Tips On How to Start a Running Program
Sep 9, 2011 - 10:04:04 AM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - A recent study by Duke University Medical Center published this week found that aerobic exercise is more effective than resistance training in helping lose belly fat. While resistance training, such as weight lifting, will help you build up lean muscle mass, aerobic exercise was found to burn 67% more calories and effectively blast your tummy away. One great form of aerobic exercise is jogging, and whether you’re an experienced runner or just looking into starting a couch-to-5k program, here are some tips from America’s Authority on Fitness, the American Council on Exercise:
· Suit up to succeed. Before you start to pound the pavement, make sure to purchase a good pair of running shoes. The right pair of sneakers made for running can help prevent some of the most common running-related injuries, including shin splints, blisters, sore muscles and sore joints.
· Take the scenic route. Find a local park or trail where you feel comfortable jogging and know the area – running on grass, dirt or on a running track is easier on your joints than on asphalt and concrete. Make sure the location is well lit, out of the way of traffic and safe.
· Don’t overdo it. Develop a running program that spreads out over several weeks, where you can gradually build up your endurance and speed. Start with a 20 minute brisk walk/jog and work your way up. Here’s an example of a 12 week program from the American Council on Exercise.
· Always stretch before and after your run. Make sure to kick-off your exercise session with five minutes of low-intensity physical activity, i.e. walking, and dynamic-type stretches. End your workout with static stretches. This routine will help you reduce your chance for injury, among other benefits.
· Stay hydrated. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association recommends drinking 500-600 ml (17-20 oz) of fluids two hours prior to exercise and 200-300 ml (7-10 oz) of fluids every 10-20 minutes during exercise. Also, drink plenty of water after you finish your run to ensure you rehydrate.
· Take a break. Take rest days in between run days. You can either take the day off, or engage in a lower intensity workout, such as going for a walk at a moderate or slow pace.
· No pain…no running. Do not try to “run through the pain,” as accommodating your running style to work around discomfort or pain can lead to excessive stress on your joints, muscles and connective tissues. Instead, refrain from exercising until the pain goes away.
Now that you have the key tips to start or improve your own running program, why not take advantage of the many great 5ks and marathons happening across the U.S. this fall? Selecting an event and working towards it can serve as a motivational tool to keep you running. Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis are among the major cities hosting their famous racing events for beginners and pros alike in the coming months; a quick internet search or call to your local runner’s club can provide more information on what races are happening in your area.
For more tips on how to improve your running style, or train for a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or full marathon, visit the GetFit page on www.ACEFitness.org.
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