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A Beginner’s Guide to Start Running

Running can be fun, easy and one of the best ways to get in shape. Here’s how you can get into the groove. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

Start out safe

  • Take it slow. If it’s been some time since you’ve had an active workout, warm up with some stretches and start with a power walk. Ramp it up to a slow jog and see if you can find a pace that you’re comfortable with.
  • If you’re over 50 and haven’t exercised regularly in a while, talk to your doctor about your plan and see if he or she has any advice.

Make a plan

  • Find a training schedule that works for you. It could be a power walk or a light jog every other day until you find your rhythm. A good goal is to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise, like walking, and 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, like running. 
  • Think about what you want to accomplish. Do you want to train for a 5k race? Lose some weight? Tailor your routine so you can hit the right milestones, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a trainer or a friend to keep you on track.

Listen to your body

  • It’s okay to take a break when you need one. Stop if you find yourself out of breath, dizzy or feeling sick. Take some time off if you feel aches and pains that don’t go away after a few days. It may be a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard.

End well

  • To cool down after your run, slow your stride and ease into a brisk walk for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help get your blood pressure and heart rate back to normal.

If you use a wearable activity tracker or mobile app, connect it to your Health Tools account to sync your activities and health goals in one secure place. Once you’re connected, you can set your new running or walking routine with your Online Health Coach and easily track your progress. You can also earn up to $120 for achieving your goals.