Pounding the Pavement

Pounding the Pavement to Shed some LBS.

When you’re overweight and you want to start running, it may seem like an impossible task. For so many people who struggle with their weight, there’s often they desire to change but there’s also fear that it won’t work out in the end. If you want to lose weight — no matter what your size may be — running is a great cardio workout that can help you reach your goal. There are, however, some important things to keep in mind; if you’re not careful about your training, you could injure yourself, in which case you’re not doing yourself any favors.

Many people worry that the high impact will hurt them. And, yes, if you build up your training too quickly, you may get injured. Recent research has shown that running can decrease inflammation in the knee joints, which suggests that running may in fact help prevent injuries. Pounding the Pavement

Though you may feel that being overweight puts you at a disadvantage for running, know that it won’t stay that way for long. At first, you will be out of breath but run regularly and the huffing and puffing will eventually lessen, and you’ll find yourself building distance and improving your pace naturally. Before you know it, you’ll be seeking out hill training and speed workouts to build your strength and endurance even further — and in the meantime, your heart will be getting stronger and your clothes will be fitting more loosely.

Ready to get started? These 5 tips will keep you on the right track:

1. START SLOWLY AND BUILD YOUR DISTANCE GRADUALLY

If you try to jump into it or take on too much all at once then you are going to get hurt. You must consider what your starting point is and then base your running regimen on that. Starting slowly will ensure that you are successful, so don’t look at it as a bad thing. Begin by getting up and getting moving and then add in a minute of running at a time. Or you may want to consider including a one-minute walking interval to give you both a physical and a mental break. When it comes to your overall weekly distance, increase it by no more than 10 percent each week. 

2. WARM-UP BEFORE AND STRETCH AFTER YOUR RUN

This is an absolutely essential part of any running regimen, but particularly if you are overweight. When there is excess weight, this means the additional strain is already being put on the body. Therefore, to ensure you don’t get injured, you need to add a small 10-minute dynamic warm-up prior to your run to get ready and static stretches afterward when your muscles are warm and flexible. 

RECENT RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT RUNNING CAN DECREASE INFLAMMATION IN THE KNEE JOINTS, WHICH SUGGESTS THAT RUNNING MAY IN FACT HELP PREVENT INJURIES.

3. SET A GOAL TO HELP YOU STICK TO YOUR PROGRAM

When it comes to any running program, you need goals. It might just be that you start out walking for a few minutes every day. Then as you progress, keep adding in a minute at a time until you are running more than walking. Be specific and concrete with your goals and when you reach them, celebrate and set a new goal for yourself. This will help you to stay motivated.

4. COMPLEMENT YOUR RUNNING WITH EATING RIGHT AND WITH HEALTHY LIVING

You won’t get very far in reaching your weight-loss goal if you run but then eat junk or engage in bad habits. To get the most out of your running routine, you need to focus on proper nutrition and a healthy foundation.

5. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

If you do get injured, learn to work around it. You may have to run less, you may need to do more stretching, or you may need to find another activity while you rest and give your injury a chance to heal. If you push too hard when you are in pain then you are only going to hurt your long-term progress. Listen to your body and work with it and you will be much better off. . .

By : STACEY CLARKE

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