Humans were never meant to sit around in offices all day then go back to their homes and eat potato chips on the couch. Our bodies simply aren’t meant to live a sedentary, indoor lifestyle, at least not without health consequences. So, while any workout is better than none and others have benefits (like anti-aging properties, etc.), there is one workout that is fun, gets you fit, and connects your with your natural state: running. And, if you have a quick pace you can burn around 15 calories a minute.
I used to hate running when I was younger. I’m not sure why, but it’s probably because I associated it with being forced to do it at football practice or boringly running on a treadmill. In reality, running is a fun way to get in great shape. But, it is best done with a few tips in mind.
I personally still hate the treadmill and get bored after fifteen minutes. But, when I’m outside in nature, I can easily bust out 6-7 miles (OK, it’s not easy, but I can do it). Why? Because when you throw in the sunshine, breeze, and stimulation of nature, it becomes a totally different experience.
If you’ve never tried actually running (or jogging) outside, or it’s been awhile, give it a chance. Start out slowly, even walking fast, then work your way up. It’s a great way to connect with nature and get outdoors.
Start Slowly And Push
I’ve known many people who buy a bunch of cool running equipment (more on that later), get all excited…then they sprint for five minutes, decide it’s too hard and quit. Running isn’t something anyone can just jump into and become a beast at it. You must work up to higher levels of running ability. Start by walking if you’re really out of shape, then move to a jog, then gradually try to increase your pace. Start slowly, but keep pushing yourself. Otherwise, you’ll just quit and it won’t do you any good anyway.
Run With A Friend
If you want an extra push, then run with a friend. Having someone else to do it with accomplishes two things. First, you can keep each other motivated and accountable. This is important with any fitness program, but especially one like running. Second, running with a friend can make it go faster since you can talk (or at least grunt) to each other.
Make sure you pick someone of your similar fitness and ability level, though. Otherwise, it could be frustrating if one person gets left behind or a fitter runner feels she has to hold back to accommodate a less seasoned one.
Get the Right Gear
While you can literally run in just about anything, comfort matters, especially in your shoes. It’s also important to dress for the weather. If you are running in the winter or colder weather, you’ll need to bundle up. If you’re in the extreme heat, then go lighter and make sure to bring water (or run close to a fountain or something).
Shoes are very important when running. Make sure you get ones that fit. Believe it or not, people run in different ways and you need the right shoe to support you. Here is a cool guide to choosing a running shoe.
Also, I want to mention one of my favorite running accessories of all time: my Nike + GPS Running Watch. I have used this thing for four years now. It logs miles, locations, pace, etc. I absolutely love it. If you run a lot and want a record of your results, you have to buy it. It’s a little pricey, but well worth it.
So, if you are looking for a new fitness activity to try for the summer, you might want to take up running. It’s fun and will get you in shape in no time.