It’s time to strap on those joggers and run your way to good health.
From building stronger bones, to improving cardiovascular fitness and maintaining weight, research shows that running and jogging is good for you. So shake off those cold weather blues and take yourself outside in the fresh air for a run. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
Here’s a few tips and tricks to help you get started:
Warm up the body
Warming up helps raise the temperature of your body and muscles so they’ll be ready for exercise and prevent injuries. One of the best ways to warm up is by walking. It’s low intensity yet takes muscles, tendons and joints through a range of motions similar to running. Walk on flat ground, then add in stairs to increase intensity.
Run with a friend
A number of recent studies show that working out with friends is better than exercising alone. Researchers say that if you work out with a friend, you’re likely to push yourself harder than if you’re on your own; you’ll also train for longer, more often and burn more calories. Having a running buddy is the ideal way to make sure you have that extra motivation to run regularly.
Find your running rhythm
If you’re not a runner already, then it’s important to start slow. It’s absolutely fine to begin with a mix of walking and running, keeping in mind that a warm-up and cool-down are essential to avoid injury. Stay at your own pace. Don’t try to push yourself running with more experienced friends or fitness groups, but do try to find a friend at your level as running buddies are a great way to stay motivated. Running a bit slower can actually provide more physiological gains for you long-term than pushing yourself to a speed that’s uncomfortable. Better to run a little too slow than a little too fast. If you’re not sure what’s best, try a heart rate monitor. It’s one of the top ways to figure our your heart rate zones and find your correct pace. Getting into a running rhythm with pace and breathing takes experience, so take your time.
Remember to stretch
Studies show that dynamic stretches, such as skipping and butt kicks, are the best way to loosen up muscles and increase heart rate pre-run. End your run with 10 minutes of static stretches. These take your muscle to its longest length, holding it there for an extended time, usually 15 to 60 seconds. Do
not bounce into your stretch, as it is likely to tear muscle fibres.