If you’re working on your Summer body, high-intensity exercises such as running, are some of the most efficient ways to lose weight or keep fit.
Running stimulates the after-burn effect, meaning, even when you’re sitting down hours after your run, you’re burning more calories than you would be if you took part in low-intensity exercises.
If running is something you’ve always wanted to partake in, but have never known where to start, the following advice is sure to motivate you and set you on the path of success.
Get the right shoes.
You only need one piece of equipment for running, so make sure you get it right. Being a high impact sport, you really want to invest in good shoes that are going to provide you with the right level of cushioning to protect your feet and joints. Specialty footwear stores can provide expert advice, and even the technology, to match your needs with the right shoes from the get go. Believe me, your body will thank you for it!
Before starting any exercise, it’s important to prepare your body for 3-4 minutes by gradually raising the heart rate and circulation, loosening the joints and increasing blood flow to the muscles. An easy exercise I like to start with is the walking lunge. Simply step forward, drop the right knee towards the floor, then rotate your torso a half turn to the right. Then repeat on alternate sides. After 8-10 reps should warm the body nicely. Top if off with a quick stretch to help prevent injury.
Set realistic goals.
It’s important to set goals inline with your current level of fitness, adjusting as you progress. Start out walking to condition your body for what’s to come, focusing on distance over speed. Then use landmarks to set yourself goals; start by running to the first post, followed by walking for the next two, and repeat until it gets easy. Be sure to reset your goals. Eventually, your goal should be to run more than you walk!
Seek external motivation.
Motivation and accountability are the two key elements that will help you to stay committed to your new fitness regime, so joining a running group or club with like-minded people will help you keep on track to achieving your goals. A quick internet search should turn up plenty of local options. Another way great to stay motivated is by signing up for a fun run six or so months down the track.
Don’t forget to stretch.
As simple as it sounds, stretching is crucial to any workout routine. For running, it’s important to make sure you stretch your hamstrings, calf muscles and quadriceps after every session.
The key to consistency is fun. Take rest days, run different routes and run with different people to keep it interesting. And don’t forget to reward yourself for progress! Happy running and remember the only real competition is you!