Running is a great form of exercise, something you can do anytime, anywhere and best of all it’s free. As an aid to weight loss and fitness it is unsurpassed and according to the NHS regular running can help to reduce the risk of illnesses such as stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
So there are plenty of good reasons why you would want to take up running, not least among them is the fact that it is a form of exercise that can be done at any age. Like any form of exercise though the main hurdle to clear is often one of motivation. Many who take up running can find themselves running out of enthusiasm especially if the weather is bad. It’s the easiest thing in the world to look out of the window and decide that “today’s weather is just awful; I think I’ll give it a miss.” So just how do you motivate yourself when the weather is less than perfect? Here are some tips which may help.
Before you begin
Running doesn’t require a lot in the way of expensive kit but one essential is a good pair of running shoes. The right pair of shoes will make all the difference to whether you feel comfortable or not. The wrong pair of shoes can cause pain through lack of correct support or fit and this could lead you to give up. After all, it’s not much fun running when your feet are blistered or your toes are cramped. Take advice from a specialist sports shoe retailer who can find the perfect fit for you and advise on the best type of running shoe.
If you haven’t taken exercise for a while or if you have existing medical conditions it’s best to see your GP beforehand to get their opinion. Once you have the all-clear and you’re kitted out with proper shoes you can start running. Take it easy at first and build up slowly, alternating with a walk at regular intervals.
Running by yourself is fine for some but others find they do better if they have company. Running with a friend or with a group, or even with the kids, and preferably those who have the same level of ability, is often the most fun way to run; they can help to make sure you keep it up too by reminding you either through phone calls or texts.
Setting a goal for yourself could help, for instance training for a fun run or half-marathon, or a charity run. Many towns and cities have park runs; these are often organised by local volunteer groups and are free for everyone. Park runs are a great way to stay motivated as they’re fun and held in a safe place and you don’t have the problem of trying to think of where to run. Check out your local newspaper, library or the internet for details.
Running clubs are also a great way to ensure you can run with like-minded people who will help to encourage and motivate you. The British winter time can also be a point of where the excuses come in, as, in the UK it’s generally very cold. So to get around this, consider investing in a treadmill to do your winter running.
Try these suggestions and you’ll find it easy to keep going.