For a change of pace, pick out a pair of running shoes

Crank up the cardio for spring fitness.

Whether your goal is to tone-up or muscle-up, you may love the feeling of hitting the weight room, but to have a balanced regimen, you need to take time to get that heart pumping too.

Why not take up running?

Running can be a great way to get fit quickly, with no equipment (other than good shoes), no matter what your age or fitness goals. The most important thing to remember is not to do too much too soon.

If you are a beginner, it’s important to remember to take things slowly at first, and listen to your body. Anytime you begin a new regimen, there will be challenges, perhaps a little soreness and fatigue, but patience and persistence will pay off.


If you have health concerns, it’s important to consult your physician before beginning any new challenges.

First things first. Grabbing your lawn mowing shoes will not cut it for this workout. Since this is a high impact activity, it’s important to have the right shoe to prevent injury.

Being properly fitted by a shoe expert is a great idea, without any additional cost. When the mileage begins to add up, it’s recommended to change your shoes every 300-500 miles. New shoes cushion your step, protect your knees, hips and back.

Running inside or outside? Both have their challenges. Running outside is physically more difficult than running on a treadmill, but running on a treadmill is more mentally challenging for some.

Outdoors brings more scenery, but also adds speed and elevation variations. The treadmill may offer television entertainment, better cushioning, and better controlled variations in incline and speed. It comes down to a personal decision, but if you are training to run a 5K,10k race (or more), you need to rack up some mileage in the type of environment in which you'll be racing.

Taking it slow and easy is important in the beginning while your body is developing all of the supporting muscles and connective tissues that are involved in running.

Beginning with a mix of run/walk intervals is a great way to break into running. Try walking for three minutes, , then running for two minutes, repeat for 20 minutes, getting four intervals.

Gradually decrease the walking time, such as one minute walking to four minutes running, until you are able to jog for a straight 20 minutes. Then you can work on increasing time, speed, and distance.


Once you are able to run for 20 minutes without stopping, you can begin to mix up your runs to increase calorie burning by including tempo runs, long runs and speed work.

Being successful with running takes persistence and regularity. Focus on consistency rather than speed or distance.

Benefits do not happen overnight. Listening to your body is an important component as well. If you are feeling unusually tired during your run, it may be time to take a day off.

Keep a training log so you have a tangible record of your successes. You can see your running progressions and accomplishments written right in front of you.

Breath deep and enjoy.

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