Running is an active aerobic exercise that can boost metabolic rates, burn calories and increase muscle tone. Integrating regular running sessions into your existing fitness plan can help you enjoy better health and increased energy. These six strategies will help you stay safer while incorporating running into your exercise regimen.
If you run in areas also traveled by motor vehicles, wearing clothing that increases your visibility can reduce the risk of accidents. This is especially critical during the morning and evening hours and in rush hour traffic. Light and bright colors are preferred to ensure that you can be seen clearly by drivers along your running route. Reflective tape can also be used to provide added visibility at night.
Dress for Success
A good pair of running shoes can make a big difference in the quality of your workout and the results you achieve from your exercise efforts. Choosing well-fitting and durable shoes with plenty of support for your feet is critical to the success of your running program. A relatively small investment in quality shoes can pay off in improved comfort and reduced risk of injury.
Gradually working your way up to longer distances can provide your body with time to build muscle, stretch ligaments and increase the efficiency of your cardiovascular system. As with any exercise program, consult your physician beforehand to determine the most appropriate level of activity for your current state of health.
Alternate Walking and Running
Especially during the first stages of your new running program, alternating between brisk walking and running can help your body adjust to the increased level of activity. This can also help to develop the muscles in your upper and lower legs to provide better support and can provide improved aerobic benefits by allowing you to maintain your target heart rate for a longer period of time. This can help you avoid becoming overtired and stressed and can reduce the chance of injury.
Proper Breathing Techniques
Most fitness experts recommend breathing through both nose and mouth during aerobic exercise to ensure optimal health benefits. Breathing deeply and evenly can ensure that adequate oxygen reaches all parts of your body and provides reliable energy throughout your run. Staying properly oxygenated can reduce physical risks associated with long-distance running.
Finding a friend to run with can often provide added motivation and can make running less of a chore. Choosing different routes and taking breaks to chat and catch your breath can make the experience more fun for both of you while providing moral support for your fitness goals. Additionally, the safety in additional numbers can ensure a safer run for you and your companion.
Running can help you burn calories, increase endurance, build muscle and increase your metabolism for improved fitness and health. By sticking to your running regimen and increasing your distance gradually over time, you can enjoy these benefits safely and with the maximum positive effects for your physical condition.