Running is free, you can do it anywhere, and it burns more calories than any other mainstream exercise.
Regular running can reduce your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.
It’s not surprising that running is the latest fitness craze, with Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawson and Katie Price among the celebrities who love it.
This guide is designed to make running a safe and enjoyable experience for beginners, and to provide you with tips on how to stay motivated.
To avoid injury and enjoy the experience, it’s essential to ease yourself into running slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually over several outings.
Start each run with a gentle warm-up of at least five minutes. This can include quick walking, marching on the spot, knee lifts, side stepping and climbing stairs.
Start walking for an amount of time that feels comfortable (anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes).
Once you can walk for 30 minutes easily, include some running intervals of one to two minutes into your walking at a speed that feels comfortable.
As time goes on, make the running intervals longer, until you're running for 30 minutes continuously.
Run with your arms and shoulders relaxed, and elbows bent. Keep an upright posture and a smooth running stride, striking the ground with the middle of your foot.
Give yourself a few minutes to cool down (to bring your heartbeat back to normal) after each run, warm down by walking followed by gently stretching your leg muscles.
Regular running for beginners means getting out at least twice a week. Your running will improve as your body adapts to the consistent training stimulus.
It’s better to run twice a week, every week, than to run half a dozen times one week and then do no running for the next three weeks.