Imagine your heart pounding, feet treading against the pavement, wind blowing through your hair, the feeling of accomplishment as you cross the finish line!
Running is an exhilarating way to exercise! Along with improving your heart health and managing your weight, running connects us with nature, calming the nervous system. Release stress, clear your head, organize your thoughts, or just relax as you enjoy your surroundings.
With warmer weather just days away, taking your workout outdoors can bring reprieve from your office walls and a soothing feeling as you breathe in the natural wonders around you. Running outdoors is the perfect way to appreciate the longer days while keeping on track with your workouts.
Use these quick and easy tips to ensure you get the most out of your run:
Running shoes—fit, function, fashion!
Try on a few pairs of running shoes. Not all “sneakers” are designed for running. Ask associates for top selling brands to find what fits well for your foot and choose something you like. A nice pair of shoes will encourage you to keep hitting the pavement!
Your body temperature will warm quickly as you run but be mindful of outdoor weather and layer your clothing. Shop around for dri-fit products and clothes that keep sweat away from your body.
Warm-up, cool-down, and stretching
As with any exercise program a proper warm-up prevents injuries and overstressing any muscles. Incorporate stretches for the leg muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves) after each run.
Running with music
Your favourite tunes will keep you motivated and full of energy as you log extra miles. Keep your eyes on the road and volume at a level where you are still aware of your surroundings.
Be alert to traffic and know when you have the right of way on paths and roads. Wear bright colours when running in the dark.
Start with a simple walk/run combination for about 20 minutes at your own pace. Gradually increase to more run and less walk intervals until you can run for 20-30 minutes. Look into a structured running group in your neighbourhood and connect with others at the same level or experience as you. Keep your running consistent and strive for two to three times per week for maximum health benefits.
Protect your joints
Over-training on any one type of exercise can cause strain on your joints and muscles. Complement running with other low-impact activities like swimming or cycling, a regular weight training program, and regular stretching or yoga.
Make it fun!
Bring a friend, the dog, or the kids. While you may enjoy the solitude of running, it can be a lot of fun when you have company. Make regular exercise a family affair!