How To Start Running – Beginners Guide To Getting On Your Feet [And Staying There]
Running is one of the most popular activities to stay in shape. It is affordable for all people and it can be done with no gym membership, no expensive equipment and independent of location. However, its benefits are seen when done on a constant basis.
Research shows that running can be at least twice as effective as walking at burning calories. At a weight of 80kg, a person will burn 17 calories per minute while running. A 30-minute run equals to 510 burned calories. Jogging, dancing and even swimming do not burn as many calories. But starting to run might not be the easiest process. Even more, running on a constant basis can be a challenge for many people.
The first tip is to actually start moving more. Changing a sedentary lifestyle is not easy. Taking small steps is where more people start. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or simply parking further away from the supermarket is a good way to start. Running straight away, especially for overweight people, is not recommended. This can cause joint issues.
Going on a walk is great as well. In some cases, walking can be a real alternative to jogging when it comes to burning calories. At the same time, walking can create active habits. Daily walks are easier to transition into daily runs.
There are some excellent Health Walks in Essex, and across the country, to help you get started.
The running equipment you need
While running burns the most calories, it is also the most affordable way to get and stay in shape. A good pair of shoes is all that it takes. Supportive shoes are important. They need to come with good traction, great support and proper cushioning to absorb some of the impacts running comes with, especially on hard surfaces. While some running shoes can be expensive, there are ways around this even for new runners. Do your research! For example, you can get brand new running shoes at bargain prices using the Activeinstict Voucher Codes that you find on Plusvouchercode.co.uk. Currently, there is an online sale with up to 50% OFF discounts!
Expect a little soreness
Muscle soreness is expected, especially for those new to running. This can be felt even days after an intense running session. Good hydration and proper healthy foods are recommended to diminish muscle soreness.
All runners should ensure they drink plenty of water throughout the day. The human body comes with 60% water content and maintaining this balance is crucial, especially with physical activity.
Ensuring you warm-up your leg muscles with stretching exercises and/or a brisk walk before you start running, and again at the end of each session, will help keep the aches and pains at bay!
Keeping yourself motivated
Staying motivated can be a real issue. Even the most experienced runners struggle to stay motivated in time. There are a few methods which can help with motivation. Stepping on the scale and measuring weight loss progress can be one of the methods used to increase motivation.
Finding a running partner or a running community can help as well. There are many running communities around the country and joining like-minded people can come with the extra motivation to run on a constant basis. There is a study which shows that making new habits takes at least two months. So new runners have better chances of actually incorporating running in their daily or weekly routines simply by ensuring they go past the first months when this seems impossible.
Running indoors vs. running outdoors
There is a debate between indoor and outdoor running. But running indoors is not as bad as many would believe. On rainy days, it can be the only way to ensure those calories do not stack up. Running outdoors can be one of the best activities to consider when the weather is good. Running around the block, in a park, out on trails and even on a track can come with extra variety and with the extra motivation needed to stay on the feet as long as possible. Plus, the benefits of all that fresh air shouldn’t be underestimated!
Couch to 5K
In terms of the actual running plans, once a person starts to walk more, it is time to include running into a routine plan. The NHS has a great plan called “Couch to 5k”. The 9-week plan, which recommends three sessions each week with at least a 1-day rest interval between sessions, is easy to abide by:
Week 1 – start with a 5-minute warm-up walk. Continue with 60 seconds of running. Walk for 90 seconds. Repeat up to 20 minutes.
Week 2 – 5-minute walk, 90 seconds running and 2 minutes of walking. Repeat for 20 minutes.
Week 3 – 5-minute walk followed by 90 seconds of running, 30 seconds of walking, 3-minute run followed by a 3-minute walk. This can be repeated up to two times.
Week 4 – 5-minute warm-up walk, 3 minutes of running and 90 seconds walking. 5 minutes running, 2min 30 seconds walking, 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking. 5 minutes closing running session.
Week 5 – 5-minutes warm-up walk, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking and 5 minutes running.
Week 6 – 5-minutes warm-up, 8 minutes running, 5 minutes walking, 8 minutes running.
Week 7 – 5-minute warm-up walk followed by a 25-minute running session.
Week 8 – 5-minute warm-up walk followed by 28 minutes of running.
Week 9 – 5-minute warm-up walk followed by 30 minutes running.
This simple plan is recommended for most healthy people. Starting with just a few minutes of running, it builds the cardiovascular endurance for runs of up to 5k.
Setting a routine is the most important when it comes to long-term commitment. Running can be done both in the morning and in the evening. Being based on short training sessions, running can easily be adjusted according to the work schedule of every individual. Even running a few times per week is more than enough to keep weight under control and to improve cardiovascular health.
 Calorie Burners, Activities That Turn Up the Heat, American Council of Exercise
 Walking can burn more calories than jogging, Western Journal of Medicine
 How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world, European Journal of Social Psychology
 Couch to 5k