Tips for New Runners

by Heather Duchan | September 29th, 2011 | Running

Running is a great cardio workout, requiring little to get started other than quality running shoes and a road or track to train on. Before embarking on running as a cardio exercise though, heed some tips to get the best and safest results.

Talk to your doctor. Running is usually okay for most people, but it’s best to get a physician’s okay before you start. Your doctor will probably want to do a quick physical to check your health status, and then give you any limitations if necessary. Listen to his or her advice well.

Find the best shoes for your body. Do you have low or high arches? Any knee problems or back injuries? Look for shoes that have been made to accommodate your unique physiology, and don’t skimp on quality. You may also need extra an orthotics product like an arch support if you have any foot issues, such as inflexible flat feet. Talk to a podiatrist if you have any concerns before venturing out on your first run.

Start small. The best way to fail when running is to try to do too much too soon. If you haven’t exercised in a while, don’t expect to run a mile the first day. Alternate a few minutes of running with several more of walking, working your way up to an hour of running non-stop. Keep in mind that for beginners, it’s not uncommon to take several weeks or months to get to a full hour of running without a break.

Don’t forget to warm up and cool down. Whatever your fitness level, walking for a few minutes before picking up the pace, and then walking a few minutes after a run will do wonders to prevent injuries. Add some stretching to the mix, remembering to gently stretch the major muscles of the feet and legs before each run.

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