Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Run For Your Life

  Okay, so I know that some of you think you cannot run. I hear that a lot from my new clients. Your body doesn't work that way. You have never run and never plan on it. It's just not in your genetic makeup! You're tired just thinking about it!
So why do I want you to run for your life?
Because from my experience, running is the most effective cardiovascular exercise for weight loss when
combined with a strength training program and clean eating.
    If you want to lose weight and change your life you will need to do things you never thought you could and probably never wanted to. 
   But here's the good news, when you try something out of your comfort zone, you become stronger and empowered! Plus, there's a great chance that once you start you'll be hooked and one day this winter you'll be asking me if I ran, even though its 20 degrees out and there's some snow on the ground!

  So ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to start a running program. If you get the green light...

     Here is a safe way to start...

1 Get yourself a great pair of supportive running sneakers ( I'll blog about my favorite sneakers soon )

Start off slowly.
  You don't need to be running a 7 minute mile when you first start out. Warm up with a brisk walk for 10 minutes. Pump your arms and think about how your feet are striking the ground. Make sure your heal hits the pavement first and roll through your foot.  Keep you chest up and eyes looking forward. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose.

3. Then jog for a block or two until you feel like you need a little break. (You can go for a few minutes depending on your fitness level)

4. Then walk briskly again, continuing to pump your arms. When you feel that you have caught your breath, jog for a few more blocks or minutes.

5. Keep alternating between walking briskly and jogging for about 20-30 minutes, depending on your fitness level. If you are just starting a fitness program for the first time, 10 minutes might be all you can handle in the beginning. Don't worry, your cardiovascular fitness level will increase quickly if you continue training on a consistent basis. ( If you are deconditioned, always check with your doctor to see how long you can jog for. ) Always cool down for 10 minutes when you are done with your intervals. Walk slower than you did during your brisk walk to bring your heart rate down and allow the blood to flow away from working muscles.

6 When you feel that the walk/jog intervals are easy to do, lessen the time you walk and increase the time intervals that you jog. Give yourself as much time as you need to feel comfortable at each level before increasing your jogging intervals. Do not increase the overall time of your workout until you can jog the entire time.

7. Once you are jogging the whole time, you can increase the length of time you are jogging until you reach 30 minutes. (If you are already at 30 minutes skip to #8)   Add a minute or two to the total time you run. You might stay a week or two (or longer) at each new total time until you feel that you are ready to add some more time.

8. When you are jogging for 30 minutes non stop and are ready for something more challenging, try to jog a little faster until you build up to a run. ( A run will be about a 10 min mile or faster ) As you did with adding time to your run, increase the pace a little bit each week or so until you feel ready to run a little faster. There will be a point where you are happy with how fast you are running.  Or ,where you feel you are at the fastest you can go. It is perfectly fine to continue running/jogging at that level for however long you want.

 If you need more incentives to run besides losing weight, running is also great for ....
* stress relieving... nothing beats a hard run when your kids, friends, job, hub (or all...) are driving you crazy!
*goal setting.. every time you jog/run longer or faster than the last time, you feel fantastic about yourself!
*idea generating... its a great time to think things through, plan your next writing project or brainstorm ideas.
* friendship strengthening..when you jog with a friend, you can push each other to the next level.
 It also..
*lowers your blood pressure
*strengthens your joints and bones
*fights against osteoporosis
*decreases risk of some cancers

 So go on, run for your life, you might just like it!
 Let me know if you are going to give it a try, or if you already run, tell me all about it!

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