Running is one of the most powerful and effective forms of exercise if you’re attempting to improve your cardiovascular health and lose weight. It can add years onto your life, add elasticity to your skin (prevent wrinkles) and keep stress from affecting your day-to-day health.
Beginner runners can improve their muscle strength and protect their body by using the following running tips. Although this type of workout seems like an easy cardio exercise, it does take skill and consistency. By doing it for as little as 10-15 minutes every other day you can improve your lung function and significantly boost the strength of your immune system. Read on for top 10 running tips for beginners.
Top 10 Running Tips
1. Stretch Pre and After Run
It’s essential that you stretch before and after a run. By stretching beforehand it helps warm-up your muscles and ensures that you don’t pull tissue or a tendon, which can take awhile to heal. Stretching improves blood flow and ensures that your muscles are getting the oxygen they need to obtain nutrients and grow stronger. Increased blood flow also prevents cellulite.
2. Running Shoes
Wear the right running shoes and buy a new pair every 2-3 months if running is to become consistent part of your workout routine. After awhile they can wear down and no longer provide you with the padding your feet, ankles and legs need. Along with the right running shoes, ensure that you are running on soft surfaces such as on sand, treadmills or on a track. Avoid concrete as often as you can because it makes you more prone to injuries. By stretching afterwards it also delivers more oxygen to your muscles, which helps them heal faster.
3. Correct Posture
In order for you to get a full workout you will need to have the right posture. As you are jogging or running use your entire body instead of just your legs or arms. Lean forward, keep your shoulders back and run off of your toes instead of from ‘heel-to-toe.’ Running off of your heels can cause shin splints, which can be painful and take a couple of months to heal. By using your arms and upper body it will provide you with more momentum.
4. Intense Runs
A shorter and more intense run can burn more calories than an extended jog. Although jogging is equally as beneficial to your cardio health it doesn’t burn as many calories or give your muscles an intense workout. Sprints are effective if you want to gain endurance as well as muscle strength. It’s also powerful if you combine jogging with short sprints – this burns more calories.
5. Strength Training
Incorporate your run with strength training by taking weights with you or by doing lounges on a staircase. By alternating between the two you can get a full-body workout in 30-60 minutes. Stairs will also improve your muscle tone. With stronger muscles it’s easier to run for long periods. There are Velcro ankle and arm weights that can provide you with more strength training during a cardio workout.
6. Start Slow
If you are a beginner runner it’s important that you don’t push your body too hard. The lungs and muscles need to adjust to exercise. Start off slow and gradually increase the length of time in which you run. When you can run longer it’s a sign that your stamina and endurance has improved. Pushing your body too hard too quickly can increase the risk of injury.
Before and after running you should eat protein as it will replenish the muscles and make it much easier for them to recover, preventing soreness. Protein shakes also have essential nutrients that muscle tissue needs. This will give you an energy boost and help your body recover. Make sure to avoid protein supplement products that contain chemical ingredients since it can have a negative impact on your hormones.
Rest days are just as important as your work-out days so you should always ensure you are getting enough down-time after exercising. Your muscles need to rest and recover to grow stronger. Try to relax your body after a workout instead of being active. Also, get enough sleep at night to prevent soreness and keep your energy up to avoid skipping a workout.
If you don’t want to lose weight and you are using running as a warm-up activity make sure that the cardio time doesn’t exceed 20 minutes. By running for longer periods of time and not getting enough strength training you may lose muscle and fat. Too much cardio can also be a bad thing, especially if the amount of time exceeds one hour, which can cause you to waste more energy. Balance weights with cardio to get the best fitness results.
10. Control Breathing
The majority of people who start working out make the mistake of breathing through their mouths instead of their nose. By learning how to breathe your nose it will help deliver more oxygen to your brain and body, which is important during any physical activity. When you begin to make it a habit it will benefit your cardio health as well.
By following some of the above running tips, we hope running becomes more enjoyable and easier to help you to get into shape. Remember that posture, padding and how you breathe are just as important as running harder, faster and longer.
It doesn’t take long to become an experienced runner and how much you learn and how quickly depends on how willing you are to make it a consistent part of your training. It’s always best to start off slow and work your way up to being an advanced runner. Every day you can make progress and find routines that work best for you and your body.
When you begin to see progress it will motivate you more to continue pushing yourself. Remember to be versatile in where you run – such as on hills, slopes and stairs. This enables you to work on your glutes, core and leg muscles. Although there isn’t too much to learn there are techniques that make it easier to run more efficiently, lose weight and improve muscle strength. As long as you protect your muscle and bone health it can be an easy and fun experience. Have you found these running tips useful? Share your ow