Getting started in a physical activity whether it be walking, jogging or running involves a lot of the same simple steps to get started.
Get to know your feet... First it is well worth the effort to get a proper foot and alignment analysis done, especially if you have not done that in the last few years since our body continues to change, as does our alignment. Several running stores including Foot Solutions can do this for you.
Introduce your feet to the right shoes... Foot Solutions and several running companies do a wonderful job of helping you pick out the right shoe! They can help you determine your current size (remember your feet continue to change in size and shape), how much motion control you need and what size toe box works for your feet. A quick word of wisdom...always do your fittings late in the day, you will get a more accurate sizing analysis done. When you purchase shoes try to get a minimum of two pairs, preferably slightly different and rotate usage between the pairs of shoes. This will not only prolong the use you will get out of your shoes but it will greatly reduce injury. Also, by wearing different styles your foot strike will vary slightly which reduces your chances of overuse injuries.
Make friends with some nifty gadgets... Other items that are nice to have but not a necessity are a workout watch and a heart rate monitor. The workout watch I usually use to monitor the time I have spent in my activity. By working out for a given time frame as opposed to mileage you allow yourself to adjust to how your body is feeling in a given day. Some days when your body is tired and sore you may only be able to go for 3 miles while other days when you are feeling good you may workout for 5 miles in the same time frame. A heart rate monitor is a wonderful way to learn your body and better understand how it works. By using a monitor you can hold yourself accountable to get the most out of your workout. You will quickly learn that there are certain things you can do to elevate your heart rate. For instance, if you are a walker simply by incorporating the smaller muscles of your arms and using walking polls you can increase your heart rate. If you further change to workout shoe style (Chung Shi's) you can again increase your heart rate by incorporating more of the muscle in your lower legs, core and feet. Another way to increase your heart rate is to add weight to your workout. You can do that one of two ways. First, increase your pace, which increases your impact and hence your heart rate or two carry weights which again increases your impact.
AUTHOR: Stephanie Lucke