Taking Your First Steps When You Start Running
Exercise,  Health

Taking Your First Steps When You Start Running

Running is one of the most effective ways to get into cardiovascular exercise and whether you have just realized that this activity might be, or you are resuming a previous running program you need to ease into it in order to avoid injuring yourself. Here are some essential tips to ensure that you start off your new running regime correctly.

Get a Medical Sign-Off

Leaping into any serious physical activity on the spur of the moment can prove damaging to your health. Before you start running, consult with a medical professional, especially if you have been sedentary for the past year. Your doctor will almost inevitably be supportive – but they also have some valuable advice.

Seeing a doctor prior to hitting the road is especially crucial if you have an old injury, a preexisting medical condition, or are on chronic medication. For example, if you have type 1 diabetes carrying an appropriate snack for those times when the blood sugar drops is a great idea. If you are taking blood pressure medication you would be well-advised to invest in a heart-rate monitor wearable. Your doctor is your best source of appropriate pre-running information.

The Importance of Shoes and Gear

Although it may be tempting to invest in a pair of running shoes that are ‘good enough’ try and stretch your budget to include well-known brands like Strive with an impeccable reputation for quality. That includes shoes that suit your style of running and fit comfortably and will not cause any health issues affecting the feet, spine (impact issues), or joints.

The shoe should be manufactured using lightweight wicking fibers to keep your feet cool and dry. Although you can run without the best gear, the right equipment can help make running safer, a more effective form of exercise, and more fun.

Staying Safe

Make sure to take measured steps while running. This prevents injury and keeps you safe. Warmups are essential – take a short walk or a laid-back jog for between five and ten minutes before upping the intensity. Dynamic stretches and running drills are also great ways to loosen.

Follow generally accepted safety advice such as running against the flow of traffic when you are on public roads. Make sure to always carry an ID so that in the unlikely event of an accident you can be identified and treated appropriately (wear a medical alert item if you have a pre-existing condition).

The Run/Walk Method

Combining running with short cooldown periods of walking is the perfect way to start off your new focus on running. It allows new runners to build endurance, while at the same time avoiding excessive joint stress – and managing intensity levels more easily.

A good start is to alternate between one minute of running and one minute of walking. Gradually you can up the running periods and, as your comfort levels grow you can cut down on the time that you spend walking.

Increasing the Effectiveness of the Walk/Run Approach

The guiding principle of this approach is to make the process of acclimatizing to running regularly as painless and challenging as possible. At first, running should be hard – but not so hard that you consider just abandoning the entire idea. Don’t get disillusioned, make sure to keep a comfortable pace that allows you to chat while running – at least at first. If you are struggling to draw enough breath to talk, then it’s time to ease up on the throttle.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth – it helps you get an adequate supply of oxygen while exercising. deep belly breathing can also help you to avoid cramps or stitches.

Once you have completed your run cool down by lowering the pace to an easy jog – and then slow even further to a walk. Make sure to stretch gently after your run-in order to avoid tight muscles the next morning.

Don’t feel the pressure to increase speed or distance at a breakneck pace – your aim when you start out is consistency. Develop a weekly running schedule – and make each session part of a healthy habit.

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