Running Benefits Your Body and Bones
Tips to Start RunningIf it’s been a while since you’ve gone for a run (or the thought of running has never even crossed your mind), I don’t suggest you lace up and run a 5k. First, talk with your doctor about your health and where exercise fits into the equation of improving it. For many people, a running routine starts with 15-20 minute walks around the block. Gradually build your walking time and the pace of your stride from a walk to a trot to a jog to a run. That said, if you have the green light to run, here are some tips to consider before the rubber of your soles hits the road.
- Having the right shoes is very important. They should be comfortable and tight, but not too tight. Running shoes should be replaced after 300-500 miles. To make them last longer, use your running shoes only for running.
- Getting the mechanics right is crucial to maximizing the health benefits of an exercise. It also ensures that an exercise does not cause an injury. Too many people up and start running, but forego learning the proper mechanics. They often end up with pain in all kinds of places – knees, feet and back especially. When you begin running, don’t focus on your duration or distance but on getting the form right until you are doing it without thinking about it. I suggest working with a trainer if you’re brand new to running. Otherwise there are plenty of online resources and youtube videos you can search through.
- Here’s another running tip that a lot of runners don’t even know: Having a strong core and lower back will help you run longer and with better mechanics. Your core and lower back muscles help hold your body upright, allowing you to run with good posture and balance. That means less weight bearing down on your feet with each stride.
- Don’t run daily. As you age, your body needs more time to recover from high-intensity exercises. Stay active by all means – walking, swimming, dancing, biking – but running every day isn’t recommended even for those invincible 20-somethings. Start with once a week. Gradually build to 2-3 times a week.
- If it’s been years since you last ran, start by walking. Gradually increase speed, distance and duration. You can only walk so fast until you reach the point where you’ll have to start jogging to go faster. That’s when you know you are ready.
- Look for running/walking trails. Many are covered with crushed limestone or soft gravel, which will reduce the impact and make for a more comfortable run.