Fitness with Jay
Treadmill Tips: Don't Run Yourself Ragged
Running is one of the best cardiovascular activities. It burns a lot of calories (approximately 500 - 1,200 calories per hour, depending on how much you weigh and how fast you run) and can be done almost anywhere. Here are some tips to reduce your risk of injury and maximize your results:
- Warm up - Begin each run with a power walk or easy jog to prepare your body. Use this time to break a sweat and increase your breathing rate. Studies show this will not only reduce your risk of injury, but it will also make it easier to run farther and more comfortably.
- Manage your mileage and minutes - Begin your program by running whatever distance you can achieve in 10 minutes without stopping (regardless of how slow or fast you run). Once this time and distance feel comfortable, add 10 - 15% more distance per week until you can comfortably run approximately 30 minutes at a time without stopping. This will help you establish a running "base" with less risk of injury.
- Mix it up - Once you have established your running "base," mix up your speed and distance each time you run. Some days try running shorter distances, but with more speed, so you can build your fitness. Other days try running slower, but go a longer distance than normal, so you can build endurance. And occasionally try mixing walking with running, so you can get the calorie burn, but minimize the impact on your joints.
- Change the scenery - Keep your body and your muscles guessing by running different routes and terrain. Run flat routes, run hilly routes, and even try trail running now and again for a change of pace. New scenery will help you avoid burn out and boredom, and your feet, knees, hips and back will appreciate the diversity.
- Consider the treadmill - You don't get the scenery and fresh air when you run on the treadmill. However, the treadmill is usually more cushioned than outside terrain, and you can control your speed and incline at the touch of a button. Plus, you can use the treadmill on days when the weather is too harsh to run outside, or you need to combine your gym weight-training workout with your running workout.
- Select the best shoes - Proper running shoes are essential for reducing injuries and maximizing comfort. Look for local specialty running stores. Most of these stores have staffs that are experts at analyzing your specific running pattern and foot shape. Try on at least 3 - 5 different running shoes before making your selection.
- Stay safe - Make smart choices about your safety while running. Wear reflective clothing if you are running outdoors at night. If you are listening to music through a headset, make sure the volume is low enough to hear the outside surroundings. And always carry your ID, a cell phone and a small amount of money if you are running long-distances or are on an unfamiliar route.
Jay Blahnik, chosen repeatedly as one of the top instructors in the world and a fitness consultant for Nike, Nautilus, MSNBC.com and others, loves Bowflex.Fitness with Jay Articles: