Think about the most basic cardio exercise and running would pop up in your head. It’s undoubtedly the easiest form of exercise and you need almost nothing to get started with it – apart from a good pair of shoes and motivation, of course. Running is common as an exercise among all age groups and you can start it anytime as long as you’re medically fit for it. P.S – Running from responsibilities and adulting is still not counted as cardio, sad!
Benefits of Running
It’s a very general idea that running is good for your cardio health but it has quite some benefits, you’ll be surprised. Just getting yourself out of that door for a run helps your body to raise the level of good cholesterol, enhance the lung functions and blood circulation. It also reduces the risk of having breast cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart stroke. That’s not all – running helps to burn calories which results in weight loss, it also triggers hormones in your body that help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Isn’t it amazing?
Following are some dos and don’ts for the budding runners:
Slow and Steady
Remember that your mind and your body works in different ways, your decision to start running won’t necessarily support your physical strength to do so. Just like every other workout even running should be started at a slower and comfortable pace. Experts say that it’s best to run your first kilometer with a pace that can still allow you to have a conversation. It will save you from cramps, overexertion, side stitches, etc. Now you won’t enjoy that, right? Being slow in the beginning is definitely better than running out of breaths.
Add Variations To Your Running
Consider adding variety to your running schedule only a week after your consistent running. Now that your body is more habituated with your running routine, this is the right time to bring in a few changes or rather, challenges. No, don’t go overboard, what we are suggesting is a different type of running routines or exercises that’s slightly similar to this. The types of running variations that you can try are basic recovery run, base run, long run, progression run, hill repeats, fartlek and many more. You can even try changing the terrain you’re running on, like switching from the park or pavement to a rocky or uneven off-road. It’s fun and spices up your running routine.
Intervals and Rest
We can’t emphasize much on the fact that intervals and rest days are as important as your running routine. When you take intervals during running, your body gets a chance to prepare itself for the next sprint and your heart gets to take time off heavy circulation cycle. So it’s advised to take timely intervals while running and not only when you’re maximally exhausted. Rest days are equally important and it’s a globally accepted fact that rest days help your body restore energy, repair, and develop the muscles to make you all fit and fabulous for your next run.
So many believe that heavy meal first thing in the morning helps keep the body energized throughout the day. Well, they ain’t entirely wrong about this, but you need to put a tab on what you’re eating and how much you’re eating, especially if you are planning to go for a run just after that. The best way of doing this is by knowing more about pre-workout and post-workout meals – What to eat before and after a workout? – Pre and Post-Workout Meal. For starters, you can choose to have bananas, oats, and some dry fruits to grab some fuel for your run.
Skipping Your Warmup
Shaking and stretching your muscles before any kind of workout is mandatory even if you’re going for a run. Most people tend to skip warm-up before running because it’s unlike the conventional workout, which may result in muscle pull, cramps or sore heels. You can do basic stretching exercises for hips, quadriceps, shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings to get your body pumped-up before you start. To know more about stretching read Everything You Wanted To Know About The Art of Stretching.
Wrong Choice of Footwear
The seasonal runners would swear on how important good footwear is for a satisfying morning run. Being the only asset that you’ll have to spend a few bucks on, good shoes will surely take your running regime to the next level. Not only will it help you to avoid unwanted injuries but also make running easy. Experts say that shoes come with an expiry age of 500 km. The wearing off your shoes also depends on other factors like your body weight, the maintenance, your running style, etc.
Needless to emphasize, make sure you’re treating your body with enough fluid at the right intervals. It’s very important to remember that having too much fluid might end up getting side stitches and having too little while exhausting you resulting in fatigue. Find the right balance according to your body and never forget to carry a reusable water bottle for your run.
Pro Tip: You might feel like laying on the ground or even taking a nice nap after a long run, abort that thought right away, refuel, stretch, and get going with your day!
Comment down if you have any tips that you’d like us to add here, happy running fellas!