With so many health benefits that go hand-in-hand with running, it’s a great activity to get you started on your road to fitness!
It’s fully customisable, so you can tailor your approach to suit you whilst you’re finding your feet. Plus, it burns more calories than any other form of exercise, so it’s perfect for helping you achieve your goal, whether that’s losing weight or just get a bit healthier.
There’s enough running information and advice out there to completely overwhelm a beginner, so we thought we’d go over some of the basics to get you started:
Find the Right Shoes
A good pair of running shoes can help improve comfort when jogging and avoid any injuries. Many specialist shops now provide a useful service for new runners where they assess your feet and the way you run. They then use this information to help you to find the ideal pair of trainers to suit your foot type.
Once you’ve found the right pair, you can make them completely fuss-free with Caterpy laces, the leading manufacturer of no-tie shoelaces. These will enhance your safety whilst running and you can achieve the perfect level of comfort and tension with them. Plus, you can finally say goodbye to the hassle of tying your laces!
Warm Up and Cool Down
Make sure you don’t skip a good warm up routine. This signals to your body that you’re about to start exercising soon – it slowly raises your heart rate and therefore minimises the stress on your heart. We recommend stretching, followed by a brisk walk and easy jogging for a few minutes before your run.
In a similar vein, the cool down helps your heart rate and blood pressure lower gradually and safely. So, you should try to end your run with a slow five-minute jog or walk.
Learn About Form and Breathing
To make sure you don’t experience pain when you first start jogging, make sure you follow the recommended upper body form for running, as detailed on The Starting Line. These include:
- Maintain short, quick strides
- Make sure your foot strikes under your knee rather than in front of it (this could lead to injury)
- Keep your elbows at 90 degrees or less
Breathing techniques are incredibly important for joggers too. You should try to avoid chest breathing as it’s too shallow to bring in the maximum oxygen to feed your muscles (and can often result in a painful stitch in your side). Instead, practice diaphragmatic breathing, also known as “belly breathing”, where the act of inhaling and exhaling extends all the way down to your stomach.
Finally, do whatever you can to stay motivated. Compile a jogging playlist to listen to whilst you’re running. If you find that you run better in a group situation, join a free Park Run in your area. Or if you prefer running alone and going at your own pace, buy an activity or fitness tracker like a Fitbit to monitor your own progress.
Once you’ve mastered these basics, you’ll be able to start pushing yourself further and taking on more jogging challenges. You’re sure to fall in love with it – it’s great for your health and you can do it whenever you’ve got some spare time (perfect for busy mums!). Taking up running as a hobby is guaranteed to help you stay miles happier.
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