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Run For Fitness Run For Fun

Running is one of the best workouts out there. This article explains how to get started with running to significantly improve your overall health

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Burning fat faster than a locomotive
Feeling good, energetic and stress free 
Supreme Physical conditioning - including a stronger heart, a greater lung capacity, lower blood pressure and an increase in good cholesterol (HDL).

Such are the benefits of running. It’s true. Although there are a lot of cardio activities out there that you all should try to find out which one is for you, running is one of my favorites that burns the most calories.

If you’re a runner, then you know what I’m talking about. There’s a huge sense of achievement and that feeling of conquering the world when you wrap up with your run.

If you aren’t a runner, then allow me to say this:
Get your butt on the tread mill or outside and do a few laps!

Trust me. Give it a try and watch your excess weight melt away. Ofcourse if you are new to running, you need to build up your run. By that I mean you need to gradually increase the distance and the speed you can run at. There are a number of examples on the net on how you can do that. I personally liked the one mentioned in the September 2009 issue of the Women’s health magazine.

Gents Hold On. Just because this example came from Women’s health doesn’t mean you’ll be a “wuss” for trying it out.

Goal: To run 30 minutes at a stretch
Time to achieve the goal: 7 weeks
Intensity: moderate intensity (a pace at which talking isn’t easy). Start out with light intensity if you can’t handle moderate in the beginning
Frequency: 2-3 times a week on alternate days

Week 1: run 2 mins and walk 3 mins. Do this 6 times to total 30 mins
Week 2: run 3 mins and walk 3 mins. Do this 5 times to total 30 mins
Week 3: run 5 mins and walk 2 mins. Do this 4 times to total 28 mins
Week 4: run 7 mins and walk 3 mins. Do this 3 times to total 30 mins
Week 5: run 8 mins and walk 2 mins. Do this 3 times to total 30 mins
Week 6: run 9 mins and walk 1 min. Do this 3 times to total 30 mins
Week 7: run 30 mins. do it once.
And Voila! You’re done. You can now do a straight 30 min run.

If you’re an intermediate/advanced runner, then you can apply the same principle to take your running time up to 60 minutes. Or you can try to do the same distance in less time. The choices are endless.

Tips for effective running:
- Stretch 5 mins before and especially after your run
- Make sure you have comfortable running shoes that are not totally worn out
- If you feel like you cant move on to the next week, then don’t push it. Repeat the week you just did, to get more used to it
- On the other hand if you feel you can kick it up a notch, then see if you can skip a week. But don’t push yourself beyond your limits
- If you’re running on a tread mill, run at 1% incline to get that running outdoor resistance
- Throw in some strength training during the week as well. This will make you a fat burning machine
- Don’t run right after eating. Give yourself 2-3 hours after a major meal

Things to watch out for:
- If you’ve got a history of knee injuries, get yourself ok’d by the doctor before you start
- Don’t ignore any kind of pain. Stop your run, and get yourself checked.
- Don’t alter your natural running style to accommodate for the pain you are feeling. That can lead to injuries because of excessive stress on your joints (ACSM health and fitness Journal July/Aug 1997)
- Don’t push yourself beyond your limit. Listen to what your body is telling you

There are also some good running sites out there which you can search for. They will have more advice on running. I’m listing one I found pretty helpful, below.

Advanced runners, don’t fret, I’ll be putting up an advanced interval training workout especially for you. Lets see if you’re up for the challenge.

Till then, Stay Fit and let me know what you thought about this running strategy. I would love to read your comments and incorporate your suggestions.


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General Health
aerobic exercise, cardio, heart health, running, stress relief, weightloss
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