Maybe you’ve always wished you could be one of those people who runs for miles each day. Or maybe you’ve been walking as a part of your medical weight loss plan, and you want to step up your game. Or perhaps you want to participate in a charity walk/run event in the near future. Whatever your reasoning, it can be hard to know where to begin. If everyone could just get out and start running, we’d all be runners!
Like anything else, running represents a new daily habit that you must learn gradually. So you need to establish a structure for learning this new skill.
Gradually build up your endurance. No one simply laces up their running shoes and becomes a star athlete overnight. Start by increasing your walking pace, adding in bursts of jogging until you feel comfortably winded, and then revert to walking as you recover. Include several of these intervals each time you exercise, and gradually change over to more running.
Look for support. Join a running club in your area, and the regular schedule will help to keep you motivated and accountable. Try not to feel intimidated by more experienced runners; most will enthusiastically encourage you, and will share stories of how they first got started.
Another option is to hire a running coach. It isn’t cheap, but a good coach can teach you what you need to know.
Or, simply schedule regular workouts with a friend who shares your goals. It’s hard to skip workouts when you know you’ll disappoint a friend.
Download a running app. Try a few different ones, because different structures work better for different personalities. Some apps focus on the facts, such as mileage and time, while others keep you entertained and motivated while you run. Don’t worry about using the most “professional” app. Use the one that works for you.
And as always, call us to schedule an appointment before beginning any new exercise routine. We can screen you for underlying conditions that might complicate exercise for you, and discuss your other medical weight loss goals.