Start Jogging with Little or No Background
So what’s the deal with people running and why is it so popular? Sure running ranks number two in calorie burning activities behind cross country skiing but isn’t it painful? Most runners enjoy tip toeing on that border of pleasure and pain. The pleasure part comes from a significant release of the endorphin hormones. Endorphins are produced by the pituitary gland and they resemble opiates in their ability to produce the feeling of well being. Many runners also get a great level of satisfaction from knowing they are improving their health and well being. But what if you never ran before except when you were being chased as a child. Have no fear we are going to slowly develop your running skills.
Running is also a great exercise which causes very little waste and requires minimal equipment thus making it a wonderfully sustainable activity. Runners need minimal clothing and run shoes can be worn for many months which cuts down on extraneous waste.
The key to starting any running program is moderation. It looks easy enough just to start jogging but the moment you do your body is absorbing more than ten times the impact than walking. The majority of running injuries occur from overuse or doing too much too soon. So you have to find the right balance of running for YOU. A very good rule of thumb is to add up the minutes you run in each session and then build up ten percent per week. The ten percent rule is a great way to prevent injury and build your endurance.
Always start your running with a brisk three to five minute walk. This will help loosen up the joints, improve elasticity of muscles and tendons and start your fat burning system. All good stuff right? Now go run. But remember two things, 1. Run as slow as possible. This way you have less impact on your body and also will call into action your fat burning system more. 2. Make sure you are at a conversational pace. This is a good way to gauge the proper intensity. You might be able to only run two minutes or five minutes until you are out of breath. Now stop and walk until you catch your breath and start over. Repeat this two to four times depending on your level of fitness.
After running is a good time to do some light stretching as your body is warmed up and the muscles and connective tissue are like warm Silly Putty. You wouldn’t stretch Silly Putty right out of the fridge would you? The same goes for your body. You don’t have to go into Yoga style poses for hours on end but Yoga is a great workout (article coming soon). Just make sure when you are stretching to hold your stretches for twenty to thirty seconds and don’t bounce.
If you are just starting a run program then aim to run every other day or three days per week.
Below you will find some videos of some great warm-up routines and stretches for runners:
Running can be easy or very challenging depending on your goals and be complimented with healthy eating including items like whole grains, lean proteins like shellfish and poultry. So get out there and get running to feel and look great.
Lee Zohlman BS is a USA Triathlon Certified Elite Level 3 coach and founder of BodyZen Enterprises, a Full Service Multisport Company which focuses on performance coaching and sports marketing in endurance sports. Lead a BZ Life at www.bodyzen.com.