When you’re contemplating how to get in your daily 30 minutes of exercise, one of the simplest yet daunting activities to consider is taking up running. Unlike many other exercise plans, the equipment is pretty straightforward and the skill level is basic. All you really need to get started is some motivation and a decent pair of sneakers, and if you listen to the growing segment of barefoot running enthusiasts even the sneakers requirement is debatable.
So, what if you want to start running, but haven’t tried to run in years? Of course, talking to your doctor is always the most important step before starting any new fitness routine. But after that, starting with a combination of running and walking can be a great way to get your exercise routine started. Some studies have even shown that using a combination of running and walking to train for a marathon can improve speed and endurance in experienced runners.
The only other big question is where to run. Should you start running in the gym or on a track, or should you head out onto the sidewalks of your neighborhood or to a local park to try some trail running? Each has its obvious advantages and challenges. Running on a treadmill in the gym can be a great way to get started because you can control your speed and gauge your distance and pace accurately. Also, with both track and treadmill running you will never run the risk of getting too far away from a good place to stop and rest.
But if the monotony of running in circles or in one place is enough to make you want to avoid running entirely, running in a local park or on a jogging path can also be great places to start. Just be sure to use common sense when picking your jogging spots in terms of level of difficulty and personal safety. When running outside, especially if you’re planning on running a long distance, make sure to bring a cell phone and dress for the weather. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water no mater what the weather and of course, make sure you’ve eaten something healthy ahead of time to fuel your run!