By Gemma Needham
I love to run, it makes me feel so happy and free, and it’s a great way keep fit and stay in shape. I know that running may not (initially) be everyone’s cup of tea but trust me, once you get into the flow, you’ll love it.
Running can involve really any distance that you are comfortable with, and you can move at your own pace. If you’re just starting out, you don’t need to start with a 10km run on your first attempt. No, start small with 500 meters, then 2 km, or 5km, then keep working upwards and track your progress.
There are so many benefits to running, so here are my top 10 reasons to run:
1. You can do it anywhere, at any time and it doesn’t cost you anything
2. It can be very social if you run with a running buddy or running group
3. As humans we are built to run, it’s a natural instinct so anyone can do it.
4. It’s a top calorie burning exercise
5. It significantly improves your cardiovascular fitness
6. It increases bone mass and helps stop age related bone loss.
7. It’s a great stress reliever (scientific fact: running purges the blood of a substance known as kynurenine, which accumulates during times of stress and is believed to be linked to depression.)
8. It gives you energy and keeps your mind sharp
9. It helps keep your metabolism firing even when you have finished the run
10. Running can help prevent diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and many more.
How much should you run?
There isn’t a right or wrong here as this will depend on your running ability, how long you have been running, and whether you’re training for anything in particular.
Try to run 2-3 times a week and keep the distances quite short until your body gets used to it. As you get more experienced, you can start to increase the distance, speed and frequency.
As a general rule of thumb, if you are serious about running you should try to aim for one ‘long run’ once a week to help with your stamina, one timed ‘tempo run’ where you work on maintaining a race-paced speed for a certain amount of time, and some ‘interval training’ to help improve your cardiovascular fitness. Running does put stress on our body, no doubt, so it's very important to incorporate rest days into your schedule too.
How do I start?
Just do it! There is understandably a lot of fear and anxiety with starting something that is unknown and could potentially be quite hard. I suggest finding yourself a training buddy or group that you feel comfortable with, and create an exercise routine together, then make sure you keep your commitments to each other. It is harder to cancel a workout or not do one when you have others relying on you.
So start your week right and join us for our weekly Momentum RunClub sessions. Sign up for a free trial HERE and let’s get running!