WHY YOU SHOULD TRY RUNNING and HOW TO GET STARTED! (Seriously fast walking applies here as well.)
Since I grew up doing “sports,” I really thought I’d never like running. I liked the social aspect of team sports, and I liked competing to win.
But when I went away to college I knew I had to do something. My brother had warned me so much about the “freshman 15,” and I wasn’t about to prove him right.
So I gave running a try.
It took me at least a year to make it habit, and probably another year to really enjoy it.
It was pure discipline to begin with.
But I am so very glad that I stuck with it.
Running (or in many cases, a brisk walk that causes you to “huff and puff,”) is such an ideal sport.
Here are some of my selling points:
(and this doesn’t even include the amazing health benefits!)
~~You can do it anywhere.
~~You can do it anytime.
~~It is free (except the cost of the shoes, and you don’t need to spend a fortune.)
~~You see things you would NEVER see if you didn’t get out on foot. (I have many stories to tell on that one.)
~~You feel absolute great when you’re done. Somehow you feel refreshed and ready to face all that life throws you.
Even one-year-olds and Meow Mix.
~~It is one of the most effective, efficient exercises you can find–burning many calories per minute, plus strengthening the legs, core, and many secondary muscle groups (arms, for example.)
~~It gets you out in the fresh air (unless you’re on a treadmill, which I personally do NOT enjoy, but many do…)
~~If you run with a friend the benefits double–therapy on-the-go, literally.
My list could go on and on!
“But,” you say, “I have tried it, and I hate running!”
Can I still suggest you try it again?
I think many people try running and when they don’t like it, they give it up. Often they are giving it up because A) it is hard. B) It hurts. C) They don’t see results after three days. D) They feel slow and out of shape. E) All of the above.
IS that you?
I will maintain my stance that if you can push through all of the above, and put your thoughts and emotions behind you, you will overcome every one of those obstacles. Your thoughts and emotions, in this case, are not your friends. Wage war against them.
It DOES get easier. It begins to feel GOOD. Results will come. You WILL get in shape.
But the thing here is that it requires a comittment. Time. I suggest one year. Yes, one year. If you must, then start with six months.
But please no less. Now before you start throwing things at the computer, hear me out.
I suggest that you run, or fast walk, 3-4 times a week, even if you hate it, and don’t even give yourself the option of quitting.
Tell yourself that you might see/feel results in a couple months.
For example, if you were to start now, Thanksgiving is a great time to “check back in.” Not Labor Day. Not October. No sooner than Thanksgiving.
That, my friend, is probably the best advice I can give you.
(Still don’t run away yet…)
Here’s some tips for getting started:
1. Start slow. JOG. Don’t take off in a sprint or else you are guaranteed to burn out and hate it by tomorrow.
2. Start short. Be reasonable. Everyone has a different starting place, but it might be a jog/walk around the block for some. Others can put in a mile. Whatever it is, make it a bit of a challenge, but not crazy.
3. Find a friend. A workout partner is a gift from God. Now let me clarify: Please do not depend on a workout partner. As much as workout buddies can help you get in shape, they just as easily can become an excuse NOT to get in shape. How may of you have heard yourself saying “I was doing really good until Susie quit calling me to workout…then I just quit.” Your workouts are your responsibility. A friend is a bonus.
4. Mark it on your calendar. Which days. What time. Non-negotiable. Let your family know. Let your friends know. Hire a sitter if you need to (jogging strollers are great too…although I really prefer to leave the kids behind when I can. Sorry, just my thing.)
5. Don’t quit.
And in case you didn’t know—
You CAN run in the rain. Really, you won’t melt. You CAN run early in the morning–be careful if it is dark, but be creative, you can find time if you really want to.
You CAN run on vacation. I’m not kidding. You might actually enjoy the vacay even more–it is so cool to come back and tell your family about the great places you discovered–and all because you got out on foot!
(You also will enjoy all of the eatting/drinking more if you know you burned a few extra calories.)
You CAN run when you don’t feel 100%. I should clarify: If you have a fever, or a seriously rotten bug, stay in. But if it’s that time of the month, or your tired, or in a bad mood, or a little stuffed up…GET OUT THERE AND DO IT ANYWAYS. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.
So, here’s to running. It has changed my life. Brightened my days.
Kept my blood pressure low and my energy high.
Try it, would you??
And let me know if you are trying it…how it’s going…any tips you can add? Any benefits you have experienced!?
Want me to share some training schedules? Ohhhh, just think how much fun I’ll have when I have categories.
We’ll all have to wait a little longer for that.
Happy Trails to you,