Start Running And Stick With It

Running. Most people will tell you it’s the easiest sport; all you need is a pair of sneakers. While that’s true, there’s also a layer of mystery surrounding the sport that keeps many from taking the leap. Here’s how to get started so you can truly become a runner for life.

Start slowly

Most newbies tie their laces and take off expecting to sprint the miles away. Reality quickly catches up to them. Go slow. If you can’t talk, you’re going too fast.

Plan to run/walk

Add walking into your run. Many new runners feel discouraged if they need to walk during their runs. But this is how most runners get started. Pick an object in the distance and plan to walk when you get there. Once you’re walking, pick another object where you’ll start to run again. The next time, try to run a little farther and walk a little less. Before you know it, you’ll be able to string those running segments together for several miles.

Make a schedule

It’s a good idea to follow a beginner’s running plan to keep you motivated and on track. Without such a schedule, a new runner risks increasing their training load too rapidly, which will result in injury.

Find a buddy

Finding friends to run with is  key to making running a lifelong hobby.Just remember that everyone started somewhere, and most runners are more than happy to help a new runner. Check out local running stores or fitness centers to see if there are any running groups or solo runners interested in pairing up.

Get some good shoes

If your feet hurt, you’re not going to want to run. Make sure you have sneakers with at least a little cushion to get you started. Once you start running more regularly, head to a running store and get fitted for a pair match your needs and style.

Go!

A perfect motto for runners of all experience levels: “Don’t Think: Just Go.”

Walking Poles Ramp Up Your Workout


Walking poles aren’t just for hiking, the elderly or those who need extra help with their balance. Adding walking poles to your daily jaunt is an excellent way to boost your calorie burn, and they may even help prevent chronic pain with aging.

Walking poles, also known as Nordic walking poles or sticks, originated in Scandinavia. Their popularity spread across Europe, and they’ve slowly but steadily made the jump across the Atlantic. Some walkers love them because they offer extra stability. That’s helpful for folks who are walking on uneven terrain or even those on paved paths who need more balance. But many walkers use poles as an easy way to turn their daily jaunts into full-body workouts.

A study by Prevention magazine found that walking poles can increase calorie-burn by an average of 15-20 percent and as much as 50 percent when compared with regular walking.

Walking with poles is a simple and effective exercise because it combines walking with an upper-body workout. Because of this combination, pole walkers benefit from using the chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders and abdominals with the leg muscles. With each step and swing of the pole, you’re doubling your ability to burn calories.

Another key benefit of using walking poles is that they may help to ward off chronic pain. In a study volunteers over the age of 60 with a history of chronic pain in their knees, hips or lower back were asked to try using walking poles for 12 weeks. At the end of the study period, participants experienced remarkable improvements in their pain levels. Even better, they were walking further each day than they had been without the sticks, with no increase in their exertion levels.

Walking poles help you to maintain good posture during your workout and they lessen the strain on joints.

They are low impact by nature, fun to use, and it keeps you outdoors, making it an ideal form of exercise for anyone from out-of-season skiers to those recovering from injuries.

Motivation For Your Morning Workout

Exercise jump-starts your metabolism, and keeps you burning calories all day. You also get your exercise out of the way should something unexpected come up during the day.

Move Your Alarm Clock

Move it to the other side of the room. That way, you’ll have to get up and get out of bed to shut it off. Once you’re up, it’s that much easier to head to the gym.

Make a Date

Having a workout routine buddy is a great motivator. Make plans to meet your exercise partner at the gym. You’re less likely to poop out if you know someone is waiting for you.

Make Friends at the Gym

If you don’t have an exercise buddy, chances are you will make one after a few weeks of a morning workout routine at your gym.

Have a Set Goal

Create your workout schedule for the coming week. You’re more likely to follow your workout routine if you write it down.

Load Workout Music Onto Your iPod

Research has shown that listening to music when you exercise can produce positive thoughts and help offset fatigue.

Prep the Night Before

It helps to lay out your exercise clothes and equipment the night before. That way you don’t waste any time getting dressed and ready for your workout.

Reward Your Efforts

If you meet your exercise goals, do something nice for yourself at the end of the week without sabotaging your program.

Tell the World About Your Plans

Tell everyone you know about your morning workout routine. Post your exercise plans and once you do so, it’s harder not to follow through. You also can use social media to boast of your accomplishments.

Too Sleepy? Give It Time

At first it may be difficult not to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep, rather than jump out of bed to exercise at the gym or go on a 30-minute walk. But after about a week, your body will adjust to your early workout schedule and it will be easier to get up and head for the gym.

The Best Time To Exercise

 

Many, many people have tried to figure out when the best and most effective time to exercise is. There are proponents of the early morning cardio, people who swear by the late night sweat-fest, and those who say mid-afternoon is when you’ll see the most results. The real answer? It all depends on what works best for you.

No, seriously. While it’s true that some foods are easier to burn off than others, and that some exercises will work out different parts of your body, a basic fact is that weight loss = calories burned > calories consumed. In other words, you have to eat less food than you exercise off or use during the day.

When you do that is up to you. Morning exercisers tend to be very consistent about their routines and find that they have less distractions during them. However, if you’re lightheaded in the morning or simply not an early bird, there’s nothing wrong with waiting until the afternoon or evening. People who do find that their exercises help them unwind and let go of the day. Their muscles are already warmed up and they’re more likely to have food in their stomachs, which is a huge energy booster.

However, sometimes your schedule is all over the place and you can’t really pinpoint a time to workout consistently. In that case, we recommend accepting the best of both worlds and doing cardio on the mornings when you’re able, and catching a yoga class on your free evenings. Make exercise a priority in your schedule and you’ll start feeling (and seeing!) the benefits fast!

What To Eat Before You Workout

What we should eat before a workout to get the best results has been a source of contention for many years. The New York Times weighed in a couple of years ago with an article that stated that athletes who eat a diet of 85% fat have more improvement over those that eat the traditional heavy-carb diet.

In a way, it makes sense. Carbs are quickly broken down by the body as sugar, which allows people to use the energy quickly and without effort. Fats, on the other hand, have to be broken down as fatty acids before the body can use them up as energy, and this is a long process. If you eat mostly fats, your body begins a process called ketoadaption, which helps speed up the process of fat-to-fuel conversion.

However, this process only happens over the course of many weeks. Also, a lot of us like to think of ourselves as athletes, but we’re kidding ourselves. The athletes that the New York Times was referring to are professionals, people who run the equivalent of a marathon a week as their jobs. Normal people still get the best results from their workouts by eating carbs beforehand and accessing the easy energy.

That’s not to say you should cut fats out of your diet entirely. Both carbs and fat should comprise about 25% of your diet eat day, but it may help to regulate when you consume them. Do carbs and caffeine before a workout for energy, fats and proteins after to sustain you throughout the day, with fruits and veggies peppered in at every meal.