KEEPING FIT AND SLIM
Some Running Tips For Beginners to achieve Fitness and Health
Be cautious. If you are overweight and out of shape, start slowly. If you overdo it, you will get sore. Ease up then. Start with about 35- 40 minutes of walking about four times weekly. When you manage this comfortably, do some jogging extra.
Be moderate. Mix up your “hard” running with plenty of slow running and take time-off to allow for recuperation as running can be very stressful on your body. Beginners as well as the more advanced runners, find this routine to prove very satisfactory in quickly “getting up to speed”, especially as it reduces the chances of injury.
Increase your running time gradually. If you wish to shed a lot of pounds and get fit and slim (burn up fat!), increase your time. Take a measured approach, however, and do this moderate. You will find that increasing your routine time by about ten percent each week, you will reach a state where you are no more tired at this time than when you were previously running half the time.
Do preliminary warm-ups. Groom your muscles for your planned run by jogging easily and slowly for about 10 minutes before stating on the â€œhardâ€™ run. In cold climates, or if you feel â€œstiffâ€, walk first (about 10 minutes) before starting to jog.
Cool down when you’re through. Finish a â€œhardâ€ run with at least a 10 minutes jogging.
Try to run on soft surfaces. This will minimize shock to your joints as when you run,, your feet hit the ground with a tremendous amount of force. Grass or dirt is best and cement and concrete should be avoided.
Hydrate frequently. When you run, especially in hot conditions, your body loses a large amount of fluids. These need to be replaced or you will find yourself exhibiting the symptoms of dehydration: thirst, headaches, dizziness, and even vomiting. Drink before you run (about 16 fluid ounces, 1-2 hours before), and on the road, about 10 fluid ounces. As an important part of your fitness program,you dare not ignore it with impunity.
Choose a clean atmosphere. When running, you breathe hard and deeply. A polluted atmosphere, is hard on your lungs, and in many instances , cannot be avoided. Try to minimize this. If you live in a city, for example, choose a time when the traffic is at the lowest level.
Alter your running course. It can get very boring running over the same course every day. Try running the opposite way sometimes, or choose a different pathway. Your motivation to run for fitness and health must not diminish!
Although not developed here (this will be done at a later time), the importance of proper dieting and eating the proper foods for your body to regain its energy, cannot be emphasized enough – a requirement to which, sometimes, experienced runners do not pay enough attention – as fitness and health will suffer!
Running has long been, and is widely accepted, as providing an excellent all around method
of exercise in pursuit of fitness and health. For many, it has been the elixir or talisman for weight loss and getting fit and slim â€œthe easy and relatively inexpensive natural wayâ€, and hence, running has thus attracted a huge following of dedicated runners. Here for purposes of running, we include the treadmill as it is a special piece of equipment which allows running inside as opposed to outside and is a very worthwhile investment for those who wish to pursue the full benefits which it offers.
Although, at some periods in time, it has been thought that there could be a â€œtabletâ€ of unchanging rules by which running could be systematically and universally conducted, rapid technological developments, e.g. in biomechanics, the introduction of varying types of running, the subtle but fundamental changes which have been occurring in the overall physiology of the human race, etc. have prevented any such systemization of running as a fitness activity.
Consequently, there is not a â€œone size fit allâ€ position. Despite this, there are some practices, which, in one form or the other have either developed or survived over the years and which most, involved in this form of exercise, will hold to be some best practices to achieve fitness and health and to lose those many excess pounds. It is some of these which will be noted here and which, we hope, will be helpful to both beginners and seasoned runners alike.
Best Running Practices for fitness and health
Walk first. It is almost the mandatory rule for running that you walk first. It might seem incongruous to set yourself up for running by walking! But remember, this walking you are doing is for fitness and health, and it is quite different than the walking you do in daily life. This kind of walking will get your pulse rate up, while, in walking in daily life, you are not setting up yourself to achieve this. In fact,in most cases,the contrary effect is what you wish for. If you are just starting to run, see it as â€œcrawling before walkingâ€.
As a running(?) routine to achieve fitness and health, at first, walk briskly for 30 minutes at a time and then gradually increase this (but not to the point where you become exhausted!). This is to prepare your body for the increased stress of actual running. Your tendons will have strengthened and your muscles will be more flexible. After 4-6 weeks of this initial brisk walking, you will be in a much better position to actually start your running. Then go running for your fitness and health – get slim and fit!
Speed up gradually to running. Slowly speed up your brisk walking to running. You can do this, say, by walking for a minute and then running for a minute, gradually working your way up. At the start, you probably wonâ€™t be able to run for a full minute, so reduce it to, say, 30 seconds, or whatever you are comfortable with. Remember, to get even on the lower platforms of fitness and health, is a slow -and sometimes painful! – process. What you want, is to reduce the incidence and experience of the latter (pain) ,to the barest minimum. When you stop gasping for air, repeat the process. This way you also reduce the risk of injuries to your muscles and tendons.
Do some â€œwarming upâ€ exercises. If you are going to take a â€œhard runâ€, your muscles need to prepare for this. It is a good idea to first do some warm-up â€œstretchingâ€ exercises. Groom your muscles for your planned fitness and health (non-competetive!) run, by jogging easily and slowly for about 10 minutes before stating on the â€œhardâ€™ run. In cold climates, or if you feel â€œstiffâ€, walk first (about 10 minutes) before starting to jog.
Be moderate. Mix up your â€œhardâ€ running with plenty of slow running and take time off to allow for recuperation as running can be very stressful on your body. Your desired level of health and fitness will come soon enough! No need to impede the progress by injuring yourself from over enthusiasm and over exuberance.
Be cautious. Fitness and health and getting slim and fit, especially starting with the body that is unfit and overweight, do not come easily and quickly, and you can pay a dear price! If you are out of shape, start slowly. If you overdo it, you will get sore. Ease up then. Start with about 35- 40 minutes of walking about four times weekly. When you manage this comfortably, do some jogging extra.
Increase your running time. If you have to shed a lot of pounds to get fit and slim (burn up fat!), or you just want to raise your fitness level, increase your time. Take a measured approach, however, and do this moderately. You will find that increasing your routine time by about ten percent each week; you will reach a state where you are no more tired at this time than when you were previously running half the time.
Mix up running with walking. Beginners as well as experienced runners alike, often alternate 5 minutes of running, with 5 minutes of walking. This allows a recovery time and you will be able to run for a longer period and be more comfortable. In your desire for fitness and health, mixing up running with walking loses little and gains much.
Vary the pace at which you run. Combine easy jogging pace with â€œhardâ€ runs. An easy jogging break every 10 minutes is about standard. This will surely take you to the level of fitness and health you desire
Try to run on soft surfaces. This will minimize shock to your joints as, when you run, your feet hit the ground with a tremendous amount of force. Grass or dirt is best and cement and concrete should be avoided.
Hydrate frequently. When you run, especially in hot conditions, your body loses a large amount of fluids. These need to be replaced or you will find yourself exhibiting the symptoms of dehydration: thirst, headaches, dizziness, and even vomiting. Drink before you run (about 16 fluid ounces, 1-2 hours before), and on the road, about 10 fluid ounces.
Choose a clean atmosphere. When running, you breathe hard and deeply. A polluted atmosphere, is hard on your lungs, and in many instances, cannot be avoided. Try to minimize this as it will have negative implications for your state of fitness and health. If you live in a city, for example, choose a time when the traffic is at the lowest level.
Alter your running course. It can get very boring running over the same course every day. Try running the opposite way sometimes, or choose a different pathway. Your motivation needs to be kept up, even though you might continue to have and be be motivated by “academic” reasons for running.
Set Yourself Targets. Set yourself realistic and achievable targets. If you are running to lose weight for example, you cannot get fit and slim overnight, so your goals of shedding pounds will have to reflect a realistic loss of pounds each week. Achieving your goals not only allows you to monitor and verify your improvement, but the realization of these goals serve as motivation and inspire you to continue to set higher and higher goals till you reach your zenith! Health and physical fitness have incalculable rewards!
Drink More Water. The body needs water â€“ plenty of it! â€“ to keep fitness and health. Hence water becomes an important part of your diet. You should be drinking at least 8-10 glasses each day, and more when you are exercising. Avoid carbonated drinks as they contain a great deal of sugar. If you experience thirst, headaches, dizziness, and even vomiting (the various stages of dehydration), then you are definitely not drinking enough water – and your fitness and health will suffer
Eat well balanced meals. Proper diet is essential in you are to be healthy, fit and slim. Ensure that your diet contains greens (vegetables and fruits), essential fatty acids, a balanced intake of carbohydrates and proteins as well as fibers (cereals), non-fat milk or soy milk, etc. Supplements are not substitutes, and, a steady and excessive intake of these, could put your health and fitness at risk! Limiting your cholesterol intake provides you with that needed boost to perform.
Hill running. If you are luck enough to live in an area where there are hills, this is good fortune! Running up hills is one of the most effective ways to build up both your strength and stamina, and, should be incorporated where possible in your routine. Some claim it to be one of the best ways to get fit and slim in a hurry! The best way is to begin at the base of the hill and run as fast as possible to the top, and, when you descend, either jog or walk down to recuperate. This can be done repetitively with appropriate â€œwarming upâ€ and â€œcooling downâ€ and to some, serves as a proxy for progress up the hill of fitness and health.
Get sufficient rest. Resting is an essential part of the running process. â€œHardâ€™ runners especially need lots of it in order to repair the damage suffered by their tissues, ligaments and harried hearts. Without proper sleep, these will eventually shut down! Resting before the next running stanza, serves to build up your stamina before that time comes.
Running Frequency. This is not fixed but is highly dependent on your own conditions and what your aims are and at what level you want to maintain your level of fitness and health. If you are running for fitness and conditioning, that is one thing; if you are running for endurance or performance, that is another; if you are a speed runner, that is another thing; running competitively, is another thing; running to lose weight and become fit and slim is another; and so on.
For ordinary purposes, you might find running three or four times a week, quite adequate. This ensures that you get enough rest and avoid that level of exhaustion we call â€œburn outâ€. Also running more often than that could lead to embryonic disabilities.
Cool down when you’re through. Finish a â€œhardâ€ run with at least a 10 minutes jogging
After all that has been said about running, you might reasonably ask as to when the beneficial effects of running will start to take hold of you, emerge and be identified as such. The short answer is that it does not happen overnight, or with the thump of a six day creation. However, if the above tips are applied, running will lead you up a road at the end of which you life is seen as drastically altered – you will be fit and slim enough to get into those slim fits clothes! – for very much the better.
Essentially, all these tips are not too difficult to put into practice. Although by running you raise and maintain your level of fitness and health,r, running by itself cannot make you healthy. You have to bring to it, some level of individual discipline. You have to bring to it a supportive lifestyle that enables this pursuit to be maximized. You also will need to adopt healthy heating habits and eat the proper foods. Then you will reap some rich benefits, including a long life span of quality and wellbeing.
Follow these best practices in running and you will get into shape, achieve fitness and health – become fit and slim! – and enjoy a much longer life of quality!