Exercise Right — 6 Tips To Help You Run Better, For Fun & For Better Health
You’ve probably heard that running is a healthy activity, but just how healthy is it?
I know when I used to finish a run, I certainly didn’t feel like it was healthy — I would be sweaty, exhausted, and unable to breathe.
But it turns out I had been running wrong all along!
That’s right, something that’s so common, so instinctive, can be done entirely wrong — and often is.
Anyone can put one foot in front of the other and run, but to do it right, so you get all the health benefits and don’t feel like a hot mess, takes a little bit more practice.
It’s about more than just how you place your feet — doing the proper stretches and wearing the right clothing is also super important.
So to help you benefit from my mistakes, here are a few of the tips and tricks I picked up along the way.
- Stretch It Out
Everyone knows that you should stretch before you do any serious physical activity, though many people still choose not to.
What you may not know is that you should also stretch when you finish running, and by stretching both before and after, you’ll seriously minimize the risk of hurting yourself.
2. Start Off Slow
This has two meanings, the first being that you shouldn’t blast off in a full sprint — unless you’re training for a 50-meter dash.
The second is that you don’t need to run for miles, especially when you’re just getting into running.
Give your body some time to get used to this new activity before you start trying to push it, and you’ll get better results in the long run.
3. Walk It Off
Walking before, during, and after your runs can really help you out.
It’s more than just a chance to catch your breath, it can help to prevent you from getting cramps, and increase how far you can run overall.
4. Gear Up For Comfort
If you’re soaked in your own sweat, too cold, too hot, or weighed down by heavy clothing — you’re not going to enjoy your run.
Getting proper running gear will keep your body temperature where it should be, help to wick away all that sweat, and lower your air resistance.
You’ll also look pretty slick as you fly past slower pedestrians.
5. Choose Your Surface
The surface you run on can really affect your workout and cause you a lot of pain if you’re not careful.
For a well-balanced workout, it’s a good idea to run on a range of different surfaces.
Hard and smooth surfaces like asphalt are great for easy jogging, but the lack of cushioning can start to hurt your feet and ankles after only a short distance.
On the other hand, soft surfaces like grass and dirt are great for cushioning your steps, but you run an increased risk of catching your foot on a lump — or in a hole — and twisting your ankle.
6. Take Care Of Yourself
Running is considered a full-body exercise, so you need to take care of your full body to get all the benefits from it — and to avoid hurting yourself.
That includes regular hydration breaks, proper nutrition, and making sure you get enough rest.
With a bit of practice, maybe an exercise partner, and the right running gear, you can get a lot of benefits from running.
Just remember that comfort is key, and proper preparation will prevent you from getting an unpleasant injury.
There are plenty of other tips you can pick up as you go, but this should be enough to get you started.
Take these as a starting point, and run with it!