Running for exercise

People who incorporate running into their fitness plans either love it or hate it.  Some people claim running gives them that endorphin high we have all heard about, while others complain that the impact of running cripples their exercising efforts.  If you plan to add running to your fitness plan, be sure you clear your health with your physician first.

Running can be great, calorie-burning, aerobic exercise.  It can be done on a treadmill or even better, when the weather is nice enough, it can get you out into fresh air.  Running can also be a troublesome form of exercise if you don’t take the proper precautions.

running 225x300 Running for exerciseThe most important consideration when adding running to your exercise regimen is to make sure you have a pair of great-fitting running shoes.  The shoes should be professionally fitted, and you should try them on wearing the type of socks you will be wearing when you run (which should be slightly padded, moisture-wicking athletic socks).  Running shoes absorb the impact of your feet hitting the ground and help prevent you from sustaining injuries that keep you from exercising.

The next major consideration for running is a sport bra.  You cannot just go to the local department store and grab a small, medium, or large sport bra off the shelf.  You need to buy a sport bra that is sized by circumference and cup size, offers more than adequate support, and is designed from a moisture-wicking material.

Finally, before and after your running session, you should stretch and warm your muscles.  In fact, if you haven’t been running and decide to start, you should start by walking and incorporate a few minutes of running combined with your walking.  Each day, you can increase your running time and decrease your walking time until you are running the entire time.  It can take six to ten weeks to bring your body to a point where it can accomplish a run without overexertion.

As your body adjusts to running, you may find yourself wanting to run longer and more often.  Be careful not to overstress sore muscles; if you feel as though you’ve pulled a muscle, go back to walking and running in combination until the pain is gone.  Running and ignoring the pain will eventually make it impossible for you to exercise.  Be smart and listen to your body, and you will find that your body will respond well to running and you’ll see many positive benefits.