There are a number of reasons why running is still the most popular form of exercise. It relies simply on our body’s normal functions and requires no other equipment or special gadgets. It’s therefore the easiest and most inexpensive way to get healthy. Every year sees a new batch of beginners pounding the pavement with their new pair of sneakers on, and by year’s end, a lot of them have given up hope. There are a number of factors to consider when running for fitness and health, so here are a few tips for those beginners hoping to keep on top of their fitness.

  1. Get the shoe that fits. The most important thing about running, particularly in urban environments, is having the correct footwear to protect your muscles and your joints. Pounding the pavement can, over time, be detrimental to these parts of your body. When it comes to fitness for runners, getting specific footwear for running in these conditions should be on top of your list. The first thing you should do when choosing the right running shoe is to leave your fashion sense at the door. These shoes tend to be pretty garish at first glance, because they’re built for comfort, not style. Try not to skimp on your shoes either. A decent pair will cost you between 80 to 100 dollars. Anything less is probably not going to last you the year.
  2. Run with friends. A great way to stay motivated and enthused about getting up and getting outside to go for a run is to encourage your friends to join you. Make a social event of it. If you already have a friend that runs, try and pair up with them and see if you can keep up. The easiest person to let down in this world is yourself, but it’s a lot harder to let down a friend. So if you’re meeting up for a run, you’ll be more inclined to get yourself out of bed and into your training gear than if you were doing it by yourself.
  3. Make a schedule. It’s important when you’re beginning to run again that you don’t over-exert yourself straight away, and it’s equally as important that you make sure you push yourself enough. Setting up a solid run plan or schedule will help you monitor your performance and get results when it comes to your health and fitness. Start with the run/walk. This means you’ll be easing yourself into the exercise by doing a 1 minute run followed by a 5 minute walk interval. Over the next 5 weeks or so, gradually increase the running time and decrease the walking time. By the end of the five weeks you’ll notice that you’re running at a much steadier pace and you won’t be running out of steam quite so easily.
  4. Sign up for a fitness club. Although running can be a cost effective way to get fit, it doesn’t mean it’s the most effective way. The other option is that you sign yourself up to a gym or fitness club. A place like Orangetheory Fitness can provide you with running machines and technology that helps you build your fitness steadily over time. Each exercise plan is specifically tailored to the client, based upon your health and fitness levels. So this means you’ll be less likely to over-exert yourself and end up with a nasty injury. It also means you’ll me more inclined to lose weight and get in shape a lot faster.
  5. Acclimate yourself. It’ll take a while for your body to become comfortable with running again. If you’ve not exercised for a long period of time, this will take a little while. Don’t give up as soon as you feel the aches and pains associated with muscle repair after running. This is a natural part of getting fit, so stick at it!