Running is not just for the popular high school or college track star any more. Running can do real wonders for the everyday woman’s health, especially if she equips herself with the right gear. Now, if you are already a runner, you know that running is not just a side-kick activity, it is a way of life. It helps us stress less, fight cancer, and boosts the strength of our bones.
While it is very true that high-tech equipment will make your run more fun, the reality is that all you need is a good pair of shoes and a supportive sports bra to hold those “sistahs” in place. Now is that simple or what? You say, “what are the benefits of running?” Take a look and see if you think any of these can benefit you.
How do I get started? Start your running journey by walking first. Walk for as many days as you need to in order to start to feel comfortable, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Once you have mastered walking 30 minutes easily, add 1 to 2 minutes of running sessions into your walking sessions. As time progresses, make the running sessions longer and walking sessions shorter. Before you know it, you will be running for a full 30 minutes.
Lower Body: When you run, your primary muscles used are your legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves) and your butt (gluteal muscles). Jogging at 5 miles per hour for 60 minutes can burn approximately 600 calories for a person who weighs about 145 pounds. If you are like me and would rather lift weights than run, jogging at 5 miles per hour for 15 minutes, you can burn around 150 calories. It doesn’t matter how much. What matters is that you start.
Burning Fat: In order to have that nice flat tummy, you will need to not only burn the fat in the mid section, but it needs to be burned all over. This can be accomplished by getting your heart rate up to 50 to 80 percent of its maximum heart rate, which is set by the American Heart Association. Here is a formula to estimate your maximum heart rate. Just subtract your age from 220. For example, if you are 50, your MHR is 170. It’s a good thing to run hard then slow down. When you do this continuously, it makes the maximum heart rate fluctuate up and down. This is considered interval training.
Feeling out of breath: If you have the concern of feeling out of breath, you are probably trying to run too fast…just relax, ladies. I know we are used to being in charge; but sometimes we have to slow down, especially when running. The biggest mistake of beginner runners is running too fast. . Make sure to concentrate on breathing from deep down in your belly area (diaphragm) and when you feel it necessary, it is okay to take walking breaks.
Remember when we were young, someone told us, “you have to crawl before you walk”. Well, in the case of running to stay fit, you have to “walk before you run”. Never be afraid to try new things. Getting out of your comfort zone just may be what the doctor ordered.