- Sports and Recreation»
- Individual Sports
Running for Beginners – Even Middle Aged People Can Start
Have you ever considered the form of exercise we’ve all known about, even if you’ve never done this before? Running or jogging. Perhaps you’ve tried it at some point in the past, and hated it.
As a middle aged woman, and I haven’t ran, or jogged since I was a very athletic teenager, back when it was required in PE, and I loathed every second of it. I participated in many sports, but running was the one thing I couldn’t stand.
Recently however, while talking to a friend, sort of jesting her, asked how she could stand to run, since she ran marathons, and what the appeal of it was for her. I didn’t get it. I discovered in the conversation, that I basically was doing everything wrong, which is most likely why I hated it so much. I mean, what’s so difficult about running, you just run, right?
Proper Running Form
This is critical in learning to run properly so your body doesn’t hurt so much. This is where I had failed miserably. I had incorrect form. Once I learned the correct form and really focused on getting that straight, I was hooked.
For correct posture you want stand straight up, and only lean slightly forward, you want your head up and eyes looking ahead about 20 feet or so. Don’t hunch over and look down at your feet. Warm up slowly with some stretches before beginning.
When you land on your feet, you want to land on the ball of your foot, not your toes or your heel. Take smaller strides at a pace comfortable for you. Many beginners attempt to go too fast and too long instead of slowly working up a pace. Try only jogging for 30 seconds at first, and walking 2 minutes, for 20 minutes or so. Then after a week, change up to 1 minute of running for walking 3 minutes. Continue adding running time every week to periods of walking, until you can run for a fairly good amount of time with little walking.
Keep a relaxed posture, allow the arms and hands to be loose and the swing naturally from the shoulder. Don’t tense hands up in a tight fist.
One of the most common reasons a person gets side aches while jogging is because they may be dehydrated. Be sure to breathe through the nose, don’t hold your breathe.
Practice safety while running, if it’s dark; use a reflective vest and other reflective clothing. Don’t run alone if possible, especially in remote areas. Keep a cell phone on you during the jog. Be mindful of your surroundings, people, dogs, traffic, etc.
Be sure to stretch after your jog to cool down. It is vital and really helps to relieve any pain in the next couple days afterwards. Consider adding homemade organic superfoods drinks to your diet.
Running Equipment Needed
The only things you need to jog, is to make sure you dress appropriately for the weather, if it’s cold out, use layers that you can peel off when needed. A good pair of running shoes is critical, it is recommended new shoes every 6 months or so. I also used a stopwatch to get me started.
The Benefits of Jogging
I have discovered I love running now! A couple of reasons why I was drawn to wanting to press through and learn were the following benefits:
Running can be done nearly anywhere, in any season
Running is very low cost, really only good shoes are needed
Minute for minute, jogging is one of the highest calorie burn workouts
Get the benefits of fresh air and sunshine
Powerful releaser of endorphins, the “feel good” hormones
Great stress reliever
Now that I’ve been running for several months, I am amazed at how much jogging changes a person’s total body shape, even the arms. It’s taken me quite awhile to work up to this, and I still have a long way to go, but I am extremely happy with this form of exercise.