4 ways to learn to love running!

April 11, 2014

Whether you’re new to the fitness world or you’ve been exercising for years, there are bound to be certain aspects about the lifestyle that you love and others that you are not as fond of. Running is either a “love it” or “hate it” sort of physical activity, but if you currently in the camp that is not a fan of running, it’s possible to change your mind.

Running is a simple, yet effective, cardio exercise that offers tons of benefits mentally, physically and emotionally. Pounding the fitness treadmill belt burns calories, helping you lose weight and tone your body. It also strengthens your heart (which is a muscle) to lower your risk of cardiovascular​-related incidents including heart attacks, strokes and heart disease. Regular fitness sessions also reduce the likelihood of other medical conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol in addition to boosting your mood through released endorphins. Not to mention, running is as much a mental activity as it is physical. Avid runners often consider running a form of therapy, allowing them time to think and enjoy much-needed solitude.

If you’ve been considering a running program but aren’t sure if you’ll like it, there are some steps that can help you enjoy the experience. It’s important to keep in mind that it will be challenging, especially if you’re new to home gym equipment, but the rewards will be worth the hard work.

Tips to love running
Set goals:
Having an endgame in mind is always helpful because it gives you something to work toward and look forward to. In addition to setting an overall target, it’s helpful to plan out smaller, more achievable objectives along the way. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, hitting each mile marker is cause for celebration and will boost your confidence. This good feeling will help you want to keep running to continue achieving your goals. It could be to finish a race, lose a number of pounds or be able to run a full mile without stopping. No matter what it is, achieving it will feel great.

Leave the past in the past: If you’ve tried running before and fell a short of your goal, that’s OK. Additionally, if you’re afraid of hitting the home treadmill or have negative associations with the sport, that’s alright, too. But remember, those issues are in the past and that’s where they belong. In order to enjoy running, you need to forget prior associations with the exercise and start fresh. Reprogram your attitude and you’ll learn to have positive connections.

Start slowly: If running is new to you, it’s best to start slow. Doing too much too quickly can cause burnout and lead to injuries. You may even want to start with long walks, then gradually move up to intervals of running and walking before completing a full run. And don’t worry about speed at the beginning. Being the fastest is not the initial goal, but completing a session is. Slowly work your way up, hitting each of those mile markers, and you’ll feel much better about the process and running in general.

Change up your routine: If you’ve been planning your runs after work but not enjoying it because you’re too tired or don’t feel like you can commit the time you need, changing up your routine can make a world of a difference. While it can be a challenge to get up early for fitness, running in the morning may be a better fit. It can give you extra energy to get through the day and you won’t feel pressured to squeeze in a workout along with making dinner and taking care of post-work responsibilities.