How to Start Running: a Short Guide for Beginners

running

If you’ve decided to take up running as a means to begin exercising or as an addition to your current exercise regimen, you’ve made a great decision. Running is a fantastic way to improve your health, lose weight and make new friends. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never run in your life. With the right motivation (and gear), anyone can be a runner!

The best thing about running is that it can be whatever you want it to be — exercise, hobby, recreational activity. Sure, running can come with some discomfort and hard work in the beginning and maybe even in the long run, but in the end, it is a self-fulfilling experience that can empower you in many ways.

Benefits of running

By running, you can achieve more than just one or two goals. Running will change your life for the better by preventing diseases, fighting depression, relieving stress, and helping you lose weight.

  • Help you lose weight: Running is a great way to stay fit. It helps you lose weight, feel better, and has more calorie-burning power than any other form of exercise.
  • Boost your confidence: Running has psychological benefits, including reducing stress, improving concentration, and boosting self-confidence. As you continually challenge yourself to go further, you’ll gain a sense of pride and accomplishment that will make you feel happier.
  • Relieves stress: Stress can be hard on your body, reducing appetite and sleep quality, increasing your cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart rate. However, running for 30 minutes every day can help you healthily manage stress.
  • Prevents diseases: Running not only helps you to look and feel better, but it can also help prevent several diseases. You can significantly reduce heart attacks since running helps the arteries retain their elasticity and strengthen your heart.
  • Fights depression: Running is not only a great way to boost energy and motivation; it’s an incredibly effective method of rapidly treating depression. Exercise releases body chemicals called endorphins, which interact with receptors in your brain to give you a sense of euphoria.

Things to do when you run

Go Stretch

It’s a great idea to warm up before any new exercise or training session. Many doctors recommend it before and after exercise. A proper warm-up routine undergoes a steady increase in pace to ensure that blood circulation reaches every part of the body. This helps raise your muscles’ temperature, keeping them flexible and efficient, allowing greater ease of movement. By stretching, you can build and maintain your flexibility, improve your posture and range of motion, and recover from workouts more quickly.

Dynamic VS Static Stretch

A static stretch is similar to the stretches you did in gym class. These stretches consist of putting your arm across the body to stretch your shoulder and are held at the point of being uncomfortable because of its long duration (usually 30 seconds). Static stretches, when done before any activity, do not have the desired effect. Research from the Sport Journal states that dynamic stretching might have more impact to enhance athletic achievement.

On the other hand, dynamic stretching is an active approach to stretching that involves gentle, repeated motions. An example would be arm swings that begin with small movements then gradually increase in size until they are big enough to replicate the activity you are about to perform, such as running. This stretches the muscles to prevent injury, enhance flexibility, help oxygen flow, and reduce muscle soreness.

Hydrate Yourself

woman drinking water

Make sure to drink water before you go for a run. Staying hydrated before your workouts can help you perform better and feel stronger. When we’re in the zone or are too focused on the run, we forget to drink water, leading to dehydration.

Dehydration can cause side effects such as headache, dizziness, decreased skin elasticity, and even major ones like low blood pressure and high uric acid levels. The uric acid levels in your blood increase when you become dehydrated because the concentration of your blood becomes more concentrated, and there’s less water in your body. When you often forget to keep fluids in, the rise of uric acid continues. This can lead to kidney diseases, heart diseases, and gout.

Remember to hydrate yourself when you’re running. But if you are already experiencing side effects, drink more clear fluid such as water, ice pops, sports drink like Gatorade, and clear broths. You can take tart cherry supplements to keep your uric acid level at bay.

Drink one glass of water every hour before you go for a 30-minute run. If you are running for longer than 30 minutes, you should drink two glasses of water per hour.

Walk-Run Program

If you haven’t been physically active nor have been running regularly, start by walking and taking things slowly. The more gradually you ease yourself into a new activity, the less likely you will suffer an injury.

A lot of people do well with a run-walk program. If you consider yourself a total beginner, start by alternating one minute of running with two minutes of walking for a total of 20 to 30 minutes. Each week, increase how long you can run by 30 seconds, decrease the time you walk by 30 seconds, and reach 10 minutes.

Running can be a great way to get in shape and participate in a healthy and active lifestyle. It’s instantly accessible, doesn’t require any special equipment, has a lot of health benefits, and you can do it solo or as part of a team.

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