By Pam Kruse
Taking up running is an offer one can’t refuse.
For the cost of a pair of running shoes gain membership to a health club open 24-hours a day, and right out the front door.
More importantly, it’s a free passport to a side of yourself you may never have enjoyed before — healthier, more relaxed and more confident.
What running can do:
Weight loss- Running burns calories faster than any other activity. One mile of running uses 100 calories; just a 30-minute run can burn 250-500 calories.
Better health – Running boosts your immunity to illness. Run for 145 minutes per week and you will be 40% less likely to suffer a heart attack. It improves your blood cholesterol level and it fights diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Less stress – Runners are less prone to depression than sedentary people. This is partly because of the endorphins that the body releases but also because they enjoy the benefits of achieving something.
Quiet time – Forget about your to-do list for 40 minutes to enjoy being alone with (or without) your thoughts.
More energy and a better body – Exercising helps your body work more efficiently with improved metabolism and cell-regeneration. Your body’s lean to fat ratio will improve and your calves, thighs, hips and buttocks will become stronger and shapelier.
Every runner has to start somewhere. Adhere to the following principles and you are not likely to go wrong:
Set a goal – Whether it’s a 5k race, a weight- loss target, or simply the aim of being able to run 30 minutes nonstop, give yourself a specific goal, write it down, and pin it up where you will see it often. Make the goal attainable but significant to you, and set a time frame for achieving it.
Proper running shoes – This is the only purchase you really need to make and it will minimize injury risk and help to make your first running steps a comfortable experience. See online runnersworld.com and click “shoe finder” and “shoes 101.”
Running companion – Persuade a friend to take up running with you or join the beginner program of your local running club. The support and motivation will be invaluable.
Heart rate monitor – A straightforward monitor costs less than a pair of shoes and can be a real help in making sure you run at a pace that is right for you.
Four basic training principles:
Build up slowly. Increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week.
Rest days. Your body needs time to recover. It builds fitness after rather than during your runs.
Warm up and cool down. Your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons need time to ease into any run because when you begin they will be short and tight.
Pay attention to injury. Early treatment will bring a swifter recovery.
Pam Kruse is an Exercise Physiologist with over 20 years experience as a Sports Endurance Coach. Owner of Fitbodies Personal Training LLC, Pam offers a full range of training services. She can be reached at HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”email@example.com or visit fitbodkauai.com.