For anyone looking to get fit, running becomes a pretty indispensable form of exercise. It’s simple, doesn’t necessarily require specialised equipment, and is a great form of cardio. However, many people dread running because they see it as a monotonous exercise that quickly becomes tiresome. Nevertheless, running doesn’t have to be a chore – make your runs a walk in the park by making some simple tweaks to your workout routine!
1. Engage your core
When running, proper posture is important in order to reduce risk of injury. By properly engaging your core muscles during your jog, you take the strain off your back, reduce unnecessary movement in the upper body and minimises energy expenditure. This also helps you to place more focus on the movement of your legs.
2. Try something new
If you’re used to running on a treadmill, switch it up by running outdoors at your local park or even along a trail whenever the weather permits. If you already run outdoors, consider switching up your route once in a while to offset the monotony of tracing the same path repeatedly.
3. Set mini-goals
Instead of focusing on the total distance you plan to run, which can be daunting at first, set mini-goals that are not only more achievable, but keep you motivated throughout the run so that you keep going. For example, pick a prominent landmark to reach or spot every 1km of your 5km run!
4. Listen to your body
If you’re aching and sore all over and your body is screaming for you to stop, try reducing the distance or speed of your jog. On the other hand, if you’re feeling light and limber, feel free to push the envelope a little! Being aware of the signs being thrown out by your body helps you to determine the pace that you should be following over the course of your workouts, and helps to make sure you don’t strain yourself.
5. Be comfortable
Wearing too-tight a sports bra or restrictive clothing can cause discomfort and ruin your running experience. Make sure you’re comfortable in your workout getup, and that it allows proper ventilation and warmth/coolness, depending on your local climate.
6. Distract yourself
Thinking about the fatigue and pain you may experience while running can make them set in that much quicker. Instead, distract yourself by focusing on what you can observe in your surroundings, or by listening to music or an audio book to take your mind off the discomfort.
7. Take it a step at a time
Instead of compulsively checking your pedometer or heart rate monitor, focus on running and putting one foot in front of the other. Before you know it, you’ll be at the endpoint of your run! The more you worry about the minor details of your run, the more they will plague you, making your run less enjoyable.
Running is an easy, effective form of cardio that almost anyone can do. By following these tips, you can make your experience that much more rewarding, and make running something to look forward to!