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Jogging

Running Cardiovascular_training Health

Written by:
Birgitte Nymann ( www.nymanns.dk)
Author, speaker and educator within Exercise, health, nutrition and motivation. Concept – and seminar developer at Pro Academy, Denmark. Educated and trained in sport from University of Copenhagen.

Jogging is one of the most effective forms of fitness training and it is easily done anywhere and anytime. As an old saying goes, well begun is half done, and that is very much so when it comes to jogging. If you are too ambitious in relation to your state of fitness, the risk of pain and soreness is huge, and likewise, you are in far greater risk of giving up again if you do not plan a good start. As a beginner you may find it tempting to just lace your running shoes and get running. Before training is started, the best thing you can do is to ensure that you have all basics in place.The by far most important part of the equipment is a good pair of running shoes that support your feet and protect the rest of your body against the hard but fine load of running. It is important to choose the right shoes as many injuries arise due to bad footwear. Many runners wriggle their feet either inwards or outwards. It is therefore crucial that you buy footwear that fits precisely your feet. It is advisable that you buy your shoes in a shop offering a test of your running style. That will give you more value for your money as well as shoes that support and help you rather than the opposite. On top of this, the shoes cost the same as in shops which do not offer such a test.

Next thing to do is to plan your future career as a runner. The plan very much depends on the goal - will you run to get in better shape, lose weight, be able to run a certain distance, get healthier or something quite different?Whatever the goal, any training programme starts with the first step which should be small! Your body needs to get used to the load of running and it is therefore important that you are prepared for starting from scratch, even if your ambitions reach far beyond that. It may seem tiresome having to start out during the first couple of weeks doing lots of fast walking, interrupted by minimum amounts of running, but it is important that you stick to the programme so that your joints and sinews get used to the loadYour legs usually get a little sore in the beginning, which is normal. Your body needs to get used to the load, which makes it important to avoid overdoing the training and to remember to have at least one day of rest between training days. An effective way of reducing soreness is to vary the surface on which you run. Asphalt and flagstones are very hard surfaces that strain your legs considerably whereas wood paths, gravel roads, beaches and lawns offer excellent shock absorption. Also, it is a good idea to change running route once in a while, otherwise you risk getting bored, losing all desire for running. So: To be able to look forward to new treats and experiences, vary your route.

Treadmill running

If the weather is bad or if you do not feel like carrying your water bottle, go for a run on the treadmill. You decide when there is a hill and all along you can watch tv. With treadmill running, you can target your fitness training goals and be motivated to do your training also on days when the rain is pouring down or the nanny did not show up. You can buy treadmills for use at home, and all fitness centres offer training on professional treadmills.

Get well under way on the treadmill:

  • Walking - a treadmill always starts up quietly when you set it going and it is important that you walk slowly in the beginning to make your legs get used to the fact that the surface is moving, not you. Hold on to the rail and let go after a few minutes or when you feel that you are steady on your legs. Remember to walk in the same way as when walking in the street; by long strides, putting your heel to the ground first and rolling forwards on your front foot. Swing your arms well, look straight ahead and draw your abdominal muscles a little inwards.
  • Running - parallel to walking, you must begin slowly to make your legs get used to the surface moving. Slowly increase the speed till you run at a speed that feels comfortable. Swing your arms, making your hands swing upwards to chest height at each swing, land on your front foot and put down your heel, your toes leave the ground, pull your knees forward and look straight ahead. Run as silently as possible as this reduces the load on your joints and pelvic floor.

Most treadmills can be raised at the front, making you walk or run upwards. This is a good way of increasing intensity and training other muscles than when walking straight ahead. Draw yourself up by drawing your abdomen inwards and thinking of pulling your shoulders a little downwards, to make the upper part of your body have the correct posture. Do not hang in your arms on the rail as this would make your arms relieve the pressure on your legs and make the fitness training less effective.

Advantages of jogging on treadmills:

  • You decide yourself when there is a hill
  • The weather is always dry
  • You do not have to carry your drinking bottle, it can be put on the front
  • You can jog next to your girlfriend/boyfriend - and keep up with her/him!
  • You can watch the news while jogging
  • You can talk to your girlfriend/boyfriend even if she/he does not bother to exercise
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