Running can be a liberating experience. Whether you are getting out into the open, or on the treadmill in the gym, exercise can make you feel on top of the world. However, it can take time to truly experience the runners high that you hear about from fitness fanatics.
If you are new to running, the idea of adding a bit of exercise time into your daily routine can be a daunting prospect. There are always a thousand other things you could be doing instead! However, once you get started and experience the benefits, running will become a pleasure, not a chore. The good thing is, there are things you can do to make this transition as smooth as possible.
Here, Gabriel Patterson, a fitness trainer residing in Toronto, Canada reveals 5 ways to maintain your running habit:
Start Slow and Build Up
One way to be sure to kill the running bug is to overdo yourself. It may seem tempting to hit it as hard as you can in the beginning, and while this might work for a day or two, it is no way to form a long-term habit. Not only will this leave you exhausted, but you run a real risk of injury if you do too much.
Instead, start with an achievable target and slowly do more as you gain your confidence. Maybe begin by just doing 1 or 2 kilometers once or twice a week. Then perhaps go three or four times a week as you build up stamina. You can then do longer distances progressively as your body gets the strength it needs. Remember, regular running is a long-term goal.
Find Someone to Run with
Life is better if you have someone to share it with, and running is no different! If you have a friend that wants to take up running as well, then that’s ideal. Else, you could join a running club or maybe check online for people in your area who are in the same position. Not only is it more enjoyable to spend time with someone else, but it can be a brilliant motivational factor to get you out the door or down to the gym.
Warm Up and Cool Down
You are not going to be able to stick to your new running habit if you are injured and can’t run! One of the best ways to avoid injury is to warm up before you go out, and then cool down again when you have finished. Five minutes of full-body stretches either side of your run is all that is needed.
Get the Right Kit
You don’t have to spend a fortune, but getting decent running shoes and some comfortable clothes are going to make you much more likely to stick with it. Good trainers are particularly essential to prevent injury, so try to find some that are comfortable, leave you a bit of space around the toes, and are supportive around the ankle area.
Keep it Fresh
If you are running outside keep your route varied to keep it interesting. Plan your run before heading out, and drive to a new area if you feel like a change. These days, almost everyone has a map on their phone, so it’s easy to find your way around without getting lost. Alternatively, if you do most of your running at the gym, try a different place from time to time. The change in scenery can do wonders for your motivation.
Running has enormous benefits to your body and mind, but making it a regular habit can be a challenge. However, once you are into it, you will relish the chance to get outside, and it will soon become the highlight of your day. You need to stick to it!
About: Gabriel Patterson, Toronto based fitness trainer makes a point to get to know his clients and their health goals so he can help them visualize and attain their goals. Mr. Patterson emphasizes a healthy diet and lifestyle, bolstered by mindfulness and meditation practices. When he is away from the gym, Gabriel Patterson can be found at a yoga class, cycling or spending time with his friends and family in Toronto.