Running is a great form of exercise as it burns a lot of calories, does not require expensive equipment and can be done anywhere, alone or in the company of others. If you’re thinking of taking up running, here are some tips to get you started.
When it comes to wearing the right clothes for running, the most important consideration should be your feet. Each time you run or jog, your shoes and legs absorb the shock of the impact of your body weight hitting the ground. Good quality running shoes are better at absorbing shock and they will protect your knee joints when you are running. The shock absorption of a typical pair of running shoes becomes less effective the more they are used, so you should buy a new pair of shoes after approximately every 500 kilometres you run.
Regularity is essential if you wish to improve your fitness levels and make running part of your routine. If you have a goal to motivate you, you’ll find yourself more inclined to pull out those running shoes more often. Most cities and big towns will host running events each year, from 5km runs to full marathons, so pick a running event appropriate to your fitness level and mark it into your calendar. If you have something to work towards, you’ll be more likely to make a habit of going for a run. Alternatively, you could enlist a friend as a running buddy. If you both commit to running at least twice a week, you’ll motivate one another to get out there and exercise.
Many people like to listen to music while they run and songs with a good beat can help you set your pace, but be careful because earphones block out the sounds from your environment, increasing the chance of an accident. Drivers and cyclists usually use their car horns or bells to warn or otherwise send a message to other drivers, cyclists or pedestrians, so if you do want to listen to music, keep the volume down so you can hear any warning sounds from other road users. Always run in the direction the traffic is coming from, so you can see all approaching vehicles, and if you are running in the evening or at night, wear high-visibility clothing to make your presence known to other road users.
Running can help you lose weight, get into shape, clear your mind and even socialise, if you do it with friends or as part of a club or event, so if you’ve been considering taking it up, what’s stopping you?
This article was written by Declan O’Brien, a sports and fitness columnist who often writes of the virtues of good quality running clothes.