Healthy habits linked to sport and exercise are within everyone’s reach; it is a question of making these changes to our routine and finding that physical activity which best suits our tastes.
In this article we will see how to get used to going out for a run , an exercise routine that can significantly improve our quality of life. We will review some of the benefits of this activity, and also share ways to adopt it as a habit.
What do I get out of running?
Physical exercise is essential to maintain good health. All of us are a combination of mental and physical aspects, so it is necessary to keep active and avoid sedentarism .
How to get used to running is a frequent question among many people who intend to start this activity but can’t find the right way. It is not enough just to have the intention to do it, you need a method that helps you commit to this exercise routine.
The benefits of running include a considerable improvement in breathing capacity, joint and muscle health, and the possibility of interacting with other people who also have the same hobby.
Next we will see in a concrete way what are the main benefits of going for a run in the open air .
- Cholesterol control.
- It helps you lose weight without losing muscle mass.
- Prevention of osteoporosis.
- Strengthens and tones leg muscles.
- Improves blood flow.
- It helps to fight stress and brings improvement of the state of mind.
How to get used to running and make it a habit
In the next lines we will see how we can get into the habit of running by finding the right methods and motivation .
1. Choose the right clothes
The process of choosing the right clothes to go running is a more important factor than it seems. The fact is that when we feel comfortable with the outfit we wear, we feel more like doing any activity , even if we don’t realize it. If the clothing is for a specific activity and is adapted to the specific needs of this type of exercise, it represents an extra incentive to take action.
2. Better the morning schedule
The schedule can be adapted depending on each person’s particular calendar, but it is recommended that we go for a run in the morning , since in this phase of the day our body is more active to spend the rest of the day. This helps us to perform better and take longer to get tired , with the consequent reinforcement of our motivation. Indirectly, it helps us to get into the habit of running.
3. Eat well
If we intend to make running a recurring activity in our lives, we must incorporate other healthy habits into our lifestyle that will allow us to maintain it. Eating well is one of the most important.
When we have a good diet, balanced between macronutrients and vitamins , our body has the necessary energy sources to perform physical activities without suffering wear and tear.
4. Stretch at home
Stretching is essential to start any physical activity avoiding injuries. When we plan to start running often, we can start by stretching before the race. In this way we are sending a message to our brain that physical activity is going to start, and the chances that we will end up being very sore will be reduced .
5. Keep a medical record
If we are going to get used to running, we should also plan to start a check-up with a doctor. Going for a check-up every now and then is a good way to see if our health has improved since we started this stage of training, or if complications have arisen. The former also helps motivate us to go running more often.
6. Remember the warm-up
Stretching is not the same as warming up; stretching consists of moving the muscles in such a way that they are stretched, with emphasis on the area to be worked. Warming, on the other hand, is based on doing physical activities with little intensity so that our body assimilates what is coming .
Ideally, you should do a static jogging session at home before going for a jog outdoors, for about 10 minutes, and then start the race with a moderate intensity so that the first few minutes serve as a warm-up for the race.
7. Find your own rhythm
Avoid trying to copy other people’s rhythm or routine, focus on yourself . If at the beginning you can only hold on for a few minutes before you have to stop and rest, don’t let that discourage you, little by little you will gain in stamina. You just have to stay constant in the process.
8. Put on a concrete schedule and persist
In order to make a habit of anything, it is necessary to perform the activity a minimum of times, for approximately 25 days. So, keep in mind that before you can go for a run you will have to go through a habit-forming process for a few days .
At this stage you have to get used to committing yourself to the task, and later on it will not take so much effort to get motivated. To make things easier, set yourself a schedule beforehand ; one that is realistic and fits in with your weekly activities.
9. Go for a run in a group
Finding a group of people who have the same motivation as us is one way to encourage the creation of such a habit. We are gregarious beings and we enjoy doing things more when we have someone to share the experiences with .
10. Overcomes excuses
It is common that before starting a new activity we experience a series of limiting and involuntary thoughts, which are presented together with certain excuses manufactured by ourselves and which usually prevent us from starting our running.
Keep in mind that these thoughts only exist to give you excuses to stay in your comfort zone. Ideally, understand that they are unconscious aspects of our person that have no real control over us, unless we allow it .
- Ashwood, R. D. Pritchard, E. L. (2008). Managing motivation: a manager’s guide to diagnosing and improving motivation. New York: Psychology Press.
- Wilson, T. D.; Lassiter, G. D. (1982). Increasing intrinsic interest with superfluous extrinsic constraints. Journal of personality and social psychology 42 (5): 811-819.