We have come to that time of the year when many of us need to get back to our routine after a bit of holiday indulgence. It is also the time of year for trying new things, you’ve probably noticed that your local gym packs out with enthusiastic newbies who seem to disappear by February.
If your are struggling to find an available cardio machine, why not get outside and do it the way nature intended? Running is an easy and cost-effective way to stay in shape, and you can do it anywhere.
Here is what calories are burned by an average sized person within half an hour of exercise.
- Running: 300 calories
- Cycling: 250 calories
- Swimming: 240 calories
- Walking 150 calories
Obviously you can walk and swim much longer than you can run, meaning that these activities are better for trimming the pounds. For exercising the most important muscle in your body though, nothing beats a half hour run. Here’s a few tips on getting started.
Take It Easy
Start by mixing short running sessions with brisk walks, five minutes on, five minutes off. You don’t want to just go out there and run as fast as you can for as long as possible. This is similar to what the January gym goers do, they take on too much, set unrealistic goals and ultimately don’t enjoy themselves.
You’re going to find it hard to motivate yourself to keep up a routine you don’t enjoy, so start slow and work your way up.
Get The Right Gear
The beauty of running is that you don’t need any expensive equipment. You’ll need a decent pair of shoes though, running in worn-out or inappropriate footwear is likely to cause an injury. There are plenty of good options available for less than $50, but you need to find the right ones for you. More about running shoes can be read here. (www.goodrunguide.co.uk/RunningShoes.asp)
Wear polyester! A cotton T-shirt will soak up with sweat, not only does this look and smell unappealing, it will cling to your skin which causes irritation. Anyone who has suffered from jogger’s nipple will attest to this.
Perfect Your Technique
Running technique is not something you think about, but you can be slowing yourself down or risking injury by not running properly. Not using the full potential of each part of your body places unnecessary strain upon it, and is likely to cause problems further down the line.
This infographic (also see below) demonstrates the ideal running style. As you don’t consciously think about technique, you may not notice many of the bad habits shown, so if you’re unsure, have a buddy check your form.
Listen To Your Body
Running the right way may cause some pain or discomfort. Don’t let this put you off, it is likely that an old injury is has been forcing you to run incorrectly.
Your body is trying to tell you something, and you shouldn’t ignore it. Don’t alter your technique to ease the pain, but at the same time don’t force your body into doing something it is not happy with.
If a pain persists, get it checked out. While there is a small chance that it is a serious problem, it could simply be a matter of changing your running shoes.
Set A Goal
Like every sport or training program, we need clear goals and targets to stay motivated. Set a realistic goal, then tell your friends about it, this way you have no choice but to go ahead with it.