Sunday, February 07, 2010

Running for Fitness

For those of who have always wanted to start running for fitness (having read or heard that running burns the most calories in the shortest amount of time - yes, you've read and heard right) but lack the willpower to, here is a piece of practical tip on running that I shared with a friend recently. Read on for bite-size, manageable pointers to help you run consistently every week...

Here are some things I started out with, which you could replicate, but do tailor according to your own needs, ability and schedule.

Are you a day or night person? When are you at your best? You could start by running in the morning before you start school/work. Which means you have to get up an hour earlier than your usual time (tell yourself it’s not so bad; it’s just an hour – I can do it!).

Start by running 20mins 3 times a week, for a month.

By the second month, increase to 25mins, and if possible, run 4 times a week.

As much as you are able to push yourself, do push yourself to go further and longer, and more often. But don’t push yourself too much too quickly, or you might tire yourself out and stop running altogether.

Always remember “sustainability”. You have to develop a running regime for yourself that you can sustain for a long time, and not burn out too quickly. If 25mins 3 times a week is sustainable for you, then do that. As you progress through the months, and your body and muscles get accustomed to a regular running regime, you’ll want to, and good news, you’ll be able to run further and longer.

And on and on it goes. Before long, you’ll be running distances you never think you could run before. It took me a year and a half to be able to run 10km daily. So no hurry, be stern, yet, gentle on your body. It’ll take you places. Most importantly, have fun running! Put on a smile and watch how your smile brightens up someone else's day! ;)