Welcome to the New Year! I hope your resolutions are well on their way to manifestation. On that note, what better time to embark on a healthy kick? I have highlighted the benefits of running and other quick tips of achieving your fitness goals this year. I completed my first marathon upon a dare, while previously working as a personal trainer. Since then it has become an instant addiction after gradually increasing mileage and faster cadence.
Where have you been all of my life?” I wonder. Is this a new wave of therapy, without a co-payment?
Whether it is on sidewalks, the intense Vegas heat, hidden snowy Vermont trails, or the treadmill, it is definitely worth trying out. Yes the infamous “Runners High” does exist. Your legs feel like powerful pistons; interchanging coordination with one another as perspiration dances off your body to keep you cool.
Therefore, you choose to accept the mission and ask yourself, what is next?
I cannot put enough emphasis on this subject because this is the foundation of this new activity. I know what some of you are thinking, “I want to look cute and match everything”. Do keep in mind you will be sweating, so all that “cuteness” will evaporate quicker than all day mascara. I would recommend researching a store around your community specializing in running and or outdoor specific type activities and a good salesperson should be able to assess the right pair for you depending on your body mechanics. (NYC Recommendation-Check out Jack Rabbit Stores)
The main basis of acquiring a good pair depends on whether or not your foot pronates (foot turns inward), supination (foot turns outward), are a toe or heel walker/runner. Additionally, do not be afraid to ask questions and after a quick review and you should walk out with a pair that fits your requirements.
If you do not have a specific store catering to running, then perhaps consider a sports store such as Modell’s, Sports Authority, or Dick’s. Keep in mind that a good pair might run you almost close to $60-200 plus more. Although I am well aware that we are in a “recession” and that kind of money could be allocated to food shopping and other important necessities, if you are a beginner runner/jogger (not a competitor) you can also get away with a multi-sport functioning sneaker that is wallet friendly. If you see a Marathon or Ironman in the horizon then I would suggest investing the money in an excellent pair. Personally, I go through sneakers like a weeks’ worth of groceries because of the intensity level so perhaps one of these days I may need to start taking out loans to support this habit.
What else do you need? Consider a heart rate monitor. It is very easy to use and it keeps you in check with your intensity and comfort level. There are different ones out there and I would recommend the Polar brand. However, do your own investigation and shop around for which works best for you and the budget. Most monitors come with a strap that ties around the top of your waist orwatch and/or both but both display your heart rate level and other interesting facts when working out.
- Hydration: Whether you exercise or not remember to take in a lot of water. When I say hydration, a can of soda does not suffice; clear WATER. Yes, it tastes bland but that is the only liquid you can indulge in without the guilty caloric intake. Drink plenty water before and after you run and or exercise.
- Stretch: My mission is not getting you like Gumby or Play Dough, but it is important for your muscles to warm up. Incorporate at least ten- fifteen minutes pre and post running. Your body will be thankful for giving it that extra attention.
- HAVE FUN: Try not to take yourself too seriously. If you hunger to run a marathon all at once , more power to you! Start with baby steps and try different things like jogging for a minute and alternating speed walking for two minutes for at least a thirty-minute commitment. Try not to get intimidated! Start around your neighborhood, and leave the doors of ambition open to what else may come. If you find yourself bored, bring a friend. Or, invest in an MP3 player packed with high-energy music but do not give up.
As previously mentioned, running may or may not be for most of us, but take it slow, and while you do not see the London marathon in the prospective future, any form of exercise is instrumental to an even stronger mental platform. Good luck and I will see you on the road!
By: Laura M Artis.