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No matter how old you are or what your current fitness level, it’s never a bad time to start running for health. While of course you should always check with your physician before starting a new fitness regime, running is great way to build endurance and increase cardiovascular health.
In this article, we’re sharing 10 tips that every up-and-coming runner should be aware of:
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1. Run With A Buddy
A recent study coming out of Britain says that running with a friend makes your exercise seem easier. It’s also just more fun to have a buddy along!
It’s believed that having a friend can boost levels of certain mood-improving hormones so you enjoy your workout more.
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2. Spend The Money On Good Shoes
Running in the wrong type of shoe is a bad idea; you’ll be uncomfortable and more prone to injury.
A good running shoe is built to complement the movement of the foot while in motion. It will actually improve your performance, reduce your risk of injury, and feel more comfortable – and feeling good means you’ll want to keep running.
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3. Alternate With Other Exercises
You won’t always be able to run; weather, injury or mood may dictate a change in plans.
It’s always a good idea to keep up with other forms of exercise. Weight training will help keep you toned and raise metabolism, Pilates or yoga helps build flexibility and core strength. Swimming is great for a low impact day.
4. Keep An Exercise Journal
Keep a daily journal of the running that you do, tracking your route and time as well as how you felt during and after.
You’ll be able to spot patterns and see how much you’ve improved; it’s a great way to be able to motivate yourself when you aren’t feeling like going on.
5. Invest In Sports Socks
Look for high quality sports socks – there is definitely a difference between the $1 and the $10 socks. Look for socks that wick moisture away from the body; it reduces friction that can cause blisters.
6. The Importance Of Rest
Don’t run hard two days in a row. Your body needs a day of recuperation after a tough run.
Of course, that’s not to say that you mustn’t ever exercise two days in a row. Do an easier, short run, on the day after a hard run – or alternate with swimming or Pilates. It will give your muscles the chance to recover.
Beginning runners often downplay the importance of stretching before a run. But seasoned runners know it’s important to help prevent injuries and strains so that you stay healthy and in top condition.
Inadequate stretching before a run can leave you with muscle or joint injury, even to the point of leaving you sidelined for weeks. Stay in the game – do your stretches!
8. Keep Yourself Hydrated
They say that if you feel thirsty, you’ve already waited too long for a drink. Staying hydrated is vitally important for your fitness and physical safety while running.
The key is to drink plenty of water all day, every day, rather than trying to load up on water before your run. The old rule of eight 8-ounce glasses a day is a good one to follow – and drink even more when you’re exercising.
Do drink water before hand, and carry a bottle to drink during your run as well. Of course, don’t forget to rehydrate either with water or a sports drink after your run, too.
9. Focus On Your Breathing
Breathing properly is an important aspect to running. Breathing should be steady and deep.
You want to take air in all the way to the bottom of your lungs; if you find yourself out of breath, focus on the exhale and concentrate on slowing it down. Inhale through your mouth rather than your nose, it allows you to get more oxygen into the blood stream faster.
10. Start With Short Distances
You don’t start with a marathon on the first day! Begin slow and work your way up to longer distances. You can find training charts online that will help you build up your stamina to reach your ultimate distance and time goals.
Remember too, that pushing too hard, too fast can lead to injury through wear and tear – so train carefully to reach your optimal distance and intensity.
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