If you’re planning to start running to keep yourself healthy, here are some things a beginner should keep in mind.
Running is definitely the first cardio exercise that comes to mind. Running is good for our body in more than one way. Nevertheless, just like any other exercise it has its own set of negative impacts especially if you’re not careful enough.
Here’s a list of things you need to know before you begin running:
Consult a doctor: Running can be quite a burden to the heart, especially if you’re overdoing it. If you’re a heart patient you should consult a doctor even before you think about trying out a cardio exercise. Also, it’s necessary to see a doctor if you’ve any other problem like arthritis, respiratory problems, or any other serious illness.
Begin slowly: Before you go for long distance running, start gradually with small jogs for first few days. Build your stamina and prepare your muscles and heart well before you expose them to greater exertion.
Pick up pace gradually: In each running spell start your jog at a slow pace, build up the speed slowly such that there isn’t much burden to the heart, and your knees and joints don’t get any wear and tear due to a rash start.
Keep a realistic goal: Don’t set unrealistic goals and harm your body in order to realize them. The weight loss should be steady and not too rapid as that could result in problems like cellulitis and further weight gain.
Take a balance diet: Taking a good diet is very important. Since running would increase your hunger, if you’re not careful you’d end up putting a few kilos more. Your diet should contain fewer calories and be rich in proteins. It should boost your stamina and help in building muscles. If you’re not certain about what to eat take help of a nutritionist.
Choosing running track: Running on a mud track or grass is much better than running on a hard track like concrete or roads as hard surface would have more impact on knees thus more join wear and tear.
Running shoes should be supple: You should choose your shoes well. The size should be appropriate, not too lose, not too tight. They should be flexible and should absorb shock from running to avoid harm to joints.
Lower your excess weight first: In obese people running may be hazardous for the knees. Hence, it is recommended to shed some weight off by other means before you start running.
Keep hydrated: Running or any other exercise for that matter makes you sweat and lose a lot of water and electrolytes. Thus, it is important to drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated, increase blood circulation and avoid muscle cramps and excessive fatigue.
Warm up before running: It’s important to warm up before running to avoid any injury to the muscles and heart.
Stretching exercises: You should do stretching exercises both before and after running to keep your body flexible.
Cool down: You must follow up the running with appropriate cool down exercises and rest. It would help your body recover to normal heart beat, breathing and temperature. Appropriate cool down would help you take lesser damage, avoid muscle soreness and also avoid any long term side effects to heart and lungs.
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Combine with other exercises: Running may not be adequate in keeping you fit, especially if you’re planning at reducing a good amount of weight. You should mix running with other exercises and weight training covering every part of your body.
Choosing the running location: You should choose the running area carefully. For personal safety the area should not be abandoned and have adequate light. You wouldn’t want to be mugged or be a victim of criminals while running.