Running is one of the most effective ways to improve your general mental and physical health, tone your muscles, and lose weight. You can do it for free and get dramatic results in a limited period of time. It's also a terrific mood and confidence booster. Here are some tips to help you give it a go and feel the benefits.
Models Direct advises you to speak to your doctor before embarking on any new exercise regime. If you are all clear, then you can go for it. However, it is still important to start slowly and be patient.
Try going out for 20 minutes three or four times a week. If you find yourself getting tired and breathless right away, don't be discouraged. You will find that your stamina improves in a very short time if you stick at it. We would advise speed-walking as a starting point, interspersed with short periods of running. Try alternating speed walking with a gentle paced jog the first few times you go out. Within no time you will find that you can run for the full 20 minutes and you can then build on that. You may also notice that your lung capacity is improving and your mood is generally lifted within your first few sessions.
Don't worry about expensive gym memberships. Running outside is actually more effective than the treadmill, and often more fun. It will also allow you to vary your route, which is important in order to keep things fun and to push your body. Some days try a hilly route, other days flat. Running on soft ground or sand gives your legs a great work out too. Be sure that you chose a safe route and avoid running in the dark. Think your route through and plan ahead so that you know how far you are going and how long it should take you. There are plenty of online run-planning sites where you can plot your route on a map and discover how long it is.
Running isn't about speed. When starting to build your base, you aren't racing anyone but yourself. Keep a gentle, steady pace and you will find that you can go much further and increase your stamina over time. Running at a steady pace will also shed the pounds more quickly if this is your goal. A great tip is to take your iPod with some music that is the right pace for you. By keeping your steps in time with the music you will know that you are keeping a steady pace. DJ mixes are great for this reason as the beats per minute usually remain consistent for the entire mix.
Breathing and Technique
Try to breathe in for four strides and out for four to help your rhythm. Keep your shoulders and arms relaxed and swing your arms to encourage the elimination of toxins through your lymphatic system. Avoid letting your feet slap flat onto the floor as you run, as this may damage your knees. The heel should hit the ground first then you can roll to the balls of your feet naturally. Investing in a good pair of shoes is a worthwhile investment. If you keep it up, this may be a good reward to yourself and may encourage you to continue.
As you become able to run for longer, focus the attention on your core muscles. Tighten your buttocks and abdominal muscles in order to strengthen and improve your technique.
Once you have mastered the basics of running, you will begin to find that there is much more to gain from running than losing weight and toning up. Your immune system will benefit, your energy levels will be raised, your blood pressure will be lowered, and you will benefit from the endorphins produced while exercising for a noticeably improved mood. Aside from this, you can now run for a cause and set yourself attainable and satisfying goals. Good luck!