Ready to Run

by TJ Davis | September 30th, 2010 | Running

Exercise is essential to good health, and one of the most popular forms of exercise is running. Running is one of the best cardio workouts you can give your body. It increases heart rate, improves blood flow, and enhances delivery of oxygen to muscles. It also tones your muscles and aids in weight loss and promotes general health and fitness. Not everyone looking to get fit, however, is ready to run. Running is an intensive activity that, if done improperly, can cause injury and promote wear and tear on joints and tendons.

As with any exercise program, it is always a good idea to consult a physician before starting. Once you have received the all-clear, it is time to prepare your body to run. If you already engage in moderate levels of exercise on a regular basis, you can easily incorporate running into your regular routine. Make sure you stretch properly before and after each run, and start with shorter distances before moving up to your goal.

If you are new to running or you are used to minimal low-impact exercise, it would be best to begin with walking. Gradually increase distance and pace until you work up to power walking, then advance to jogging, and soon you’ll be ready to run. Through each phase it is important to remember to breathe properly.  Proper breathing means breathing for maximum oxygen intake. Breathe deeply and slowly, inhaling for about three steps, then exhaling over the next three. Remember to breathe from your diaphragm, filling your belly with air before your lungs. This more efficient method of breathing also helps reduce the occurrence of leg cramps and side stitches while running. Develop a steady rhythm of breathing to increase your body’s efficiency for delivering oxygen to muscles, and to increase overall endurance.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.