Home > Blog > Exercise 101: Running for Beginners

RunnerThe Black Harvest Festival returns to Collingwood on Saturday, October 26, and this year’s activities are designed to give you a fright! Painting on spooky face disguises, designing a chilling Jack o’ lantern, and confronting the Head Witch and Warlock for the costume contest could send your little ones running. If making a mad dash after your child leaves you seriously out of breath, it’s time to work on your fitness. Follow these tips on running for beginners to keep yourself safe as you get in shape.

Don’t make the mistake of jumping right into a serious training program. If you are seriously out of shape, you should get a checkup first, to make sure that you are up to running. You should also make sure you have supportive and cushioned shoes that will help keep your feet stable and protect them from injury. Clothing should be of breathable material that draws moisture away from your skin. Then you are ready to start.

To begin with, you may need to walk before you can run. Block out time on your calendar. Start with 5 minutes of gentle walking, marching, or stair-climbing to warm up your body. Then walk 15 minutes at a good pace, with 5 minutes of cool down at the end. Gradually build up until you can walk briskly for 30 minutes without stopping.

Then introduce 1 – 2 minute periods of running into your walks, gradually increasing their length. Your arms and shoulders should be relaxed, with elbows bent. Your torso should be erect, and your gait should be smooth. Land each stride on the middle of your feet, not just your heel or toes. After a few weeks, you should be able to build up to 30 minutes of running without stopping. Hurrah!

To make sure you stay on track, keep a diary, set a goal, and run with a friend or join a club. It is also helpful to cross train and mix up your running routes and distances, to build up alternate muscles and keep your routine interesting.

Chiropodist Tony Abbott loves to run and can give you many more tips on running for beginners. Just give Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic in Collingwood, ON, a call at (705) 444-9929. You can also follow us on Google+, Facebook and Twitter for helpful information.

Photo by Sura Nualpradid