The Rundown on Running

Overview of Running

The internet renounced Wikipedia describes running as “a means of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot.” The average person associate running with a time consuming, daunting task that they feel that they have to do to lose those extra packed on holiday pounds. Some people call themselves ‘runners,’ and actually enjoy running and do it for fun, as well as, a variety of other reasons. There are many benefits of running which include, weight loss, better general health, disease prevention and social benefits.

Step 1: Start Running

There are many different factors that motivate people to start running. Have you put on a few extra pounds since college, or maybe you want to get in better overall shape or you just signup up for your first race. One thing about running, you don’t need to break the bank, chances are you have the goods already at home. First thing is first, you need to get a good pair of running shoes, so head down to your local running store and get fitted for a decent pair of running shoes. Most people have a pair of gym shorts and an old tee shirt. Check out the runner’s 101 for a ton of good tips how to get started. A word of warning, DO NOT try to set out for a six mile run if the last time you laced up a pair of sneakers was 10 years ago in high school. That will most certainly result in an injury and will deflate your motivation faster that you can rip those sneakers off when you get home. You know yourself better than anyone, so you know if you can run or ten minutes or if that is way out of the question. Be sure to avoid these 5 biggest fitness mistakes and that will help you stay away from injuries.

Different Running Surfaces

There is no ‘best surface’ to run on and no one type is better than another, but each person has their own personal preferences. The three main terrains to run on are the treadmill, road, and on the trail. Here is a further breakdown of each one.

Treadmill Running: Some benefits of treadmill running is you are in a climate controlled building, watching old episodes of Mash and rocking out on your iPod either at home or the local gym. You don’t have to worry about being too cold, too hot, rain, sleet or snow, but let’s be honest running in place for too long gets boring very quickly. I might recommend an audiobook or an attention keeping TV series to watch while you hammer out those treadmill miles.

Road Running: Hate being stuck indoors and LOVE getting some fresh air? Then running through the neighborhood or around the city is for you. There are cracks, curbs and roots popping up through the sidewalk which add an interesting variable to your run. Want to add an extra challenge into your run, plan out a route that has a few hills in it, which is not hard to do in San Francisco.

Trail Running: There is a natural progression from road running in trail running. If running, ducking tree branches and jumping over exposed roots sounds more like your thing then trail running is for you. Trails are great for pushing your running to the next level and really challenge you both mentally and physically because it will make your body work a bit harder to balance because of the unpredictable nature of nature. There are shoes made for trail runnings they have extra texture and nubs to increase your traction in dirt or mud. Be sure to bring a water bottle, insect repellant, and a flash light or head lamp to keep the trails and your path well lit.

Health Benefits

The end all weight loss tip: You need to burn more calories than they take in. Running burns a solid amount of calories making it a great way to lose weight. The quick calculation is one pound of weight loss you must burn 3,500 calories MORE than you eat. If you run a 10 minute mile, or 6 mph, for 30 minutes you can look at burning 350-400 calories. That won’t get you all the way to your 500 calories, but if you spend half your lunch hour, or 30 minutes for you mathematically challenged, that will burn you 150-200 calories. Those two exercises combined will send you dropping the pounds by the week. If you want to take a day off be sure to ramp up your runs to 45 minutes or hour.

Running will not only shrink your waistline, but will increase your overall heath. Running can help fight disease, prevent muscles and bone loss by keeping you and your body moving. Running helps improve your bone density in your hip and legs which will reduce your risk of osteoporosis and will strengthen your muscles, but not make you bulky like a bodybuilder. Running is also an amazing way to relieve and reduce stress because nothing clears your head like a nice run. Less stress can help eliminate your depression symptoms and will help you sleep better.

Social Benefits

Running stores in most cities have clubs, which is a great way to get in some fun runs and meet some new people. Nothing keeps you more honest with yourself than when other people count on you to meet up with them. Some clubs are labeled ‘serious’ clubs meaning they are doing some seriously long runs, intervals and meet ups. If marathon training isn’t your thing you might want to look out for a ‘casual’ running group which take the runs a bit slower and some even stop for beer afterwards. So join up with the right running club for you and who knows you might make a new friend or two.

If you need an extra push or motivator to keep you going search for a local 10k race and sign up. Post that you are running on Facebook and Twitter to hold yourself accountable to yourself, your friends and family. Any benefits that we missed or want to tell us why your started running? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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One Response to “The Rundown on Running”

  1. Victoria from basement leak Says:

    Running all around the home is the one running practice that I have been getting since the birth of my twins three years ago. Before that I was a regular at our town gym and swimming pool and had an envious body. But now I have bloated post the delivery, I am unable to look myself in the mirror too. But now I am contemplating buying a thread-mill and running on it for the hours that my kids are sleeping. Hoping that this will help me get into shape, I am also going to visit my dietician for tips on what I should eat and not eat.

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