People often ask my advice about running—telling me they “used to love running”, but gave it up after suffering an injury, needing surgery or experiencing a lifestyle change (having a baby, etc) and would like to try again. While fast walking is excellent exercise, adding in some running is a great way to up your cardio workout. Here are some pointers to start:
- Create a running playlist—which you can ONLY listen to when you run. NOT when driving or cooking dinner! Try to run for one complete song (usually 3-5 minutes), walk for the next couple, and add on running time from there. (Just don’t start with Bohemian Rhapsody for 7 minutes!)
- If you walk a 15 minute mile—pick a comfortable jogging pace of 12-14 min/mile. Do not worry if your friend runs a 7 minute mile! A jog that is not miserable will last much longer than a painful sprint. You can always shave time off your mile with time, but start with a pace you can comfortably maintain for 1 mile.
- Bring a friend you normally walk with—company will make it fun. Walk 1/4 mile, run 1/4 mile for the first mile or two, and then resume your usual walk. Having a “running buddy” is not only a great stress reliever, but also gives you some accountability. You can’t leave your friend waiting on the corner while you hit snooze on your alarm.
Finally, my best tip is to tell yourself you are only going to run for 5 minutes…usually by the time you get your sneakers on, stretch, and pop in your AirPods, you will run at least 10. Then walk 10 minutes and see how you feel. It is not a competition–just a fun way to challenge yourself and improve your fitness level. And feel free to reward yourself with a relaxing pedicure every few weeks. Your feet will thank you!