Learn 5 Steps To Take When You Want To Start A Running Habit

running man

Making the decision to start a running habit is something that a lot of people do. Their reasons can be quite varied, be it spending more time outdoors, getting healthier, or just having more energy. Regardless of the motivations, with the approaching New Year’s resolutions and desire to burn off holiday pounds, many folks will make the decision. Unfortunately, most will not follow through or just go out running and then either form bad habits or injure themselves. But before you buy yourself those new running shoes and a good running hydration pack, first take the necessary precautions listed below.

Keep reading to learn 5 steps you need to take BEFORE you start a running habit.

1) Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. You might be sick of hearing how you should consult a doctor prior to starting any exercise routine, such as starting a running habit. However, just because you are physically capable of standing up and walking does not mean that you can run safely over time without injuring yourself or exacerbating prior conditions. Get the okay before you start, as well as any advice he or she has to make your running habit a success. That one meeting can keep you running once you start.

2) Find the right shoes. Slapping on any old pair of tennis shoes is not going to cut it for serious running. Visit an athletics or sporting goods store you trust to consult with the staff about the appropriate kind of footwear for your body and stride. And don’t forget that hydration pack if you’re going to be a serious runner.

3) Choose a route. It might seem like fun to just freestyle your runs, but if you happen to go down unfamiliar streets or paths, you might get lost. Worse yet, you could run out of energy to get back to your home or car. Planned routes do let you determine in advance how far you want to run.

4) Practice the two-minute rule. You might not feel like running every day. Rather than motivate yourself to go the whole distance, just run for two minutes. If today is not a good running day for whatever reason, you’ll know by then. In most cases, the anxiety and resistance in your mind will dissipate by then and you’ll go on to run more.

5) Run with a friend. Setting a joint goal of a 5k within a set amount of months is a fun thing for two people to do, even if it is a run/walk race.

Have fun with your new running habit!

Getting fit and staying healthy

I am a fairly intelligent person. I know that excercising and eating healthy is great for my body. Yet, eating right and working out is something that is so hard for me to do regularly. Now, I’m not grossly overweight or obese my any means. But I’m carrying around about 20 extra pounds. I don’t want to get super skinny by any means, cause women should have curves, otherwise they look like men. So, I know I need to work on this.

Exercise

Yesterday I was reading about some of the benefits of exercise. Here are 7 reasons I should be exercising.

  1. It’s good for your heart. Getting all the blood pumping not only helps you sweat out toxins, but it also reduces your chance of getting heart disease. And if you happen to already have heart disease, it can reduce your chances of dying from it! wow
  2. It lowers your risk of developing hypertension AND diabetes. This is a major point for me. I should really print this out and tape it to my bathroom mirror. I have a family history of adult-onset diabetes. And that is definitely something I want  no part of. I hate getting pricked with a needle at the doctor for them to take my blood, so I certainly don’t want to have to stick a needle full of insulin into my body myself.
  3. It reduces your risk of colon cancer and some other cancers. Do women get colon cancer? I’m not sure. I don’t have a history of cancer in my family, well, except for lung cancer but I don’t smoke so I do not really see that as much of a threat to my health.
  4. It improves mood and mental functions. This should also go on a post-it on my bathroom mirror. Exercise can be a natural anti-depressant, which is great cause you don’ t have to worry about any nasty side effects or becoming dependant on chemical happiness. And who wouldn’t benefit from being sharper mentally. I bet this is really great for people that exercise when they get up in the morning. I’m not a morning person though, so I could never exercise first thing. I’d just end up hurting myself.
  5. It keeps your bones and joints healthy. This should really be shouted from the rooftops to women everywhere. Osteoporosis is a very real threat for women. I know I drink a lot of milk for this very reason. So, it’s great to see that there are other things that I can do to avoid getting this later in life.
  6. It helps you maintain a healthy weight. As I said, this is definitely something I need to work on. Realistically, I’d like to drop around 40 pounds or 2-3 pant sizes. That still leaves me in a healthy weight range for my height. I know that the best way to do this is a combo of working out and eating right. It’s hard for me to give up some bad-for-you food though, so this may take some time. I know that for you to lose weight in a healthy manner, you should try to lose 1-2 pounds a week. If that is the case, then at 1 pound a week, that puts me at my goal in about a year. That seems like long time! But I want to get healthy and stay that way, not drop it all off quickly just to gain it all back.
  7. It helps you to maintain your independence in your later years. I think this is something that we all want. I mean, who wants to be in a nursing home with someone else wiping your butt? Not me! Besides, when I retire I want to travel the world. And I can’t do that if i’m old and fragile.

Exercise also seems to help me sleep, except when I do it too late – then I cannot fall asleep for the life of me. Working out will also help to build muscle, and we all know that muscle burns more calories than fat, which means you can lose weight easier. Hopefully these tips will help you get on the right track to becoming fit and healthy.

Good Activities and Exercises for Better Balance

Your balance and coordination decline as you age. But you can keep that from happening by doing the following exercises. Keep in mind that that you should engage your core muscles when you do them.

Walk on a thin line.

Run a tape on the floor. The length depends on the length of the room, but it should be long enough for you to be able to make several steps. Walk on the tape, make sure you do not step out. This is an easy exercise for mind-body coordination.

Walk on a balance beam.

This is the progression of the earlier exercise. This time, you won’t pretend walking on a balance beam, because you will be walking on an actual balance beam. Have two people hold you from both sides in case you’re scared you might fall off. But try to progress by walking on your own, forcing your mind and body to do all of the work.

Balance on one leg.

This the most basic exercise for training your core, hips, and thigh muscles for balance. For your safety, do this exercise somewhere near a table, sturdy furniture, or anything you can grab on to if you tip your balance.

Start with both feet on the floor. Then slowly raise one foot and bend down to reach for it. You should be standing on one foot with the other foot held up, knee bent forward. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Switch feet. Repeat this exercise four times for each foot.

When you are comfortable with this, do it with your eyes closed. Without visual cues, your core will work harder to keep your balance.

For some variation in this one, you can instead use a good balance trainer board for the same effect.

Swing your leg.

Stand on one foot and raise the other foot about half a feet from the floor. Raise your arms to your sides. Then swing the raised leg forward and backward. Next, swing it sideways. Attempt to keep your body firm. This engages the core muscles. Repeat the same steps for the other foot.

Squat on one leg.

This is an advanced version of the squat and should only be reserved for people with advanced level of fitness. It hits your thigh and butt muscles more than the typical air squat. It can be hard on the knee, so be careful.

Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Raise one foot and point it forward. Then attempt to lower your body until your hips drop just below your knee. Then push your hips back up. This could be hard. One tip is to hold on to the wall or a chair as you go down and up, making sure your thigh is doing much of the work, not your arm. Try to do as many reps as you can, and then switch feet.

If any of these exercises cause pain or discomfort, stop right away. Go to your doctor to find out what’s wrong. Certain conditions may make certain exercises hard or impossible.