If ever there was a time to go outside - alone - it's now, in these crazy COVID times. As the sun breaks through, a small breeze picks up here and there, leaves sprout, we sit mostly at home. 

But many people still don't leave this opportunity untouched to seek the fresh air. A good way to stay in shape in an approachable and effective way: running. Runners, they are by no means deadbeats. Your fitness and ultimately life expectancy will go up by running regularly. But suppose you're just starting, what do you pay attention to? Herewith, five tips from me, for the novice runner.


1. Buy the right shoes

This is really tip number one! If you go running on floppy sandals or just stiff sneakers, you are asking for injuries. Running increases the impact on knees, ligaments, and tendons. If you overdo those right away, you're in for a hard time. Recovery from an overused tendon can take a long time. By the time you have recovered, and your good spirits are gone. So, make sure you have good specific running shoes with appropriate cushioning.


2. Start easy

A big mistake you can make is running for longer stretches right away. Start by walking on your running shoes, build it up a little by alternating every minute with a running interval. For your stamina, this works really well too. In that minute of running, your heart rate goes up and you feel getting tired, exactly what you want to achieve. You use the minute of rest to recover while walking. 


3. Don't set a goal!

This advice sounds contradictory, because you usually start with a goal, right? Getting fitter or losing weight, for example? So, this is a rule to protect you from yourself. Big goals or plans can be demotivating because you expect results too quickly, while the goal is super ambitious. Try to let go of the goal and purely enjoy running and being outside, and be open to all these experiences. 


4. Agree with yourself

For whom did you do this again? Right, for yourself. So the only agreement you make is with yourself. It is your responsibility that you keep it. It helps to take your schedule and block 45 minutes at least 3 times a week and fill that with running. Structure makes for progress. Stick to this. The first few weeks will be tough and you have to get used to the exercise, but you'll soon get used to it and those around you will recognize and accept it when you persevere.


5. Warm-up

Crucial for the long and short term is a good warm-up, especially when you start running really fast. Be kind to your muscles and tendons, and give them time to get used to the labor you're subjecting them to. Turn your feet loose, stretch your thighs, and stretch your calves and ankles. Take 5 minutes to do this.



You walk in the free fresh air, your body is working, you feel the cadence. Look around you and enjoy. Even in stressful situations, or perhaps just in these situations, running can be a wonderful escape to get everything back on track mentally. Vent, de-stress, let your legs carry your body and mind along. 
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