Running is one of the best forms of exercise for your overall health. From better sleep to a stronger heart and improved mental health, the health benefits are extensive.
Since I was a kid, I’ve always associated myself with different sports activities. In the year 2015, the Mumbai Marathon caught my eye. My friends were already running in marathons and hence I added “finish at least one full Marathon” to my to-do list. 5 years later, running has become a routine after finishing 2 Marathons, 13 Half Marathons, and countless 10 Km runs.
The most significant change that running brought to my life was that it made me calm. When I am running, I enter a completely different zone of focus and determination. The thing that motivates me the most about running is that I forget all the other things that are going on in my day-to-day life and I am able to look at life from a different perspective.
Here’s how to start running if you’re a beginner, along with some tips to help you achieve the health benefits of running.
Stretch it out:
Include a warm-up before each run to loosen your muscles and a cool down afterward to safely lower your heart rate. I incorporate leg swings and arm circles for stretching. Cooling down can be as simple as slowing your pace to a walk when you finish your run. Finish it off with mild stretching.
Take it easy:
Do not look for Speed or Distance. Start with brisk walking. Aim for 30 minutes per session. Allow a minimum of six weeks to build up to regular running. Aim to increase your jogging time with each session, and alternate between walking and jogging. You must build your endurance first before moving ahead.
Eat healthy to stay healthy:
Food is fuel for any form of exercise. Carbs have long been seen as the holy grail to fast running, but protein is important because it helps maintain blood sugar and makes you feel fuller for a longer time. Make sure you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Avoid eating heavy directly before going for a run.
Wear the right clothing:
Consider your shoes and apparel as an asset rather than an expense. Don’t wear your old sneakers. Poorly fitted shoes are a common cause of injuries. The running shoe should bend easily, feel comfortable, and have shock-absorbing material in the heel.
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your run. This will regulate your body temperature and restore much-needed energy to your body’s cells. Although, make sure you don’t drink too much. Overhydration can cause cramps within the body.
Incorporate rest days:
All forms of physical activity, like running, strain your muscles and bones. To realize the health benefits of exercise and to avoid injury, at least one to two rest days per week are required to allow appropriate healing and to get rid of sore muscles.
Track your progress and set goals:
Tracking your data helps you to analyze your performance based on which you can improve and optimize your targets. There are various fitness tracking apps that help you track various matrix-like km covered, Duration, Average Pace, Route tracking, Calories burned, etc.
It is important to set goals with regards to what you want to achieve through running. May it be getting fitter, losing weight, preparing for a competition, or just maintaining general fitness, tracking your progress throughout your journey is very important.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s make a run for it!
Manager Business Development