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How to Start Running for Your Mental and Physical Health

How to Start Running as a Beginner

Learning how to start running may be something you’re considering doing for your physical health, but you’ll be happy to know that it is also great for your mental wellbeing.  Even though we’re moderate runners at best when compared with others in the animal kingdom, our bodies were designed to get up on those two legs and get moving. By training to use that design, we can enjoy a slew of healthy advantages.

How to Start Running When You’ve Never Been a Runner

Even though our bodies were designed to move in this way, this doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to just dive right into it. One of the most important parts of how to start running is in making sure you’re ready for it before getting going. This might mean that you are fit enough from the start. However, if you’ve never been someone who has run for any length of time, then it’s likely best for you to start as a walker.

Walking is great exercise. It is good on its own but it’s also fantastic training as a part of how to start running.  Start there, walking briskly and with power and purpose. Keep that up for some time. Once you’re able to go for a fast walk for about a half hour, you’re ready for an upgrade to jogging.

Ease Into the Sport

Once you’re ready to start going for a run, the switch doesn’t have to turn on like a light. Instead, it’s something you can do at intervals to make sure you train your body to do the activity while avoiding injury.  One of the best parts of how to start running for the first time is in improving your way through ten-minute time blocks.  For one week, run for one minute, then walk for nine, then do another one-minute run, and another nine-minute walk.  Repeat this three times until you’ve done a half hour.

The next week, upgrade to two minutes of run time and eight minutes of walking. While you may feel inclined to push yourself faster than this, try to stick to the strategy of adding another minute to the interval each week. 

The reason is that if you’re looking for how to start running over the long term and keep it up over time, then this will help you to train your way into doing it the most efficiently without getting hurt and facing setbacks.  Soon enough, you’ll be heading out for half hour runs and focusing more on your distance and performance than on your timing!

If you’re training for your first half marathon or have a more immediate target in mind, it’s best to get the help of a personal trainer to keep you safely on track but achieving your goals effectively.