Running is one of the best forms of aerobic conditioning for your heart and lungs. It can significantly increase your metabolic rate and the amount of calories you burn, leading to loss of excess body fat. Those who run regularly are also less likely to experience bone and muscle loss due to the body’s positive response to additional physical demands.
Pay attention to your shoes: Shoes wear out after 300 to 500 miles. You often can’t see the wear, but, your knees, hips and back will feel it. Visit a running specialty store for quality shoes and talk to your doctor for suggestions on the best shoes to get. Not just any shoe will do.
Run on different surfaces: See how many different surfaces you can run on in a month: asphalt, gravel, trail, grass, track, treadmill and beach. Each stresses your leg muscles in a slightly different way, helping to prevent overuse injuries. (If possible, avoid concrete, the hardest and most harmful surface for runners.)
Keep a training journal: A journal can be a great way to maintain motivation and consistency. Keep it filled with running times, routines, motivational quotes and how your body reacts to various routines. You should have a documented road map for reaching your running goals.
Introduce high-intensity interval training into your running routine: Alternate, pace, speed, tempo and rest periods during a single running session. For example, keep a steady pace for a mile and then sprint for 30 seconds. Do this for several cycles and notice how your heart rate and muscle fatigue threshold increase by your efforts.
So, now that you know more information than the “average Joe” about running, it’s time to take that first step toward a healthier you. Every great journey starts with a single step; now just put one foot in front of the other to see how far this new journey takes you. I have a feeling you will discover a passion for the open road you never know existed. Welcome to the wonderful world of running.