Fitness Nutrition Forums

The 4 First Steps Every New Runner Should Take


For those who typically lack the motivation to run on a frequent basis, it's important to realize the benefits of engaging an active cardiovascular regimen. Running has been scientifically tested to improve heart health, which decreases one's risk of a cardiac episode. It also boosts metabolism, which helps fuel fat loss, and increases muscular endurance.

One of the biggest benefits of running or jogging for just 20 to 30 minutes a few times per week is that feel-good "runner's high," a product of the body's natural secretion of endorphins. You don't need to train like an Olympic sprinter to improve your physical fitness level and increase overall well-being, but it's important to stay active.

1. Mental Preparation

Take a few deep breaths and try to relax a bit. The realization that you're actually going to increase your body's natural ability to torch calories might be daunting at first, but that's the thing--you need to be mentally prepared in order to conquer your goal. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense cardiovascular exercise per week. That figure boils down to just 30 minutes five times per week. You must believe that you can do it.

2. Taking Strides

For beginners, it's important not to force yourself to total exhaustion, although that also doesn't mean you shouldn't challenge yourself. If you're unaccustomed to intermittent running or jogging, begin your cardio-training regimen by brisk walking or power walking. This will strengthen the muscles and tendons in the legs, which will better enable your body to handle the duress of frequent bouts of running in the future. Remember that you don't need to train like a professional athlete in order to conquer your goal, but it's important to continuously take strides toward achieving the seemingly daunting challenge of becoming an avid runner.

3. Revving Up the Intensity

Take proper precaution when beginning a moderately-intense cardio program. Remember to spend a few minutes stretching your legs and begin each workout with a light warm-up exercise, such as high knees or running in place. Your body will become acclimated to the movements associated with brisk walking, power walking and jogging over time, which will better enable you to workout at higher levels of intensity. Test your body's natural ability to handle consistent strenuous movement by increasing the amount of time you exercise at peak exertion. For example, if you typically spend 20 minutes walking and just 10 minutes jogging during an average 30-minute cardio workout, try splitting the time evenly. Over time, you should be able to jog for nearly the entire 30 minute workout period.

4. Run With Friends

One of the best methods of forcing yourself to keep a steady habit of jogging or running, whether it be at the gym or on the trail, is to join up with a friend in your bid to become an avid runner. The mere presence of a friend while jogging will help you stay motivated. It will also keep you honest to your program. It's easier to skip out on a workout or cheat yourself out of a challenging bout of fast-paced exercise when you're alone. Find a friend or two who share similar goals and conquer better fitness together.

How to Do the Perfect Sit-Up

John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.

{{ oArticle.title }}

{{ oArticle.subtitle }}