Running For Fitness: Top Running Health Plans

running for fitnessWhere was the last place you ran to?  Running is easily overlooked as a boring, run of the mill, or repetitive type of exercise.  However, a lot of people are not aware that they could add anywhere between 10 to 15 years to their lives by simply running for fitness.

Running not only helps strengthen your legs, develop your muscles, and keep your body looking lean and tone, but it also helps relieve stress and can improve your focus throughout the day.  If you are eager to reap the benefits that running has to offer, let’s take a look at how you can start running for fitness in 4 simple steps.

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Step 1:  Go Outside and Run

This might seem simple, but a lot of people fall short when it comes to running because they are not motivated enough to get outside and begin.  Start running by simply putting on a pair of running shoes and hitting the pavement.  If you are a running beginner, the repetitive motion of running might seem a little strange for your body at first.  However, keep at it and soon enough your muscles will start to spring into action.

  • Form:  When you begin running for fitness, take note of your running form.  Try to keep your body loose and run in a way that feels natural to you.  Make sure that you pick your feet up high enough off the ground and relax your upper body.
  • Breathe:  The right form of breathing is important in any kind of exercise, and also when you are running.  Breathe as naturally as possible: inhale oxygen through the nose, fully expanding your lungs, and exhaling through a widely opened mouth.
  • Stretch:  Remember to stretch as soon as you finish running and get home.  Stretch out each muscle group for about 15 to 20 seconds if you can.

Step 2:  Develop a Routine

While running for fitness, you are going to want to aim to run at least 3 days a week.  This will help you build endurance and space out any recovery time that you have to help your muscles and body develop.

  • Extend your time:  As you get more comfortable with your routine of running 3 days a week, push yourself to run further and longer.  For example, if you ran 10 minutes for the first week, then go ahead and try to bump it up to 15 minutes the second week.  The more you increase your running time, the easier it will be for you to run longer without stopping.
  • Switch it up:  We will admit that running can get boring overtime, especially if you are running the same track or route, and you can get easily burned out.  To add some spice and adventure to your usual running routine, try to run down a route that you have never been on before. Or, try to incorporate some other exercises in between your running.

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Step 3:  Running for Fitness

After you develop a routine for your running, you will be able to advance your level of fitness when it comes to running.  You can go about this by taking these simple steps that will help you develop as a runner and an athlete.

  • Purchase good shoes:  Even if you do not run regularly, you have probably noticed that there are a good amount of running shoes available on the market.  There is no one right shoe for each person; and you will have to see which shoe works best for you.
  • Get a running partner:  Running by yourself can get boring, and running with other runners will give you some motivation and make running more fun by making a group activity out of it.  You will be able to find running groups that are solely for recreation, or composed of runners who are training for a race.

running for fitnessStep 4:  Train for a Race

Of course this step is optional, but once you have the running basics under your belt, you can consider training for a race.  Training for a race will help boost your fitness levels, as well keep your motivation levels high.  With racing, once you complete a race, there is a good chance that you are going to want to do another one: racing can be addicting!  Here is a sample racing plan that you can use to train for a 5K race.  A 5K race is just a bit over 3 miles.  This plan follows a weekly schedule 3 days a week for 2 months of training.

Week 1:  Brisk five-minute walk to warm-up.  Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes.

Week 2:  Brisk five-minute walk to warm-up.  Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for the span of 20 minutes.

Week 3:  Brisk five-minute walk to warm-up, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards / 180 meters (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards / 180 meters (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards / 365 meters (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards / 365 meters (or 3 minutes)
  • Week 4: Brisk 5 minute warm-up walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile / 400 meters (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile / 200 meters (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile / 800 meters (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile / 400 meters (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile / 400 meters (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile / 200 meters (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile / 800 meters (or 5 minutes)

Week 5:

  1. Brisk 5 minute walk to warm-up walk.
  2. Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  3. Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  4. Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  5. Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  6. Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  7. Workout 2: Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:
  8. Jog 3/4 mile / 1200 meters (or 8 minutes)
  9. Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  10. Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)

Week 6:

  1. Brisk five-minute warm-up walk.  Then:
  2. Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  3. Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  4. Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  5. Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  6. Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  7. Workout 2: Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:
  8. Jog 1 mile /1600 meters(or 10 minutes)
  9. Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  10. Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)

Week 7: Brisk five-minute walk to warm-up, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

Week 8: Brisk five-minute walk to warm-up, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

Week 9: Brisk five-minute walk to warm-up, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

Run For Fitness

Your own running for fitness program can be as personalized as you want it to be.  To get into the groove of running takes persistence and patience, but if you follow the above steps, you will start building up endurance, stamina, and motivation for running in no time.  To learn how to fit running into a busy schedule, check out this “built” course to create consistent and effective results.