Running is an exercise that you usually love or hate. Especially if you are overweight, running is not a welcomed part of ones exercise routine. However, running is one exercise that can get you into shape really quickly by burning a ton of calories and working almost every muscle in the body. Though, if you’re not a runner, beginning a running regiment is not an easy task.
For most people who want to lose weight, exercise is a last resort. However exercise should be part of everyone’s daily healthy lifestyle. Running is one of many exercises that can help to lose weight. With so many health benefits, running is one of the most beneficial exercises for the body. But for people who are overweight running is a daunting task that intimidates many. For newbie’s and beginners, running seems like an impossible goal that could take forever to accomplish, however with the right tools and strategy you can learn to run and benefit from all that running has to offer.
There is an English proverb “Learn to walk before you run,” is the epitome of how beginners to running must start. If you try to immediately start out running you will get tired, lose your breath, and get discouraged when you need to stop. Even professional runners have to start somewhere. No one can just start running one day without any experience and expect to run miles. Being able to run requires muscle strength not only in your legs, but also in your core, lung capacity, and mental stamina. For the beginners it takes time to build up all three. That’s why running should be a gradual process that progresses, as your body feels ready to progress.
The first step to learning how to run begins by walking. Start by walking for 30 minutes. Depending upon your weight (how much excess weight you are haling around) and health will determine if you should start out with less time such as 10 or 20 minutes. Walk at a slow pace for up to 30 minutes. Take this time to acknowledge your breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathe deeply, expanding the lungs and filling them with air. Don’t start out with a fast pace because it will tire you out quickly and cause you to stop to catch your breath. This walk should be slow and steady without stopping for the full 30 minutes. If you start with less time build up to 30 minutes. Do this 30-minute walk between 4 and 6 days out of the week. As you continue with it you will feel your muscles gaining strength, breath easier, have more energy, and sleep better.
When you feel comfortable with your 30-minute walk you can gradually move up. For some this may only take a week for others it may take longer to feel comfortable. There is no time limit everyone has a different pace; so don’t rush your progression. If you try to rush from walking to running you can injure yourself or become fatigued which can cause you to stop exercising. You can get discouraged which will stop your pursuit of becoming a runner. However, the objective is to get to a point where you want to run because it makes you feel good and it comes easy and natural for you. But it is tough in the beginning and it takes hard work and determination to get there.
The next step is to walk for four minutes then run for one minute and continue this pattern for 30 minutes. You can also use blocks, or street signs rather than minutes if you don’t have a stopwatch or timer to time yourself. This is interval training. Not only will it get your blood pumping, but also it will strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles through out your body. By starting to run you will burn more calories and start to notice a change in your weight and body shape. When you start running you don’t want to sprint, especially if this is your first time running. Set your pace very slow, just a notch above walking. You should be steady so you are jogging the whole minute. Remember to keep your breath slow and steady in through the nose and out through the mouth. Even though you’re heart rate increases your breathing should stay the same. You don’t want to be huffing and puffing because this will make you need to stop. Keep your routine to 30 minutes, walking 4 minutes then running 1 minute. Do this for 4 to 6 days out of a week. Once you feel comfortable you can again gradually increase it, but not until you feel ready.
Remember this is not a race. There may be others who run faster or longer than you but you need to start out slow to build up your strength and endurance. Don’t get discouraged if people pass you; just think that one day you will be able to get to that point if you continue with it. Slow and steady will build up your muscles, speed and stamina.
When you feel ready walk 3 minutes, run two minutes for a full 30 minutes. Remember set your pace slow and continuous. Do this for 4 to 6 days a week. Next step is to walk 2 minutes and run 3 minutes following the same 30-minute routine for 4 to 6 days a week. Progress at your own body’s rate. Then walk 1 minute and run 4 minutes. There is no set amount of time that you should progress, only when your body feels ready. Now you should be able to run for a consecutive 5 minutes and walk for 1 minute. Slowly building up to running 10 minutes, 20 minutes and ultimately 30 minutes. Running is tough at first so only gradually build up your time at your body’s own rate. Building up to a 30-minute run will not be easy, but you will get to a point where it gets easier as you go.
Running will start to make you feel good. Overtime you will get faster without even realizing it. You will develop naturally as your body grows more fit. As running becomes second nature you will notice what’s called a runners high, a point while you run that just makes you feel great. When you start o feel this you will want to run everyday. It won’t feel like hard work any more but something fun to do. And you won’t want to skip a day because you can tell your body and energy levels will be different when you don’t run. When you get to this point you have become a lifelong runner.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah Labdar graduated with a BA in exercise science and has worked in the medical field since. Her focus is alternative medicine and how it interacts and works in conjunction with traditional medicine. Check out my health website!
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