Running for beginners part 1 - the benefits of running

Why you should get started in running

Here's the first of our five part guide to running for beginners. We'll show you how to get started in running and why you should begin running:

If you are reading this, then chances are you have just decided to become a runner. This will be one of the best decisions you have ever made as there are a number of potential health benefits that being a runner can bring including:

  • reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • reduced risk of hypertension
  • reduced risk of diabetes
  • reduced body fat
  • preservation of your bone density
  • reduced PMT and period pain
  • improved brain function
  • elevated mood
  • stress reduction
  • boosted self esteem

An added bonus of running is that you burn more calories per minute than you will with almost any other activity, and the benefits dont just end there. A study from Arizona State University found that runners had a far higher resting metabolic rate (the number of calories you use at rest) than others who did little or no activity. Running will also tone and strengthen your legs and your rear and improve your aerobic fitness. All this adds up to the fact that running will mean your are likely to live longer.

Running is pretty simple which means you can start right now. You don’t need lessons on how to run; you can just get out and do it. But hold it right there! Make sure you finish reading all five articles in our Running for Beginners series first… and you’ll have everything you need to make those first steps as enjoyable and successful as possible.

Man running park

How to start running:

If you've barely broken sweat in years, the way to start is slowly. This gradual approach gives your body time to adapt to the new challenge. That’s why the seven week programme we outline later mixes walking and running, gradually reducing the length of walking stints, so that the running bouts get progressively longer. Walking is an important component of a start-up running programme and should not be viewed as unnecessary.

Periods of walking give the body a chance to recover, address your technique and re-hydrate. Even if you are already fairly active, but not a runner, it is still advisable to start your running programme with a walk-run regime – as your joints and muscles need to adapt to the high impact and repetitive patterns of movement involved.

So, what are you waiting for? Read on and learn about running technique in Running for beginners Part 2.

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