Running – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, some of us downright deny its existence. I’m certainly not a runner by any means, but love it or hate it, we can’t argue that it has some outstanding benefits. Running is known to build strong bones and strengthen muscles, prevent illness, improve cardio fitness and endurance, all while burning plenty of calories. Sounds pretty good right?
Whether you are a runner all year round, training for the City2Surf, or just considering running now that you’ve read all these amazing benefits, let’s look further into what this style of exercise is all about.
Running is a form of aerobic exercise, meaning ‘with oxygen’. Aerobic exercise improves your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles while also helping your muscles to become more efficient at using that oxygen. Running is among the best aerobic exercise for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs. The more you exercise your heart, the better it works, reducing the risk of a heart attack. Just as important as physical health, running (like many forms of exercise) is one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. We know that regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood.
If running is new to you, here are a few tips to help you get started;
• Start slow. Try two to four runs per week, 20 to 30 minutes per run, and build up over time.
• Keep running. Increasing your KM’s is vital to progress, so aim to run further every second week. This will help your body adapt and avoid injury.
• Rest is key. Never underestimate the importance of recovery. Get plenty of sleep and ensure you have at least one rest day a week.
• Think positive. The thoughts in your head can directly affect your performance.
• Tune in. New runners often like to think of anything BUT the task at hand. Being aware of what’s going on in your body while you run helps to focus your performance and improve technique.
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