Whenever I speak about exercise I feel like I'm always pretty honest about my feelings on the practice. It's not something that comes naturally to me at all. And with the fitness world taking over the blogging and the Instagram world it can feel incredibly daunting for those of us who feel totally overwhelmed by it all. And running is something that used to scare me so much that I never thought I'd be able to do it let alone enjoy it. So today I wanted to share some honest thoughts on running from a girl who definitely isn't a natural born runner.
I'd been adding exercise into my routine for a little while and running was something I wanted to attempt as I'd heard so much about the benefits of it. Of course, it does have its drawbacks and can cause issues for your joints but as I knew it wouldn't be something that I'd be doing a huge amount I wasn't too worried about those aspects of running. I also thought it would be a good way to get a quick amount of cardio in that would be a little more interesting. As I tend to find that aspect of exercise can be pretty mind numbing. Having not run since my school days where I hated every aspect of it I was a little apprehensive of how I would feel about it as an adult. But, it's still something that I wanted to try and there's never any harm in trying something new.
Last year when I first embarked on my running journey I started out with my best friend in tow. But she quickly realised running just wasn't for her. So I carried on solo and used the 10K app to help me get started and it didn't feel so daunting that way. I think an app is probably the easiest way to get started with running as it gives you small time frames to run to and combines it with walking which makes it much easier to tackle.
EXERCISING WITH HEALTH ISSUES
Something else that's rarely discussed when talking about fitness is when you're doing it with health issues. As I have a chronic illness sometimes fitness isn't an option for me but when I am able. I have to do it a little bit of a different pace and think about things that other people might not. Whether you're dealing with health issues or not it's so important to go at your own pace with any type of fitness and make whatever you're doing work for you. And even though sometimes doing any type of fitness can be incredibly hard on my physical health. It's had such a positive effect on my mental well-being that it makes me want to work that little bit harder to make it part of my routine.
THE ACTUAL RUNNING
Personally, I think one of the greatest things about running is that it's free and you can do it absolutely anywhere [weather permitting, of course]. But you don't need an expensive gym membership or the latest fashionable athleisurewear. You just need yourself and a decent-ish pair of trainers and you're good to go. I've always found that I prefer to run outside than running on a treadmill as it's a lot more interesting. Your mind frame is incredibly important when doing any type of exercise because if you're not in the mood or you're convinced that you just can't do it then it won't be a positive experience and you'll never enjoy it. As well as having a good mind frame forgetting what other people might be thinking is something else that I've found to be key for anything to do with exercise. It's very much like that episode of FRIENDS where Rachel really cares what people think and Phoebe doesn't. The chance of people caring about the way you exercise or how fast you're going is very slim.
TAKE YOUR TIME
If there is anyone reading this who wants to try running then the best advice I can give you is to take your time and don't burn yourself out. And I think that goes for adding any type of exercise into your routine as it's all too easy to have that initial motivation and go completely overboard and burn yourself out within a couple of days and feel completely put off from ever doing it again. Especially with running I've found that it doesn't matter how slowly you go or how long it might take you. Just doing it at your own pace is all that matters as when you finally find your groove it feels awesome and so rewarding.
- Start slow and build up your stamina.
- Listen to your body and don't push it too hard.
- Invest in your footwear and wear good socks.
- Always stretch.
- Keep hydrated and apply a good lip balm.
- Don't be disheartened if progress is slow.