Health Tips: Getting Into Running

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When you live at the Cottages of Fort Collins, you get to enjoy access to a ton of exciting amenities, like the central resort pool that’s a big hit come the hot days of summer. But now that the weather has cooled off, swimming is likely the last thing on your mind. Instead, why not take a look into the Cottages’ state-of-the-art fitness center and its many treadmills?

Running, whether you opt to use only the onsite treadmills or mix it up with neighbor jogs, is an excellent type of exercise that will make you fitter and healthier. And a fitter, healthier person is also often a happier and less stressed person. Plus, by getting into running now in November, you can start training for next month’s much beloved Sweaty Sweater Race.

But how do you get started with running if you’ve never done more than a two-minute jog before? Let’s take a look at the basics and how you can start enjoying all the health and fitness benefits of this type of exercise:

Tips for Getting Into Running

  • Get a solid pair of running shoes. There’s an old saying that goes a good archer doesn’t blame her bow, but you also can’t aim right with poorly kept and ill-paired equipment. Not having a solid pair of running-specific shoes can cause you shin splints and foot pain, which can make you give up the exercise before you really begin. So go on and go to a local running-specific shoestore and get fitted with a quality pair of running shoes. If you have high arches or over or under pronate, choose Asics.
  • Start with a walk-run program.  The first and second weeks of a new running schedule are often the hardest. Many begin running with the best of intentions but not the best of preparations. Going too hard at first is an easy way to quit due to feeling leg, lung and general inside pain. It’s important to keep in mind that this is a sport that takes time for your body to get into. Therefore, the best way to begin is to start walking —  a lot. Then slowly add short bursts of five-minute of running into your walking intervals. Listen to your body and slowly increase your run/walk ratio at a pace that is comfortable for you.
  • Put together a solid playlist. Even when going slowly, running will push your body and it can be easy to feel disheartened. One great thing that can really help you push through and go further than you think you can is music. Put together your favorites or check out this list of excellent running-specific playlists that can be found on Spotify.
  • Stretch after. I know your PE teacher probably taught you to stretch before a workout, and you do need to get your muscles warmed up. But a brisk walk for a minute or two at the start of your routine is enough to get your muscles ready. However, stretching after is a must to keep you from tightening up. As you continue running, you can incorporate specific stretches that target your problem areas. For example, if you struggle with shin splints, you can cross one leg in front of the other while standing, then bend over and touch your toes. Switch out your legs and stretch to your toes again. If you have tight hips, you can drop into pigeon pose or the easier seated hip stretch by sitting in a chair, bending your leg and placing your ankle on top of the other knee, then bending over at the waist. Do the other side, and you’ll feel a difference in your hips.

Ready, Set, Go

Now that you have these key starting tips in mind, all that’s left to do is lace up the shoes and get going. Whether you start on the concrete or the treadmills at your onsite fitness center, don’t forget to stretch and have fun!

 

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