Fresh off the tails of the annual Chevron Houston Marathon many Houstonians see their friends and family that participated basking in their accomplishment and enjoying their “runners high” and think to themselves “how do they do it?” Do you see the positive effect running has on their lives and want to enjoy the same benefits but don’t know where to start or find the motivation? As if getting in better shape wasn’t reason enough running also relieves stress and strengthens your muscles. While it may be difficult at first your body will begin to crave it after just a few short weeks. Follow these steps and just GET OUT THERE!
- Put on some old sneakers (no need for fancy, new ones just yet, some comfortable clothes and hit the grass, dirt or pavement. The actual running motion will feel awkward at first, this is natural. Run until your legs burn and you begin to wheeze, for real beginners, this will take place after about 5-10 minutes.
- In an effort to use good form try to loosen your body and move forward in a way that feels natural. Stand up straight leaning forward slightly, pump your arms, avoid bouncing, pick your knees up and just find your stride. Everyone is different, so do what works best for you. Your body will tell you, listen to it.
- Breathe, breathe, BREATHE!!! Whether it’s natural or a breathing technique is being utilized it is key. Many avid runners feel that breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth works best.
- Stretch at the conclusion of each jog. Stretch each muscle group, holding each position for 15-30 seconds.
While running is mostly beneficial to your body, if not done correctly it can cause damage to muscles and joints. Athletic Orthopedics and Knee Center has physicians on staff daily that know how to care for injuries obtained by both advanced and beginner runners. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.