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Running For Beginners. Getting Motivated And Staying Motivated.

Updated on July 3, 2016

Could this be the most important thing you read today?

I'm going to go out on a limb here. If you're new to running (or any sport, exercise program or healthy lifestyle change for that matter) this may be the most important thing you read. And if you do the little exercise included in the Hub, then you are on to a winning and persistent change.

It will help you determine WHY you want to start running. After that, everything else will be easier.

That WHY will sustain you when you’re out of breath, when it’s cold and wet outside, when you’re tired, when there’s too much else to get done in the day and when you really feel like quitting.

There’s a self-progress chart included here, so feel free to print it as many times as you like for your exercise log (it’s here because professional athletes keep these).

Some 'Reasons Why'.

Here are some of the reasons people take up running. Include your own in the chart below and use these if they’re relevant to you:

ü I want to lose weight (make a realistic goal)

ü I want to prove people wrong about me

ü I want to feel calmer/less stressed

ü I want to feel less angry/irritable all the time

ü I want to enter a race/distance challenge/do a run for charity

ü I want to improve my physical health (be specific about which aspect(s) of your health are important to you: eg lower blood pressure – to within what range, asthma control – using your reliever inhaler less, peak flow reading, etc)

ü I want to improve my mental health (eg be able to reduce/stop your anti-depressant meds, with your specialist’s help)

ü I want to live longer because…

ü I want to look better naked because…

ü I want to make my lovers proud

ü I want to make my haters jealous

ü I want my clothes to fit better

ü I want to improve my sleep

ü I have a sedentary job and want to off-set the hours I spend sitting

ü I want to achieve something – anything! – because… (be specific)

ü I want my kids to be proud of me

ü I want my spouse/partner to be proud of me

ü I want to stop complaining and start doing

ü I have a school reunion coming up and…

ü I’m fed up with feeling tired all the time and I want more energy

ü I need some creative thinking time

ü I want an excuse to explore my neighbourhood – restaurants, features, shops etc. What will I find?

How to find your 'Reason Why'.

The possibilities are endless but make yours:

  • Personal
  • Specific
  • Vivid
  • Utterly compelling

Strong motivations are emotional and they often come along with a sense of anticipation or butterflies. You’ll know you’ve found your Reason Why when you feel this.

Remember, there’s no deadline here: it’s up to you to decide what you want to achieve and when.

That’s where this first exercise will help.

Make sure you're fit to get fit.

Your practitioner will probably check your urine, blood pressure, height, weight and BMI, listen to your heart and lungs.

If you have any of the following then you must see your doctor before starting a running program:

  • Asthma or other respiratory problems (even if you don’t take your inhalers often)
  • Heart problems of any kind
  • Joint problems such as arthritis
  • High blood pressure (even if you’re on medication)
  • Are very overweight
  • Haven’t done any physical exercise for more than 12 months
  • Diabetes
  • Are pregnant or planning pregnancy
  • Have recently given birth
  • Have had surgery of any kind within the last 12 months
  • Have any chronic illness or condition.

A quick medical check is never a waste of time – make one now.

Your first progress chart.

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