How to Get Started Running On Your Own

We all know that exercise in an important part of staying healthy and happy with our bodies but it’s hard to get started. There are dozens of forms of exercise to choose from and they will all be difficult at first. Some people play a sport, other people mimic workout tapes and a very large number of people choose to go running. If you don’t need a new friend group, don’t want to worry about membership fees, and enjoy spending time alone looking at the local scenery, running is the perfect exercise activity. You may have even always wanted to be a runner but it was always a little to hard to work it into your routine or condition yourself so that it isn’t a total pain. The good news is that it’s never too late to get started. Becoming a runner is a lot easier than you might think, all it requires is the willingness to commit and soon the joy of running will be your motivation.

If you’re ready to become one of those lanky, healthy people who runs every morning and could probably survive the zombie apocalypse, you don’t need a personal trainer. You don’t even need expensive equipment or an app that tells you when to run but it also won’t’ happen over night. Prepare for a few weeks of conditioning and slowly getting your run times up above a few minutes per stretch. Here’s how to get started:

Warm Up in the Mornings

The first step to a strong running habit is to wake up with the right mentality. Even if you don’t go running right away, warm up with more than just coffee and a shower. Do a few lunges and start getting your body ready for a lifestyle of activity. Stretch out in your jammies and jog in place for a few minutes to get your blood pumping. As you get into it, make sure to work up a bit of a sweat before your morning shower each day. This will not only make you more ready to work out, it will also get your brain functioning better for the day’s tasks ahead of you.

Condition with Long Walks

If you haven’t been running in the last few months, your body isn’t conditioned to long amounts of time spent moving you around on your legs and you shouldn’t expect it to be. Instead of simply taking off and finding yourself exhausted a few streets later, start with power walks to condition your body to long-term ambulation. Take long strides that stretch out your calves and try to walk an extra five to ten minutes every day until you get up to about an hour of fast walking. Don’t be surprised if at various stages your feet, hips, knees, or legs start to ache. Do your best to walk it out as this is a sign that your body is adapting to your new performance demands.

Start with Short, Easy Runs

Now that your legs know that you mean business, start to work running time into your schedule but don’t expect to go far on your first jaunt. Start with jogging or a slow, easy loping pace and expect to get out of breath fairly quickly. If you’re out for a while, give yourself plenty of walking breaks and don’t be afraid to go back inside when you’re tired. Runners don’t start being good at the 50-yard dash, they get that way through practice. Keep your first few runs short and lengthen them as you feel your strength and stamina growing. This way you are less likely to hurt yourself by over-stressing your legs before you’re conditioned for longer runs.

Build a Running Schedule

If you have trouble finding the time or motivation to go out and run, building yourself an actual running schedule is how a lot of the pros do it. If you have time in the morning, run between your warm-ups and your shower. If there’s a shower at your work, possibly in the gym, you might be able to grab a run to and from your favorite lunch spot. As for evening running, your best bet is either between work and dinner or an hour or two after dinner when your stomach has settled. By setting a schedule

Enjoy Stretching Everywhere

As you build new muscles in your legs and core from all that running, you may not realize but it’s important to stretch all day long. This will ensure that your muscles stay flexible and ready to run again soon. Stretching not only feels great, it also keeps you limber and thinking about running. At your desk, you can roll your chair back slightly and stretch your feet out, alternating between pointing and flexing your toes. You can do lunges in the break room and even in the middle of a conversation you can stand on your tip-toes slowly pushing up and dropping to work your calves during the day.

Running is a wonderful way to stay in shape, get your daily exercise, and transport yourself quickly from place to place.  Whether you’re aiming for marathons or just enjoy the feeling of wind in your face, it’s never too late to start running on a regular basis. Through scheduling, practice, and plenty of stretching you should be running circles around your friends in no time.