How running fits into your health and wellness routines
When it comes to thinking about getting in shape or wanting to take the steps to having more endurance or getting in some cardio, running is one of the first activities to come to mind. With its ability to be done virtually anywhere and in many conditions, running can be a great way to get in a good workout that can fit into any routine. Plus, it requires a low cost to get started, only needing comfortable athletic clothing and a good pair of shoes (if you’re looking for a stylish pair with incredible fit and performance, we recommend The Henry)! But, there are questions that arise, especially when first getting started, such as how often should I run? Can I run too much or too little that it is actually detrimental to my health?
How Often Should You Run?
As with any exercise or fitness routine, how often or how hard you train will depend greatly on your fitness level. Running can be a great exercise in itself or a great cardio activity to add into a daily or weekly fitness routine. Cardiovascular exercise can come from a variety of activities and helps reduce the risk of many heart diseases and other physical ailments and can be a valuable component to increasing personal health and wellbeing.
As a beginner, you do not want to immediately start out by running everyday. It is not optimal to run everyday as you’re getting started and can often increase injury risk as you work up to your desired level if you do not give your body the time to adjust. On the off days from running, this is a great way to add in additional exercises and activities to help train and condition other muscle groups, increasing overall fitness levels.
As your body gets more used to running and you build up your endurance, then you can start adding more frequency and longer durations to your runs. It is also important to remember to factor in rest days and to grant your body the time to recover to further prevent over-training, injury, and burn out.
How Much Should I Run?
When first implementing running into your routine, a good starting point is to start by running three to four days a week on alternating days, which also allows you to easily build in recovery days. The right number of runs each week will depend on each individual. There are more factors than just the fitness levels and desired personal goals that play into determining how often or how many miles you should run per week, such as your other daily obligations like children or work responsibilities. Fit your runs into your schedule when and where you can. Any run is beneficial to your health, whether it’s one or many during a week.
When first implementing running into your fitness routine, choosing a length of time or a target distance to run will vary depending on your fitness level and personal goals.
If your goal is to run for a set amount of time, a good starting point is to target running for thirty to forty-five minutes, including a warm up and a cool down. It is important to not start off by sprinting and running as fast as you can right out of the gate. Starting with a moderate walk, then transitioning into a light jog can help build endurance and reduce the risk of injury. Of course, add time and distance as you progress and feel more comfortable.
If you're looking to run for a target distance, it is helpful to start with a goal that seems attainable but can also be challenging. If you're new to running, having a goal of one mile can get you started. As you continue to progress in your fitness journey and build more endurance for running, adding more distance will come naturally.
The most important part of any physical activity is to listen to your body and remember that it isn’t always a sprint to get to where you want to be. Take the time to recover, adjust to the new challenges, and put in the work to reach your goals. It doesn’t necessarily matter how often you run, but that you’re finding time to get a run in. The most important step to any run is that first step of getting started!