Running is a great way to lose weight, improve cardio endurance and stamina, and increase your overall fitness level. For some people, the prospect of running seems daunting because there are so many stories of runners receiving injuries or needing extensive training to begin running long distances. However, anyone can start running. The key to becoming a successful runner is to start training at a level that's right for your current fitness level and health.
The first step is to make sure that your body is healthy enough to start running. Getting your health checked isn't the same as finding out if you're fit enough to run; everyone is fit enough to run at different levels. If you've lived a sedentary lifestyle and want to start running, it's imperative that you visit your physician and have your blood pressure checked, make sure your nutrition is adequate, and have an overall physical exam to insure that you don't need to take any precautions or medications before you begin running. Once you know that you're healthy enough to start running, it's time to plan your beginner runner training.
Nothing stops a runner from going the distance faster than an injury or the feeling of being worn out. In many cases, too many people try to jump into a running regimen and end up sore and tired. This causes runners to abandon the running routine and return to a sedentary lifestyle. But if you start your running regimen using a combination of running and walking, you will gradually build up muscle tone, cardio strength, stamina and endurance.
Start out by doing a combination of running and walking three days a week for 30 minutes at a time. Warm up by walking for 5 minutes, then start jogging for between 1 and 2 minutes, making sure that you can breathe easily. Use this alternating method of jogging and walking for at least two weeks. You may be tempted to push yourself harder as your endurance grows, but stick with a gradual build up to avoid injury or burnout. Once this regimen gets easier, start adding longer distances of running and shorter spurts of walking.
The great thing about running is that you don't need a lot of fancy equipment. When you first start running, make sure you purchase a pair of sneakers designed for running. A shoe professional can help you choose a sneaker with the right type of sole, arch and ankle support. You can run in any type of comfortable clothing, but you should look for running apparel with moisture wicking material when running in the summer.
No matter what your current physical abilities or fitness level, everyone can start running. Just start slowly and realize that you're not competing with anyone. You're just trying to improve your health and fitness level. With a run and walk combo, you'll find yourself training for your first marathon in no time.