Running tips for beginners

Running is free, you can do it anywhere, and it burns more calories than any other mainstream exercise.Image result for running

Regular running can reduce your risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.

I have put together this guide to make running a safe and enjoyable experience for beginners, and to provide you with tips on how to stay motivated.

Before you start

If you’ve not been active for a while, you may want to build your fitness levels gently with walking before you move on to running.

Running requires little equipment, but a good pair of running shoes that suit your foot type may help improve comfort.

There are many types of trainers on the market, so get advice from a specialist running retailer who will assess your foot and find the right shoe for you.

The shoe’s structure weakens over time, especially with regular use. Running experts advise replacing running shoes every 300 miles (482km).

Women should also consider using a sports bra, which is sturdier than a regular bra and provides additional support.

Plan your runs. Work out when and where (the exact route and time) you’re going to run and put it in your diary. That way, it won’t slip your mind.

If you feel out of shape, or you’re recovering from injury or worried about an existing condition, see your GP before you start running.

Starting out

To avoid injury and enjoy the experience, it’s essential to ease yourself into running slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually over several outings.

Start each run with a gentle warm-up of at least five minutes. This can include quick walking, marching on the spot, knee lifts, side stepping and climbing stairs.

Start walking for an amount of time that feels comfortable.

When you first start out, try alternating between running and walking during your session.

As time goes on, make the running intervals longer until you no longer feel the need to walk.

Give yourself a few minutes to cool down after each run by walking and a doing few stretches.

Regular running for beginners means getting out at least twice a week. Your running will improve as your body adapts to the consistent training stimulus.

It’s better to run twice a week, every week, than to run six times one week and then do no running for the next three weeks.

The NHS have a great programe called Couch to 5K which is designed to get just about anyone off the couch and running 5km in nine weeks.

Staying motivated

Set yourself a goal

Whatever your level, setting challenges is useful to stay motivated. Training for a race, such as a 5K, or a charity run is a good way to keep going. Join local running events or groups such as parkrun.

Run with a friend

It really helps to have someone about the same level of ability as you to run with. You’ll encourage each other when you’re not so keen to run. You’ll feel you don’t want to let your running partner down, and this will help motivate you. Find a running partner on realbuzz or JoggingBuddy.

Keep a diary

Keep a diary of your runs. Note down each run, including your route, distance, time, weather conditions and how you felt. That way, whenever your motivation is flagging, you can look back and be encouraged by how much you’ve improved. Check out realbuzz’s running blogs.

Mix it up

Keep your running interesting by adding variety. Running the same route over and over again can become boring. Vary your distances, pace and routes. Use realbuzz’s route planner to find, record and share your favourite running routes.

Join a club

A running club is the perfect way to commit to running regularly. Most clubs have running groups for different levels, including beginners. Clubs are also a great way to find running partners to run with outside of club sessions. Find a running club near you using RunTogether.

Rachel x

 

 

*Disclaimer: Recommendations and links in this post are my own and I have not been asked our paid to make any recommendations.

A guide to Yoga.

claremont-yoga-mats

Most people who know me, know that I love Yoga and have been practising for many years. I regularly attend Hatha and Yin Yoga classes at The Float Spa on Third Avenue and highly recommend the studio!

I have put together all you need to know to get started with yoga, including the health benefits, yoga styles for beginners, and finding a yoga class.

What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing. The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago, and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways.

What are the health benefits of yoga?

Dozens of scientific trials of varying quality have been published on yoga. While there’s scope for more rigorous studies on its health benefits, most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. There’s also evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.

Can yoga help with Arthritis?

I wanted to include this as I suffer with Psoriatic Arthritis. Yoga is popular with many people with arthritis for its gentle way of promoting flexibility and strength. Some research suggests yoga can reduce pain and mobility problems. However, some yoga moves aren’t suitable for people with the condition. Find a teacher who understands arthritis and can adapt movements for individual needs, especially if you have replacement joints. Check with a doctor or physiotherapist to find out if there are any movements to avoid.

Am I too old for yoga?

Definitely not! People often start yoga in their advanced years and many say they wish they had started sooner. There are yoga classes for every age group. Yoga is a form of exercise that can be enjoyed at any age.

Do I have to be fit to do yoga?

No, you can join a class that’s suitable for your fitness level. For example, to join a mixed ability yoga class, you need to be able to get up and down from the floor. Some yoga classes are chair-based.

Do I need to be flexible to do yoga?

No, Yoga will improve your flexibility and help you go beyond your normal range of movement, which will make performing your daily activities easier.

Can I injure myself doing yoga?

Yoga-related injuries are uncommon. Some injuries can be caused by repetitive strain or overstretching. But yoga is the same as any other exercise discipline. It is perfectly safe if taught properly by people who understand it and have experience. Learning from a qualified yoga teacher and choosing a class appropriate for your level will ensure you remain injury-free.

What style of yoga should I do?

There are many different styles of yoga, such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin. Some styles are more vigorous than others. Some may have a different area of emphasis, such as posture or breathing. Many yoga teachers develop their own practice by studying more than one style. No style is necessarily better or more authentic than any other. The key is to choose a class appropriate for your fitness level.

What type of class should I look out for?

Classes can vary in duration, but typically last between 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. A longer class will give you more time for learning breathing and relaxation techniques, and will give the teacher time to work with your individual ability. It’s worth speaking to a teacher about their approach before you sign up for a class.

Where can I find a yoga class?

No specific qualifications are required to teach yoga in the UK. However, it is generally accepted that teachers need to be insured and have a teaching certificate and accreditation from a yoga association.

The main UK yoga associations are:

These associations all list teachers and classes near you on their websites. You can also search for a local class or teacher using the following websites:

Can I use a book or a yoga DVD instead of going to a class?

It’s better to start with a class to learn the poses and breathing techniques correctly. With a DVD, there will be nobody to correct your mistakes, which may lead to injury over time. With some experience of being in a class, a DVD can then be helpful for keeping up practice.

Rachel x