Greetings to everyone!
For many people, running is a regular activity to achieve weight loss. However, for some, they consider it to be unsafe. This is why our topic today is about the important aspects of this activity.
In my entire career as a coach, I often recall that many people started losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle when they started running. However, I strongly advise against going straight into running. While I consider running to be a very useful and necessary activity to lose weight, people who have not been regularly running should consider the following key points before diving into the activity:
- Dietary adjustments,
- Static stretching exercises, and
Why are these important? Excess weight puts additional load to the joints which can harm your musculoskeletal system without a proper warm-up. If you want to stay healthy while losing weight, begin with nutrition and warm-up before heading into an activity that puts more stress on your joints.
Next, I want to point out a few mistakes made by people who decide to start running without following the above mentioned key points.
The First Mistake: Lack of Warm-up
When I train in the park, I often see people who just step in and start running. Please don’t do that! Warming-up is one of the most important parts of your workout. This allows your body to avoid injuries and enjoy running or any other physical activity to the fullest.
The Second Mistake: Wrong Surface
If you are a beginner, I advise you to run on soft surfaces. These include stadiums with track/tartan surfaces, grass, and any other surface with the ability to soften contact when running.
The Third Mistake: Overestimating Your Capabilities
Remember that you don’t need to run full or half-marathons right away. Start from distances of 300 to 400 meters and gradually raise this distance. A lot of injuries are a result of an overestimation of one’s capabilities (I was guilty of this too, but that’s another story 😁).
The Fourth Mistake: Not Cooling Down
Cooling down is just as important as warming-up. After any load, especially of an activity that aims at the same muscle group for a long time, you will definitely need to stretch those muscles. If you do not want to walk the next day with legs that seem more like “planks of wood,” be sure to take five to seven minutes of cooldown exercises such as walking and stretching.
The Fifth Mistake: Wrong Running Technique
Probably the most difficult to adjust is your running technique. While running, remember to keep your back flat and your core muscles moderately tense to stabilize your body when touching the surface. Also, keep your arms bent at about 90 degrees while maintaining a short swing. For your breathing pattern, there are a number of options. I personally use two steps for every breath in through the nose with one step out through the mouth. But this ultimately depends on your optimal rhythm. Finally, you can either run by rolling from heel to toe or by running only on toes (an option I particularly use). It is important to exclude running on your heels alone as this increases the load on your joints and spine.
So these are my main pointers for people who wish to start running. Of course, there are many more to discuss, but this should serve as a good starter.
Thank you for taking the time to read my column. I hope you are all healthy, and please run wisely and with pleasure!
Edited by Aldo Tong