How to Start Running

How to Start Running

One of the beauties of running is how simple it is to get started. With a good pair of running shoes, you can step out your door and get going—and you can do it at just about any age. Running is a great way to help improve your heart health, burn calories and boost your mood, among many other benefits.

Before you start any new exercise routine, check with your doctor. Running is a high-impact physical activity that can put added stress on your body. Make sure your joints and body can handle the impact, especially if you have been sedentary or have other health issues.

Once you’re good to go, the steps to start a new running routine are simple:

Start by walking: If you’re new to exercise or have been sedentary for a while, start gently. Work your way up to walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week.
Add running: Once you’ve been walking for a few weeks, incorporate periods of running into those 30 minutes. Warm up with 5 minutes of brisk walking and then gradually mix walking and running. Try running for 1 minute, walking for 2 minutes and repeating. As you become more comfortable running, lengthen the time you do it.
Focus first on time and later build up your speed, stamina and mileage: Initially focus on increasing your time running rather than distance. The idea is to get out there and move, no matter how fast or slow you do it. Once you get your body moving consistently for a period of time, you can pick up the pace, build up your mileage or increase your endurance.

Running is an individualized sport that will look different for everyone. How often you run, how far or how fast will depend on your motivation and goals. Whether you hope to get fit or stay healthy, be social, have fun or tackle your first 5K or half marathon, knowing your motivation can help you tailor your (formal or informal) running plan.


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