Running is a popular aerobic activity. It is very effective and saves time. The harder you exercise the shorter time you need to do it to get a good aerobic effect. Running is far more strenuous than walking so it gets you fit faster than walking. Going for a twenty-minute run is like taking a forty-minute walk.
Running is tougher on your joints than walking. Some people are not able to handle the impact. Running three to five miles a few non-consecutive days a week is plenty. Walking the other days is a good plan.
I am not a supporter of running marathons. Running long distances is tough on your body. Unless marathons are your passion and you are aware of the drawbacks I suggest finding another way of expressing yourself. If you do have a strong desire to run marathons be sure to give your body plenty of rest time between races. Getting a good coach to help you prepare for your marathon runs is money well spent.
Combining running with walking is a great combination. It becomes an interval training format. I am a big believer in interval training. Your body burns more calories and fat using that method. A good practice is to sprint for a few minutes allowing yourself to get a bit winded and then walk until you recover. Thirty minutes of that combination will get you in great shape.
Many years ago stretching before you ran was a suggested practice. Your body needs to warm up before you stretch. If you feel a need to stretch before you run be sure to walk around for about five or ten minutes before you stretch. Walking before you start to run is a very good idea. It lets your muscles warm up so less injury occurs while running. Stretching after you run is extremely important. Your calves and hamstring muscles get very tight after running. Focusing on stretching those muscle groups is very important. Each stretch should be held for thirty seconds.
Running on a treadmill has some advantages. It does not matter what the weather is like, no dogs run after you and there are no potholes to catch your ankle in.
Researching which treadmill is best for you is worth the time spent. Checking out reviews on different products is much easier now that we have the Internet.
You can go to your local fitness equipment store and try out some of their machines to see which is most comfortable for you and then go home and do a search on what others have to say about the machine and to read about how the company deals with customers when things go amiss. Take a little time to find the best machine for you!
Another advantage to using a treadmill is most have built-in programs that will create interval training formats for you. Or you can increase the incline and or speed and monitor your own interval training format.
Whether you like the feel of the breeze on your skin when you run outside or you prefer to watch your favorite television shows while you run inside, running is an aerobic activity that can be lots of fun. It saves time. You do not have to run as long as you need to walk to get the full aerobic effect.
By Lynn Hahn