Here are the top ten things that are beneficial for individuals who are just getting started or have been at it for a while. They are randomly listed but are equally important.
1. Get fitted. Your shoes are your foundation and it is important that you get fitted properly. Walking shoes are different from running shoes. You can avoid simple injuries with the right shoes.
2. Accountability partner/group. Stay motivated with the right support system. An accountability partner or group is a great way to keep you on the right path. It does just what it suggest gives you a sense of accountability.
3. Get acclimated. It takes twenty-one days to create a habit. Your body will be resistant to the new changes but DON’T GIVE UP! Give yourself time and be consistent. It’s a lot easier with consistency!
4. Stretch. Always stretch! I’m not good at this all the time but it’s so important. It helps to avoid injury as well. There are two types of stretching: dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretches are those you want to do before you start to walk, jog or run. You are warming your muscles up with movement. Static stretching is done after the exercise. (Research both)
5. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydration is soooooo important. Water is important but you have to make sure you don’t over do it. It’s important to replace electrolytes after strenuous activity. Some of these drinks include Gatorade and Powerade.
6. Fuel your body. Your body needs fueling before and after your run. To avoid fatigue, fuel your body. Just like your car needs gas to run so will you. My favorite pre-run foods are banana, peanut butter and jelly, or a smoothie with oatmeal in it. The last one sounds disgusting but it’s really not. Post-run food is banana and anything with carbs. For the milk drinkers, low-fat chocolate milk is an excellent post-run fuel. (Research it)
7. Have a plan and set a goal. This helps you stay motivated. Write it down and look at it daily. Running is mental and succeeding is as well.
8. Look cute. Be fancy. Running gear. It’s important to have the proper running gear. Yes, running gear can get a little pricey BUT I’m a bargain hunter. WalMart has good workout that’s less expensive than most. Cotton t-shirts are not ideal for running and sweating. Performance tees are though. (Research it)
9. Listen to your body. Sometimes, we can be a little too ambitious. Your body will let you know when you need to rest. I don’t recommend running daily. Three to four times a week is usually sufficient. Make sure you don’t take too many days off though. You need consistency.
10. Enjoy the sport. This last but just as important as the other nine. ENJOY the sport. Enjoy all that running has to offer. You are your only competition. The only person you are trying to beat is the person you were the day before.
Let’s get moving! I AM HER! YOU ARE HER! WE ARE HER!
*These are only my opinions as a runner. You should always consult your physician before beginning a new physical activity.*