Many people start the year with good intentions: intentions to make a change and commit to really getting fit this time. Unfortunately, everyday life has the knack of derailing good intentions like getting fit - especially when you’re trying to raise a family as well as look after yourself.
Thankfully, enjoyment is a brilliant motivator. When you discover that running can be fun and safe (ie, you’re not going to do yourself damage on your first session!) then the likelihood you’ll want to keep going dramatically increases. Here’s how to make keeping fit so enjoyable it will become the highlight of your week:
Take baby steps
If your fitness levels are currently low, it’s crucial you go gently on yourself and build your fitness before you try to undertake a 10k jog! When you feel capable of upping your pace, it is always sensible to start gradually and build up the length and speed of your runs each session.
If you push yourself too hard to start with, not only do you run the risk of injury, but you increase the likelihood of frustration and not wanting to
try again. (There go those good intentions…)
Start every run with a gentle warm-up lasting at least 5 minutes. The sort of things you might try, include: power walking, side steps, marching on the spot, knee lifts, climbing the stairs and gentle stretches.
Make it a game
Remember how important the fun element is? Try adding running games into your workout rather than setting out on a typical long jog. At Mumsfit, we use games which specifically work to improve your speed and form – while being straightforward and enjoyable!
Be aware of your body
Did you know there is a way to run ‘correctly’? To make your run more enjoyable and efficient, pay attention to your body position and relax. You want to:
- Avoid hunching your shoulders - this restricts the oxygen getting to your muscles.
- Keep your arms at 90 degrees – they will then help propel you forward as they swing.
- Relax your hands - as tight hands can lead to back and shoulder tension.
- Keep your knees down – your knees should be lifting forward as opposed to upwards.
- Make your hips stable, and forward – no swinging them from side to side! This reduces chance of low back or hip pain.
Run with support
If you really want to commit to getting fit, accountability is key. Whether you choose a close friend to chat fitness goals with or opt for professional fitness support – having someone else take your fitness seriously will increase your chances of keeping ‘at it’ even when sleep deprivation would rather have it otherwise. You’ll find encouragement goes a long way when you first start out. And what a bonus if you can keep fit and have a laugh with friends!
Stretch to finish
A lot of people know the importance of ‘warming up’ but aren’t aware that a ‘cool down’ period is also needed to reduce chance of post-run discomfort or injury. The aim is to lower your heart rate and get your breathing back to normal and help your muscles maintain healthy function. It’s highly recommended you finish each running session with some gentle walking and stretches – and plenty of water.
Are you ready to start running and get fit?
The new Mumsfit Running Club is the perfect place to get the support you need and safely increase your overall fitness – while having fun and meeting other like-minded women. These one-hour sessions will include a simple warm-up, gentle stretching, running games and strengthening for longer runs. Each session is specifically directed to suit the group, so all abilities are welcome and tailored for.
Find out more about our friendly running sessions now –contact Joan on 07957 308968 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org this class is a Buggy free and dog free zone!