5 ways to get yourself up and running!
5 ways to get yourself up and running!

When was the last time you ran? Not the type of running you do when you’re rushing after the kids or whizzing around the shops, but honest-to-goodness, break-a-sweat jogging. There are many reasons to give running a go. For starters, it’s one of the most portable, budget-friendly exercises on offer. All you need is a pair of running shoes and off you go. Secondly, you know how to do it. It may be a while since you last tried it, but you know you’ve done it before! Thirdly, regular running can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and lung cancer and stroke, as well as boost your mood and keep your weight under control. As with most exercise, finding the motivation to go for a run is often the hardest part. Here’s some strategies to get you out the door.

Couch-to-5K plan This nine-week online training program (also available as an app) is designed to help absolute beginners get into running. You run three times each week, starting with a high ratio of walking to running during each 30-minute session, until you can eventually run the whole way. With the app, you can even listen to your own music as you jog. Using a program like this will help you avoid one of the biggest mistakes that beginner runners make: going too hard, too soon. To access the online running plan, go to active.com or download the Couch-to-5K app from iTunes.

Turn your run into a game A GPS fitness-tracking app such as Runkeeper helps to keep your workouts fun and varied. You can use it to track routes, times and average pace, and compare previous results to your current efforts. Select a goal, such as a fun run, and the app will even help you create a training plan.

Help others; help yourself If you find it hard to motivate yourself, this might provide the push you need. The Can Too Run program aims to improve your fitness and raise money to fund cancer research projects at the same time. You choose your running goal (from 7km upwards) and, as part of a team, undertake a 10-week training program with the help of professional coaching and a support network. In return, you commit to a sponsored run with a minimum fundraising obligation (from $800), with all funds raised going to Cure Cancer Australia. It’s a great way to make your efforts doubly worthwhile! Go to cantoo.org.au to find out more.

Pump up the music: According to Scientific American magazine, psychologists believe they have discovered why music is so essential to many people’s workouts. Music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency. When listening to music, people run farther, bike longer and swim faster than usual – often without realising it. The key is finding the right tempo and rhythm for your own pace. Try an app such as jog.fm, which promises to find the perfect music for your run. Just type in how long it takes you to run a kilometre and it matches the music to your pace!

Make sure you’re ready Remember, always consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan, and take it easy. You don’t have to do it all in a week – you just have to start!

SOURCES

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/health-benefits-of-running http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/get-running-with-couch-to-5k.aspx http://www.c25k.com/
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2013/07/app-of-the-week-runkeeper/
http://www.cantoo.org.au/
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/
http://jog.fm/