A beginner’s guide to running

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Photo courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

Running is an easy way to begin a new fitness regimen at home.

Anna Guerra, Writer

With all gyms closed, many people in our community are looking for other options to stay active and healthy at home. By now, the majority of people with smart phones have probably heard of the popular joke on social media that almost everyone in the United States is going on walks with their family. Going on a walk, with respect to social distancing, is a great way to get out of the house for some fresh air, but it is not the ideal way to stay or to get into shape. One of the best ways to kickstart the journey of a fit life is by starting up running. Running sounds intimidating to most, but it is not as daunting as many believe. There are a few ways to help one get started with running, which might just turn a quarantine routine into a life-long everyday routine.

One tip for runners is to not think of it as an excruciating workout but to think of an encouraging reason to continue this effort. Running can be an outlet for stress, a healthy measure, or form of recreation.

Running is hard at first, and everyone starts out walking more than they run. New runners should not be discouraged and embarrassed when they have to slow down to catch their breaths. It is better to learn to run correctly from the start than to relearn later. Runners should start off slowly and in short bursts and then, as they begin to build their endurance, increase the amount of time spent running slowly. A great way to do this is to establish a run, walk, run routine. It is best to start off at an easy pace where breathing is still easy; remember to avoid comparisons to others when doing so. Taking frequent breaks during the run helps muscles recover and avoid injury.

Another way to make running manageable is to set goals. Write down small mile markers that are achievable. Little by little, as a runner’s endurance improves, those goals will be checked off with new ones in sight. By writing down these goals, it motivates the individual to be accountable for completing it. It also makes people accountable to run as frequent as possible and not take days off “just because.” It is hard on days where sitting on the couch and watching Netflix sound better than running, but it is those days that push people to become the best versions of themselves. It is okay to skip a day, as long as the person continues the routine next time because consistency is key.

Find clothes and a pair of shoes that inspire confidence, and start to run. Slowly but surely, running will become like second nature. There is no need for equipment or money because running is accessible to everyone. Walk outside the front door, stretch, select a route then begin the journey to a healthier lifestyle.