Running is a common exercise for weight loss and fitness.
It is one of the most popular cardio exercises for people of different age groups. But running has negative effects on the body if you do not follow the guidelines for running, especially if you are a beginner.
Check up with doctor: Patients with heart diseases should consult their doctor before trying any cardio exercises, whether it is running or kickboxing. Besides heart patients, if you have a history of breathing problems, arthritis or other serious problems.
Start running small distance: Take it slow and easy instead of going long distances at the beginning. Your body has to be prepared for this heart pulsating cardio exercise.
Start running slowly: Tame your body to running to avoid knee or joint wear and tear. Slowly increase your heart rate over time.
Increase intensity, speed and distance slowly: It is important to slowly increase the intensity, speed and distance while running. Steady weight loss is the key and not rapid weight loss that results in cellulites and weight gain.
Run on grass or mud track, don't run on road: Grass and mud has less impact on the knees while running, unlike running on concrete roads.
Wear good running shoes which are flexible as well as absorbs shocks: Besides running on grass or mud, invest in a good pair of running shoes for added health benefits.
Do Pranayam to increase your breathing capacity: Most individuals are breathless after a good run; Rajesh Sharma suggests practicing Pranayam Yoga Pose to increase your breathing capacity.
Consume a balance diet: Diet also plays an important role for runners. What you eat helps to boost stamina and build muscles.
Reduce body fat: Overweight and obese individuals should lose weight before hitting the jogging track. Body weight can wear off the knees too, hence it is recommended to reduce body fat.
Drink enough water - be hydrated: Water is important to stay energised and rejuvenated. Running increases your heart rate leading to sweating and burning of calories. To keep going, improve blood circulation and remain active for the course of running and prevent muscle cramps or weakness.
Take rest for recovery: It is important to rest after running - your body has to return to its normal heart rate, breathing returned to normalcy, and cool down in a correct fashion to prevent muscle soreness.
Recover well: After cool down, it is important to have a protein rich diet for muscle growth. There are several protein rich post workout snacks you can try - from chicken sandwich, to eggs, fish, paneer and lentils.
Don't overtrain: Simply because overtraining leads to muscle loss.
Run in the area where you are not alone and there is proper light: This is important for personal safety, and it includes men and women.
Do strength training along with running: Besides boosting your endurance, also increase your over all fitness levels. So include strength training along with cardio exercises - running.
Wear running clothes: Wearing the right clothing for running is important too. The clothing should let your skin breath and you should be comfortable while running.
Stretch before and after running: Be flexible while you run; do some stretching exercises before you begin and after.
Warm up and cool down: These steps are crucial for a workout without injuries.
Do high intensity interval training with light weight: Besides running, it is also important to weight train and exercise different muscle groups. Full body workout is the key to fitness.
Running posture: Planning goes a long way in perfecting running posture. Are those shoes fitting well? Is that bottle of water strapped on comfortably to the runner's pouch around your waist? Are you well hydrated at the beginning of the run? Did you eat a carb-rich snack before setting out? These are all considerations that only hit you when your running is planned well. Without these, your posture does suffer.