How to Get Started … Running

Running is a workout that can take you anywhere and that you can do anywhere. You don’t need a lot of special equipment and you don’t need a membership in a health club. All you need is a good, sturdy pair of shoes and the road beneath your feet. If you can walk outdoors, you can run.

When you run, you work up quite a sweat and you burn a lot of calories. Running is not better for you than walking, it is not worse for you than walking. Physical activity is physical activity and all you need to figure out is whether your body is up for it and whether you enjoy it.

Build Up Your Stamina and Strength

If you are interested in running, you don’t want to dive into a running program without any previous preparation. You want to build up your strength and your stamina through walking programs and combining walking with running over time. To get started, you want to pick up a pair of solid running shoes that will let you get moving. We’ve discussed building a running program before.

Remember when you are picking out your new running shoes you want the shoe to be very flexible. Pick up the shoe and hold it at the toe and the heel. Bend the shoe in half and you should see the deepest bending portion where the ball of your foot should rest. You also want the heel to be very stable and not let it slide around inside of the shoe.

Once you have your shoes, you just need to learn how to run – and by that I mean learn how to run correctly.

Running Correctly

Running correctly means keeping your head up instead of looking down at your feet. When you look down, you curve your shoulders and your upper back. This can screw up your balance and throw your stride off. It can also create stress on your neck and back muscles and leave you sore and in pain.

You want to run with your eyes facing forward and your head up. You want your back straight and you want your shoulders back. This may feel uncomfortable at first, but the key to maximizing your workout potential is to perform it correctly. Don’t shuffle your feet when you are running and don’t shorten your stride, you want to let your foot go through the whole range of motion beginning when the heel of your foot hits the ground and rolls through the full range to the ball of your foot where it will push off the ground.

Are you ready to get started running?

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.