As the 4th June is global running day, we’re going to look at the benefits of running and also how to do it properly to get the most out of it.
Compared to any other mainstream exercise, going for a run can potentially burn the most calories if done correctly! It can also boost your mood, keep your weight under control and reduce the risk of some illness such as stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Launching straight into a full blown marathon though is a bad idea. It may be a cliché, but learning to walk before you run is genuinely recommended to start off with, especially if you have low fitness levels. Before you start, you should strength train and reduce your intake of calories. The less weight you carry with you as you run reduces the impact of every step you take upon your joints, tendons and muscles, in turn reducing the potential chances of damage or injury.
Running correctly is also incredibly important.
- Slightly lean forward through your ankles, but make sure that your bum and head are in a straight line.
- Increase the number of steps you take per minute, known as your stride rate. By taking more steps (and smaller strides) you ensure less impact upon your legs and you’ll run faster with less effort.
- Place your foot underneath your body as it contacts the ground. It shouldn’t be out in front of you, this makes injury more likely as your leg is not supporting your centre of mass properly.
- No slouching, keep your back straight and swing your arms in a symmetrical manner. Make sure they swing front to back and are bent at 90 degrees.