When it comes to exercise and movement, there are so many different ways to move. There really is something for everyone!
Running and walking are two very accessible forms of movement—all you need is some running shoes, and clothes you're comfy in and don't mind getting a little sweaty.
Bree Mills is part of our BePure family in the Nutritional Health Support team. She has her Masters of Dietetics, and is a loves all things health, nutrition and food related. She's also an avid and passionate runner!
If you're thinking about getting into running, Bree's infectious passion might just be able to twist your arm and have you out there, giving it a go…
Running is a tool that is both beneficial for the mind and body.
It's one form of exercise that can provide an abundance of health benefits including:
- Increasing bone mass to support prevent age-related bone loss
- Strengthening muscles
- Improved blood pressure
- Glucose regulation
- Cardiovascular fitness
One of my favourite aspects of running is the impact it can have on our mental health both long term and short term. Nothing quite beats that ‘runners high’ that you experience at the end of a run when the endorphins are buzzing around your body.
Running can almost be thought of as a kind of 'medicine for the mind'. There's something very special and invigorating about being in the outdoors, the flow of oxygen and pumping of blood around the body helps calm the mind and simplify the most stressful situations.
It can be blissful solitude, or it can be about companionship and socialising—the flexibility of running is endless! No set times, classes or commitments just your body, mind and sense of direction!
Here a few simple tips to help you get started, and find the fulfilment running can bring with it.
Bree's Top 5 Tips for Getting into Running
1. Just get started
After you warm up and stretch of course! Don’t think about it too much—just lace up your shoes and get outdoors. An upbeat running playlist can certainly help make your workout more enjoyable, as can an app where you can track your run such as, Nike Run Club or Strava. Even a running buddy can help build the motivation to just begin!
2. Start with short running intervals
Also known as the ‘Run-Walk Method’ or ‘Fartlek’, is a method that experienced runners will use to increase their endurance by really pushing themselves in the ‘run’ part but it is also a perfect way for beginners to ease into running.
You can do this by running 1-minute, walking-1 minute etc. Or you can choose landmarks such as lampposts to run and walk between. Once you find your fitness improving you can increase your running intervals and/or shorten your walking ones. This method gives you time to recover while still working hard.
3. Focus on 'time on feet', not distance covered
By measuring how long you're running rather than how far you go, pressure and any expectations that can make running so gruelling, disappointing and tough are lessened or even removed entirely.
Set a goal of 10-minutes moving and increase this slowly. If the distance covered in this time increases, then that is just a bonus! However, the real goal should be upping your minutes on your feet.
Mantras can help keep that motivation, “just keep running, just keep running”, “everything I need is already inside of me”, “go, go go, drive, drive, drive!” Sometimes you have to be your own cheerleader!
4. Consistency is key
Once you start running consistently you will be surprised at how quickly you improve! Don’t get me wrong, it will still be tough… but that’s what makes it so rewarding. As with anything, the more you do it, the easier it will become, and the more you will enjoy it!
While consistency is crucial for improving, it is still important you have rest days and listen to your body.
Stretch after every run and make sure your next meal is fairly soon after the run and that it contains some healthy natural protein sources, such as eggs, yoghurt, nuts or meat.
Finally, don’t get discouraged and have fun! It can be weeks before a new runner can run without needing to walk or take breaks or even before it feels comfortable.
Decide what you want to get out of it to keep your motivation.
Do you want to get outdoors among nature?
Do you want to clear your head and get some fresh air?
Do you want to end smiling and feeling good?
Do you want to get mentally or physically stronger?
Do you just want to sweat a little?
Whatever it is, use it as your motivation to "just keep running".