I started running about seven years ago while my son was at his two hour football practice. A bunch of moms met twice a week and eventually got up to three times a week. We all ran a half together about a year after starting. I have not run recently after I sustained an overuse injury back in June that completely side-tracked me for months. I have only been walking and just getting back to fitness classes. I should get back running within a month or so.
I firmly recommend the couch-to-5k program . BUT- keep it at the scheduled level despite maybe feeling you can go further. You wind up getting sore and have to take too much time off- which means you start from scratch. I had to force myself to do this after the advice from a friend.
Running is the best bang for your buck as far as convenience, equipment and calorie burn are concerned but I have to mix it up. I hate running alone and never get the "high" that others do.