If the warmer weather has you aching to take your workouts outside, we hear you. When it’s nice out, those dungeon gyms aren’t very motivating. Plus, you’ve been meaning to do more cardio anyway, right?
Before you lace up those sneakers and head out the door, there are some things you should know!
1.Don’t go crazy
If you’re not in the habit of running, choosing a long route for your first run of the year is probably a bad idea. Running is tough on your hips, back, knees, and feet. It takes a while for your body to build up a “tolerance” for running. If you want to do it right, start off running at a comfortable, conversational pace for 20-30 minutes.
A great strategy is to do intervals of running and walking. Try running for 3 minutes, and walking for 2. Do this for 4-6 rounds, and you’ve gotten off to a great start.
Gage how much further you run and faster you go off that first run. Try to run for longer, walk for less, or run faster with each run. Start by running 2 days per week. Again, as your body adapts, you can add a day or two of running per week.
2.Don’t stop lifting
Lifting weights is hugely important for the health of your body, especially your bones. Bone-loading exercises, like squats, are crucial for maintaining the strength of your bones as you age. Women tend to lose bone mass after they turn 30, so doing everything you can to avoid the side effects of low bone density is a must.
Lifting weights is also great for building and maintaining muscle mass. Muscle mass is great for that lovely muscle tone, (Michelle Obama arms, anyone?), posture, overall fitness, and weight management. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns trying to maintain it.
Lifting weights has also been shown to help improve running . Your muscles need to be strong in order to run long distances.
If you absolutely hate your gym in the summer, invest in some kettlebells, dumbbells, or bands and do some at-home workouts. There are plenty of follow-along options in our Nourish + Bloom Life app!
3.Don’t forget your goal
Even if you’re not a competitive person, it’s easy to get caught up in the run further, faster, harder, mentality—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! You might have a marathoner in you, after all.
But for most of us, the reasons for running have probably more to do with wellness than anything. Maybe you started so you could spend more time outdoors. Maybe you started so you could spend some more time alone. Or, maybe you stared because your doctor told you to lose weight and you weren’t sure where to begin. Whatever the case, remember your “why.”
Remembering your why is a great way to maintain perspective, and a great way to stay motivated when it starts to wane.
Now that your equipped with some knowledge—get running, Forrest!
- Støren, Ø., Helgerud, J., Støa, E. M., & Hoff, J. A. N. (2008). Maximal strength training improves running economy in distance runners. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40(6), 1087-1092.