It’s never too late to start picking up certain habits that will make your life a little healthier. And taking up running can be one of them.
I warn you that if you’ve been living on the couch at home for many years, it’s not going to be easy. You’ll want to throw in the towel at the drop of a hat and go back to your sad sedentary life, but with these simple tips you can start running and not die trying.
- Don’t just say it out loud, do it. Resolutions are all very well, but they are useless if we do not take action. It is not enough to say that tomorrow, next Monday or when the vacations start, I will go running. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
- Start little by little. Don’t try to make up for lost time in a few weeks. Also, I’m sorry to tell you that it is very possible that your fitness is much more pitiful than you expect, and it is more than likely that you will not even last five minutes in a row running. It’s normal, don’t get overwhelmed. Combine running with walking. As the weeks go by you will see that you are able to run more and walk less.
- Get organized. We all have very complicated lives, you are no exception, so look for two or three days a week to go running and organize your schedule according to your work or your personal or family commitments to not miss the appointment. If you manage to squeeze in half an hour each of those days, you’re on the right track.
- Beware of the summer heat. Take precautions. Try to go out early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Don’t even think of running at the hours when the sun is at its hottest, unless you want to be in trouble. Try to stay hydrated throughout the day and, of course, after exercise. And remember: thirst is a symptom of dehydration. Don’t get to that point.
- Find an adventure partner. Getting up early or going for a late afternoon run can be a great plan if you do it with company. A friend, your partner, the neighbor across the street… Time in company goes much faster and you’ll have someone to share and celebrate your progress.
- Go out lightly dressed. It’s no use wearing several layers to sweat more. You’ll make up for lost fluids as soon as you’re hydrated. In addition, if you overdress, you run the risk of dehydration and heat stroke.
- Sneakers, better with some cushioning. If you can’t find a moderately acceptable pair in your closet, it would be a good idea to get a pair. To begin with, you don’t need to spend a large chunk of your salary on the most expensive running shoes on the market. If, as the months go by, running is already part of your routine, the time has come to make a good investment. You won’t regret it. Your choice should be based on comfort.
- Be consistent and patient. If you have started running or are planning to do it to lose those extra pounds, it is very likely that weight loss will not be evident during the first few weeks. You will probably see with sadness and some annoyance how the figure on the scale hardly changes. This is normal. When we run we start to lose fat and gain muscle. And muscle weighs more than fat. The cotton test to prove that running really works is to get a pair of pants that fit a little snug. As the weeks go by we will see that they fit looser.
- Get your muscles ready to avoid injury. Strength training is essential. Either outdoors or in the gym. Do not be afraid, you will not get like the ‘bodybuilders’ you see in gyms. With a strong body you will last longer and longer running and most importantly, you will avoid many injuries. You can do it. If you set your mind to it, you can do it. It doesn’t matter what others say, or that in the park you see men and women who look like they’ve been running all their lives. You set the limits, and if you want to, you can.