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Running For Fitness

Many people are now looking for a quick and healthy way to lose weight. You may have already started a strength training routine, but are finding that while it is toning your body, you aren’t dropping fat as quickly as you would like. In addition, you may not be getting the cardiovascular benefits from strength training that you would like. If this is the case, now is the time that you need to include jogging or running in your workout.

While strength training is great for building muscle and is an integral part of your workout, you also need to do aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise will help you burn fat, shed pounds faster and will increase your cardiovascular endurance, making everyday activities much easier. It is not necessary to do long distance running in order to reap these benefits. Interval training for just half an hour a few times a week is ideal for burning fat while maintaining muscle. One way to accomplish this is to switch off running and walking for one minute each for approximately twenty to thirty minutes. This elevates your heart rate, while maintaining muscle tone. As you get more comfortable running, you can begin increasing your speed first and then your duration next. You will see that with in a few weeks, running becomes much easier, as will everyday activities such as walking up stairs, carrying in groceries, or lugging around a baby.

Getting outside to exercise is also great for people who live a sedentary lifestyle (which is most of us). In this society, we generally spend 8-10 hours a day sitting at a desk behind a computer, only to go home and spend the next 3-4 sitting on a couch watching television. Getting outside and getting active can do wonders for your mind and your spirit in addition to the health benefits for your body.

As with any exercise program, you should always check with your doctor before beginning. They can assess what your fitness level is and give you a starting point for your workout. Depending on your physical level, you may need to start out with a slow jog or even a very fast paced walk. If you are extremely over weight, walking will be easier on your legs and knees, as you lose weight and gain stamina you can increase your speed until you reach running. You can also set personal goals for yourself, such as finishing 1 mile in 15 minutes when you begin, and maybe increasing your speed until you can complete a mile in under 10 minutes. The pace you go at it completely up to you, and can be increased whenever you feel comfortable.

Make sure that you stretch before heading out to your run. You should start with a slow walk and then begin some leg stretches to warm up your muscles and avoid injury. While you should push yourself, don’t over do it. There is nothing worse then having to stop because you are recovering from an injury. Listen to your body and give yourself a day of rest in between cardiovascular workouts.

Sydney Garrison is an avid cyclist and sports enthusiast. She is also a partner in an online bike rack store.

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