Running can seem like the ideal workout for beginners looking to trim down and tone up their bodies. While at first it can seem like all you need to do is step outside your door and hit the pavement, there’s a little more to it than that. If you’re going to start running on a regular basis as part of your healthy living routine, you’ll need to be prepared to keep yourself safe and hydrated. While running can be a fun and inexpensive way to get in shape, if you aren’t cautious, you risk injury, heat stroke, serious dehydration, and even long-term joint damage. Don’t let the risks put you off enjoying a new activity, just make sure you are well prepared to minimize accidents while you jog.
Have the Right Gear
As with any other sport or form of exercise, you’ll need to make sure you have the right gear before you begin. In the case of running or jogging, this is usually as simple as a running outfit and a water bottle to take with you while you’re out. Make sure your clothing is appropriate for the weather and that you won’t overheat or be too cold to run properly. Shirts and shorts made of material to wick away sweat are the ideal choice, but you can make due with a simple clothes out of your closet if need be. Your shoes should be comfortable and made to endure extensive activity. If you’re using old shoes, make sure they’re in good shape and that no part of the shoe is peeling away from the sole. Your water bottle should be portable and if it has a strap, make sure it won’t rub you raw as you run.
Know Your EnvironmentDepending on where you live, you’ll need to make adjustments for your location and the day-to-day weather. If you have a treadmill for rainy days, you’ll be able to never miss a beat with your exercise. You may prefer to run casually, and if missing a day or two isn’t important to you, you may not need to invest in equipment. If it rains a lot or the sun sets quickly in your area and you still want to run outdoors, be sure to get clip on lights for joggers so that cars drivers will be able to see you clearly. Some climates are inclined to be a lot warmer and muggier than others and runners will require more hydration. Familiarize yourself with your area so you can stay safe while you get fit.
Know Your Body
One of the best things you can do for yourself to stay healthy, and to stay safe while you exercise, is to pay attention to your body and recognize its cues. If you’re able to recognize when you’re starting to get tired and slow down or take a break before you get exhausted, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble. Being able to recognize the signs of dehydration when you’ve forgotten to take a water break will let you steer clear of pushing yourself too far and risking headaches, nausea, or even heatstroke. If you start to feel any pain or sickness while running, don’t just “push through” and hope it goes away. Stop and assess yourself, and learn what signs to look out for that mean you’re headed for trouble.