How to Start Running

By: Cole Carson

Running. It's the exercise goal that many people want to be able to do, and for a lot of good reasons. It's famous for its dramatic benefits to cardiovascular health and weight loss, but it doesn't stop there. Running causes your body to produce a powerful anti-aging element known as the Human Growth Hormone. This is a substance that celebrities pay a lot of money for and take every day to help keep themselves looking young. It will also improve your bone health, making your bones stronger and able to handle more stress, helping to prevent bone-related diseases later in life.

The only problem is that it would seem that it is a difficult exercise to get into. It's no secret that many who start on a running plan don't stick with it very long, and in fact, running has a very high number of people who start but soon quit. Most people who start running do so because they want to lose weight or gain energy, only to realize that it takes more energy than they have. When they try to run, they soon find themselves winded and feeling horribly exhausted, and it simply isn't worth the effort. What's actually going on here, however, is that these people are starting all wrong - there is one way to get into running that will help you stick with it, increase your resolve, and maximize the benefits.

Few people can suddenly take up running on a regular basis, and virtually no one who is out of shape could ever hope to do it. If you immediately head outside and begin a jogging routine, not only are you going about things incorrectly, but you also aren't accomplishing much - your body, unprepared for such a sudden burst of activity, immediately turns to high-output, fast-access energy sources such as sugars, and doesn't burn fat. These energy sources are quickly accessed but don't last for very long, causing you to give out in a very short period of time. The result is that you've over-exerted yourself, become extremely tired, and don't actually improve your health very much. You're not very likely to stay with it going about it this way.

The trick is to start small. Don't begin by running at all. Go outside, do your stretches, and take a very long walk. By doing this, your body isn't going to turn to high-output energy solutions because it's doing something it's more used to. It can then access deeper resources of energy, such as glucose, or fat. More importantly, your body is building up its stamina. After a day or so of taking a long walk, take a long, quick walk. Pick up your stride a little and try to maintain it. The goal is to get your body slowly more accustomed to a harder work load. Push yourself, but don't overdo it. When you've been walking at a certain pace for a bout a week or so, pick it up again. Your first goal is to get to power walking. You want to eventually be able to walk at a very fast pace for long periods of time. When you are finally able to accomplish this, keep it up for a month or so. Then start introducing jogging into your routine gradually. Power walk for a few minutes, and then jog for thirty seconds to a minute. Ease yourself into it.

The next thing to keep in mind when you want to get up and get active is to do so immediately. Don't wait - putting it off will make it more difficult, and you want walking and running to become a habit. If it isn't, it will take that much more willpower to stick with it. The beauty of it is that you'll be starting small, so go ahead and take a walk around the block, or go to a walking track. Jogging takes self-discipline, and you have to commit yourself to it now.

Running is a fantastic way to boost your health, appearance, and energy in one simple exercise. It's a great way to get outside and experience the beauty of the outdoors while you strengthen your bones, heart, and make yourself feel better. Just make sure you ease yourself into it, and don't overdo it. Stick with it, and you'll reap the rewards of an exercise that burns more calories than almost any other exercise available and is completely free.

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