All about running: The health benefits, history and how to get into running

All about running: The health benefits, history and how to get into running

Stephen Vrska, a marathon and ultra runner from Chesterton, Indiana, first discovered the joy of running back in the 6th grade. “My middle school didn’t offer football until the following year, so I opted to do running because my older brother ran,” he says. 

Michael Fredericson, MD, director of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation division of Stanford University, says seeing American runner Frank Shorter win a gold medal in the 1972 Olympic marathon is what made him fall in love with the sport. “His historic win got a whole generation of Americans excited about running,” he says. … [read more]


Getting into running can be a rewarding and invigorating experience, but it’s important to approach it gradually to avoid injury and build a sustainable habit. Here are some tips to help you get started with running:

  1. Start with a Checkup:
    • If you’re new to exercise or have any health concerns, consider consulting with a healthcare professional before starting a running program.
  2. Invest in Good Running Shoes:
    • Proper footwear is essential to prevent injuries. Visit a specialty running store to get fitted for shoes that provide the right support for your feet and running style.
  3. Begin with Walking:
    • If you’re not currently active, start with brisk walking. This helps condition your body for more intense activity and reduces the risk of injury.
  4. Set Realistic Goals:
    • Establish achievable and realistic running goals. Whether it’s running for a certain distance or duration, having clear goals can keep you motivated.
  5. Follow a Beginner’s Running Plan:
    • Consider using a beginner’s running plan that includes a mix of running and walking intervals. This gradual approach allows your body to adapt to the demands of running.
  6. Warm-Up and Cool Down:
    • Prior to running, warm up with light dynamic stretches. After your run, perform static stretches to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tightness.
  7. Listen to Your Body:
    • Pay attention to how your body responds to running. If you experience pain or discomfort, it’s important to address it and, if necessary, take a break.
  8. Consistency is Key:
    • Consistency is more important than intensity, especially when starting. Aim for regular, shorter runs rather than sporadic longer runs.
  9. Mix Up Your Routine:
    • Include variety in your running routine. This could involve changing your route, incorporating interval training, or trying different types of runs, such as hills or trails.
  10. Stay Hydrated:
    • Drink water before, during, and after your runs to stay hydrated. Proper hydration is crucial for overall health and performance.
  11. Rest and Recovery:
    • Allow your body to recover by incorporating rest days into your routine. This helps prevent overuse injuries and allows your muscles to repair and strengthen.
  12. Join a Running Group:
    • Running with others can be motivating and enjoyable. Look for local running clubs or group runs in your community.
  13. Track Your Progress:
    • Use a running app or journal to track your progress. Seeing improvements over time can be encouraging.
  14. Be Patient and Positive:
    • Progress in running takes time. Be patient with yourself and maintain a positive mindset. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small.

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