As we move into Spring, the days get longer and> the nights lighter – I start to think about taking my workouts outdoors and> that to me means more running!

I am a massive fan of running, it was one of the exercises that really sparked my interest in fitness and> one of the first challenges I entered was a 5km Race for Life run.  I loved it! Running is something everyone can get into.  You don’t require a gym membership, its free and> you can pretty much do it anywhere (bearing your safety in mind!) – there really are no excuses to not getting out and> giving running a go.   All you need is a pair of trainers, a t-shirt and> some joggers and> you are good to go! I hear a lot of people say they hate running, and> I was possibly one of those people.  This is usually because they don’t give it enough of a chance and> they go out, run flat out for 5 minutes and> feel sick – they turn round and> say I can’t run and> never try again! Well hopefully this post will change that and> you to0 can fall in love with running.

Running is a fantastic exercise, it is great for heart health – lowering body fat, blood pressure and> raising good cholesterol levels.  As a weight bearing exercise it also helps strengthen the skeleton and> can keep you young and> mobile!  Running can also lift your mood, have you ever heard of a runners high? That’s right running releases endorphins and> endorphins make you happy, Running makes you happier! And if that isn’t enough to persuade you to give it a go, running is great for weight loss, burning more calories per minute than any other exercise! It can also help tone up the lower body, giving you long lean legs and> a firm bum to boot!

So now I have convinced you to give it a go, or possibly try it again – lets focus on getting started.  In order to fall in love with running, you need to try and> avoid the all or nothing approach that so often causes us to give up, don’t expect too much too soon.  Pace yourself, begin slowly, build up and> eventually you will be well on your way to loving running.  Once you are ready for your first run, please don’t just get out the door and> set off as fast as you can – begin with a brisk walk to warm up and> prepare your body and> then alternate between walking and> running to begin with – ideally for around 20 minutes and> finish with a short walk to cool down and> some stretches.  The NHS Couch to 5k app is amazing for beginner runners, I would recommend it to anyone thinking about taking up running for the first time.  It is a 9 week programme, to help you get running building up slowly and> it also allows you to use your own music for extra motivation!

As mentioned you don’t need much kit to get started with running, but one thing I recommend you do invest in is a good pair of trainers.  Oh and> possibly some running socks to help avoid blisters.  Shop around when looking at trainers, try and> visit a specialist running store to get your gait checked (how your feet land> when you run) and> look for trainers tailored to your running style.  You don’t necessarily need the most expensive trainers, but a decent pair will help avoid injuries and> make running more enjoyable.

Hopefully I have encouraged you to give running a go, please let me know if you do try it and> how you get on – it is such a fab way to get into exercise and> anyone can do it! Contact me through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ode2fitness or Twitter: @ode2fitness