhale deeply through your mouth or nose so that maximum air can reach your lungs more easily.
Try to find a rhythmic breathing pattern so that you can breathe in harmony with your pace.
As for side stitches, they tend to be associated with muscle fatigue or nutrition. As long as you are consistent with your workout and your condition improves, side stitches should decrease too.
5. Stay positive
The important thing is that you don’t give up and that you stay positive at all times. As with any other sport, running and jogging can be a bit of a roller coaster. You’ll have some bad days when you’ll feel too tired or demotivated. Just keep moving and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
Remember that everyone is different so just be patient and focus on the progress that you make every day, even if each step in your progression might seem small.
6. Find a running buddy
Being active with a friend can be the perfect solution if you need someone to give you a little nudge and motivate you when the couch or the fridge seems more appealing. A buddy can also be the perfect distraction when you feel like the pain is too much to handle or when you feel like giving up halfway. Especially at the beginning, running with a mate can help you find your pace, jogging or even brisk walking should allow you to run and talk at the same time.
7. Run to the beat
If you prefer to walk, jog or run solo then listening to music can be both your running buddy and your motivation. Listen to your favourite playlists or if in doubt there are some great free running playlist online to keep you motivated and focused during your workout.
If you run on the street though, just remember to be mindful of what is going on around you. Safety first!
8. Prepare for the weather
If you wait for the perfect weather condition to go for it, you’ll probably wait forever. The UK is famous for its 4 seasons in one day so just accept it and dress for the occasions. As long as you dress in layers and wear breathable fabric you have nothing to worry about.
9. Record your run
You don’t need to buy a heart rate monitor or any other expensive gadget to track your progress. Simply download apps such as Runtastic, Runkeeper or Nike+ Running and set your goals. This way you can check your duration, how many calories you’ve burnt, your distance and your average pace.
Once you feel like you’re becoming a pro you can consider using wearable devices such as a Fitbit or smartwatch.
10. Have fun & enjoy your run
Last but not the least; enjoy your run! Running, jogging and walking can be a form of meditation, a “me time” when you should only think about yourself. Take a deep breath and try to get rid of all the negative and stressful thoughts that crowd your mind.
Focus on your run and just listen to your body. Once your brain releases endorphins you’ll feel like you don’t want to stop. So keep this happy thought for your next walk, jog or run.
10 TOP TIPS TO A BETTER WALK, JOG or RUN
1. Footwear first
2. Warm-up well
3. Progress slowly
4. Focus on breathing
5. Think positive
6. Find a buddy
7. Enjoy some music
8. Be weather ready
9. Track your stats
10. Have fun & enjoy!
Remember that we were born to move, but running isn’t for everyone. A walk or jog are great options too and there are many other outdoor exercise alternavites
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