5 Tips for Starting Runners

So you’ve decided to take up running? Maybe you are starting back up after putting it off for years. Here is a list of tips that I have found beneficial to the starting runner or even the seasoned pro.

1. STRETCH THOSE LEGS AND FEET BEFORE AND AFTER Stretching is the number one thing to remember in any running program. Keep your muscles flexible and relaxed, your joints mobile, and relieve tension and strain by doing a few gentle stretches before AND AFTER your run. I cannot stress enough how important it is to stretch after the run and to cool down. I have found most new runners miss this vital step in their exercise program.

You don’t want to start off doing too much too soon. Build your body up while you prepare yourself to meet the demands that you are about to ask from your body. Make sure to loosen up your hamstrings, quads, calves, iliotibial (IT) band, hips, buttocks and the plantar fascia (area at the bottom of your feet between the heel and ball of foot). Stretch until you feel tension but not pain. NEVER bounce because this can tear your muscles and cause more serious problems.

2. POSTURE! POSTURE! POSTURE! This isn’t finishing school, but the principal is the same. Running gets your whole body in motion and the proper posture and body mechanics will help reduce the strain on your body.

Keep your body perpendicular to the ground. Don’t lean into it. Hopefully you aren’t running into wind tunnel.

Swing your arms naturally and go with the flow.

BREATHE! How many martial art movies do you need to see to know this is important??? Never stop breathing. Oxygenate the blood. Feed your muscles. BREATHE!

Your feet should hit naturally on your heel, roll forward and push off with your metatarsals (the area we call the ball of the foot). It should just feel right. Make sure the soles of your shoes arent worn down in the heel or on the sides. This could cause you to hurt yourself and take away from the natural progression of your stride.

Dont pick your feet up too far. This is running, not a marching band tryout. By keeping your feet closer to the ground an increasing your stride, you will reduce muscle fatigue.

3. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR PROTECTION As you start up your running routine, you are going to find out that aches and pains are a typical reality that we all must face. However, this doesnt have to be the end of your run if you just take the proper precautions. Keep these simple rules in mind when you begin your program and you should be good to go for a long time!

Hydrate yourself: Drink lots of water before, during, and after your run. People perspire, its a fact, but if you let yourself dehydrate, you will be in for a world of hurt. I like to bring a water bottle with me on my runs for those mid-stride liquid replacements. Its a good idea to drink 2-5 cups per hour during your run. Note, every person perspires at a different rate. If you happen to be someone who leaks sweat like a sieve, drink more water. Dont forget to fill up again once you are done stretching, too.

If you are running in a colder climate, layer your clothing. We all know it gets hot under all those clothes, but you have to slow the rate of heat loss. Youll want to wear some sort of moisture-wicking material. I like to wear fleece. But there are other brands out there like Polartec. Also, ALWAYS wear a hat!

I prefer to run on paved trails in our local park system, but if you find yourself running in areas where there is the potential for traffic, please remember to wear bright clothing and if you must run at night (which I wouldnt suggest) wear reflective garments to increase your safety.

4. REDUCE STRAIN Running takes its toll on a persons body. Its good to switch out different activities. Besides running, try other cardio-exercises like bicycling or swimming. Your body will thank you and it can break down on the monotony. Pain is the body’s signal that something is wrong. If the pain gets worse after your run, it’s time to take some time off. Dont swallow a couple of aspirin and think you are good to go.’

Definitely take care of your feet! A good pair of running shoes is essential for preventing injury. You have to find the pair that’s best for you. Change them out often because the soles will wear down quickly.

And while you are at it, don’t forget the orthotics. The insoles that come in your shoes are usually very cheap and only meant for about 20 miles of wear. If you are like me, that’s one week! Proper orthotics provide cushioning and support and reduce a huge amount of strain from your whole body not just your feet. While custom orthotics are available, I wear a brand that offers a selection for arch type and are made with a silver material that reduces blisters and athletes foot. If you are interested, you can see them at www.footdefense.com.

5. CALL YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL In business, its always best to hire a consultant. So why, when you start doing something as important as your health wouldn’t you speak to an expert in the body? A medical professional can help with any injury and return you to your running program as well as advise you on hurting yourself again.

In closing, please remember that safety should come first. Be aware of your surroundings, the people that you run with, and most importantly, your own well-being?

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Beginning Running – A Simple Plan to Get Started

How to Run Faster than a Three-Toed Sloth…

or…

Learn How to Run Faster than when I’m Lying on the Couch

“How to Run Faster?” is the WRONG question!!!

Running by Minutes!

That’s it. It’s really very simple. It’s a bonanza of running for beginners!

The important thing:

Start slowly and build… Slowly and Consistently!

Rather than being a slave to mileage logs, always trying to get in the right number of miles per day, even when you feel like your legs are made of Jello…

The Ordinary Runner simply puts in the MINUTES!

That way, if you feel great one day, you can run a little faster. (And if you feel like a slug, you can run a little slower.) Just run the number of minutes you have set for the day!

You still get your run in for the day, whether you feel great or feel lousy!

This is a much lower pressure approach to fitness, and much more enjoyable!

Remember when you were a kid…

… You could run! You did it all the time!

Running is natural. God made us to run!

That means you can learn to do it again! Just run!

You won’t have to worry about how to run faster…

… The more you run, the faster you’ll get, naturally!

It may have been a long time since you ran!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it again!

Just remember the most important thing:

JUST KEEP MOVING!

And don’t feel the pressure that you’ve got to run fast! Remember, you’re in the top 5% of people in the world if you just get out there and run, whether it’s slow…

… or even slower!

Here’s a 7-Week plan to get you started:

Running should be fun!!

Before I show you the plan for getting you started (a very simple plan, by the way), I should say this again…

The important thing is that you GET started…

And then…

Just KEEP MOVING!!

This plan is simple, and flexible. Follow it exactly or simply use it as a guideline, especially if you’re already exercising a little bit.

Start where you are, and don’t be embarrassed about it. Remember, with just a little time and consistency, you’ll be getting in shape, losing weight, feeling and looking better…

… And you’ll do it the healthy way, with your own work, not any cheap pills or diets!

If you haven’t run in years…

… don’t go out and run 30 minutes the first day. This is a SURE WAY to hurt yourself and end your running career before it begins!

Week 1:

Alternate 1 minute fast walk and 1 minute slow, for a total of 15 minutes. (5 days this week)

(If you want to, substitute a slow jog for the fast walk portion. Just be careful, and be realistic! Remember, patience and consistency are the keys!)

Week 2:

Alternate 3 minute fast walk and 1 minute slow, for a total of 15 minutes. (5 days this week)

Week 3:

Alternate 7 minute fast walk and 1 minute slow, for a total of 20 minutes. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Alternate 1 minute slow jog and 1 minute slow walk, for a total of 15 minutes. (Tuesday, Saturday)

Week 4:

Alternate 2 minute jog and 1 minute slow walk, for a total of 20 minutes. (6 days this week)

Week 5:

Alternate 4 minute slow jog and 1 minute slow walk, for a total of (25 minutes Mon, Thur; 20 minutes Tu, Wed, Sat)

Week 6:

Alternate 5 minute jog and 1 minute walk, for a total of 30 minutes. (6 days this week)

Week 7:

Alternate 7 minute jog and 1 minute walk, for a total of 35 minutes. (5 days this week)

At the end of this 7 week period, you will be losing weight and feeling better! You’ll be well on your way to fitness, and you’ll notice you can run longer and longer!

Once again… You’re just getting started! Being an Ordinary Runner is a lifestyle, and WON’T happen overnight.

This is not a “Get Skinny Quick” lie, like you see on infomercials. This is the real thing!

Just Keep Moving!!!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kely_Braswell

The Importance Of Good Breathing When Exercising

Why Don’t We Breathe Properly Nowadays?

There are various reasons for this ranging from a more stressful lifestyle to habits weve carried through from childhood. Because most of us have more stress in our day to day living and we exercise a lot less, weve become a generation of upper chest breathers and only use the top portion of our lungs. The effect of this is that we breathe more rapidly to get oxygen in when we get stressed.

Because our bodies dont know whats going on in the outside world it assumes by this breathing and breath holding that we are in grave danger (maybe were being hunted down by a tiger?) it switchs on our fight or flight reflex and our body gets pumped up with adrenaline and other hormones to get ready to flee and by the end of the day we can find ourselves totally on edge and come home and flop on the sofa exhausted.

As you know yourself the benefits of a few deep breaths to help you calm down in a stressful situation, we can now logically see that we are actually adding to the stress in our bodies by continuing to breathe this way. To start to turn your life around by proper breathing, be aware of how you breathe in your day to day living if you do find yourself in situations where you tighten up or hold your breath.. take a few deep breaths, youll find yourself starting to relax and be able to think clearer and at least now you wont be adding to the stress your bodies under!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Barry_McDonald

Getting Yourself Ready for Exercise

When Was The Last Time You Warmed Up Your Lungs Before You Went On A Run?

Have you ever noticed people getting ready for any sporting event, to get the best performance from their bodies they always warm it up first to get the blood flowing.

But what about the lungs? Its all good and well getting your body ready for a good workout but if the supply of oxygen to the muscles is poor because of bad breathing habits its easy to see youre not going to get the best from them.

Here are some tips to start you on the right path.

Make sure you get in the habit of setting aside some extra time to do a little breathing exercise to prepare your lungs for the job ahead. It wont take as long as your stretching exercises but its just as important if not more. For the first 5-10 minutes do a little amount of walking as youre doing this focus on your breathing.

Start to relax your belly on the inhale this allows your diaphragm to go down into its fullest position and thus fill your lungs to fill to a greater capacity. Then on the exhale retract your belly back in towards your spine thus helping the diaphragm to fully contract and empty the lungs better. (you want to get as much of that stale air out as possible before you breathe in again!) It may take a little while to get use to doing this but stick with it and remember how much youre muscles are going to thank you for this added oxygen flow.

When youre out on your run try to breathe for as long as possible through your nose, this filters unwanted debris out of your air ways and helps to warm the air in the nasal cavity before it enters your lungs (especially important on those cold mornings.)

These new breathing techniques may be hard at first to get used to but your body will adapt over time. You may even notice a difference in your running times,.. you might not be setting world record times but hey who knows what might happen??

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Barry_McDonald

The Importance of Walking Regularly to Stay Fit

Walking Your Way to Better Health

It is an accepted fact that exercise is an important part of any successful weight loss plan. Every muscle you have can burn calories, so the more you work them, the more calories you burn. So, don’t just depend on dieting alone. Move that body and do some exercises to achieve that weight and that body you have always dreamed about.

Walking is great exercise to lose weight. Moreover, it does not require any expertise or equipment and you can do it free anytime you feel like it. However, to be beneficial, you should do it regularly.Make walking a daily habit or at least 3 to 5 times a week depending on your schedule.

Before you start walking, do some warm up stretching exercises. Stretch only as far as you feel comfortable so as not to pull any muscles. Start with a modest goal, like 15 to 20 minutes at a leisurely pace. Gradually extend the duration and the speed. Walk up one or two gentle slopes. Your walk should be comprised of three segments: warm-up, exercise pace and cool-down.

Walk with your chin up and your shoulders held slightly back.

The heel of your foot should touch the ground first. Roll your weight forward.

Swing your arms as you walk.

To avoid stiff or sore muscles or joints, start gradually. Over several weeks, begin walking faster, going further and walking for longer periods of time.

Walk on soft ground whenever possible.

Quench yourself, drink 8 to 10 ounces of water for every 20 to 30 minutes of the activity.

The more you walk, the better you will feel. Plus, walking also uses more calories; thus, burning more fats. Its benefits include giving you more energy, making you feel good, helping you to relax, reducing stress, helping you sleep better, helping control your appetite and increasing the number of calories your body uses.

To lose weight, it’s more important to walk for time than speed. Walking at a moderate pace yields longer workouts with less soreness leading to more miles and more calories spent on a regular basis.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jim_O’Neill