When it comes to exercise, running can become more than just a workout; it can completely change your lifestyle. Avid runners report a better sense of well-being and higher levels of energy that carry over into every area of their life. Although running provides amazing cardiovascular benefits, it is important to start out slowly to prevent injuries such as sprains and strains.
If you are seeking to incorporate running into your workout regimen, then here is what you need to get started and stay safe when hitting the pavement.
Get the Right Gear
Staying comfortable during your runs is important for helping you stick to your training program, a great pair of sneakers is the first place to start when gearing up for a run. Additionally, you will need a set of clothing that is appropriate for your climate, so dressing in layers is always best because you can remove pieces as your core temperature warms up.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Before every run, you will need to spend at least three minutes warming up, and most runners simply begin by walking slowly and increasing their pace as the warm-up time nears its end. Doing a few stretches beforehand is also helpful for limbering up your muscles. After your run, spend the same amount of time cooling down by reversing your speed back down to a walk.
For a total body workout, you will need to incorporate some strength-training into your workouts two to three times a week. Most runners prefer to do these workouts on days they take a shorter run or take a day off. Body weight exercises, yoga and pilates are ideal strength-training workouts that complement running.
Listen to Your Body
Pushing yourself too far is one of the most common mistakes you can make as a beginner runner, to prevent injuries, it is important to listen to your body. Always aim to run at a pace that allows you to be able to speak, but with effort. Additionally, paying attention to areas in your body that are sore will enable you to promptly care for strained muscles before they get worse. Many runners feel occasional aches and pains around their knees and in their legs, so try this kinesiology tape by Strength Tape, it can be applied to these areas to help relieve pressure and promote healing.
Finish with Flair
Although running has its own rewards, you will always want to finish your runs with a happy moment, this could be breaking a distance record or extending your time. However you decide to celebrate, be sure to pamper yourself afterward by spending a few minutes stretching or using a foam roller during your cool down, this way, you will be ready to go when your next run comes around.