How To Start Running For The First Time
When you finally convince yourself to get off of that couch and get yourself into shape, one of the first things you need to do is learn how to start running for the first time. Like any physical activity, you should always use the correct gear and form when you run or you risk injuring yourself. If you have never ran before, it is best to start out slow and give your body time to adjust to the sudden strain. You may feel some pain or tightness in your legs when you start, especially the day after your run, so be prepared. It might seem like running is a miserable experience, but once your body gets used to it just the act of running will make you feel good on top of the health benefits.
- Stretch before you run. Stretching your muscles will reduce the chance that they seize up while you are exercising. This is especially important if you have been sedentary for a long time.
- Buy some running shoes. You may think you look awesome running in your cowboy boots, but you'll end up tearing your knee into little pieces. While running isn't a contact sport, the constant pounding on your knees and ankles will take its toll. You need shoes with padding in the right places to reduce the amount of impact forced on your body.
- Start out with some jogging. Place one foot in front of the other and land with the heel of your foot. Push yourself forward while rolling onto the toe of your foot. Bring your other leg up and start the process over again. Landing on the heel of your foot instead of the toe or arch will reduce the impact on your knees and ankles and will allow you to run longer.
- Don't feel like you have to keep going. When you were sixteen you could push through the pain and assume that you would be fine. If you are over 30, that's not really the case, especially if you have years of little to no physical activity. If you start to feel pain in your chest, arms or head, stop immediately. Your legs are a bit harder to judge since the muscles will hurt a little from the exercise, but always saw err on the side of caution and stop if your legs start to hurt too much.
- Keep at it. Exercise is only good for you if you keep it up. Exercising just a few times a week can make a huge difference in your health.