Last week, I told you all what Friday means from now on: Fitness! No, every post won’t be about actual exercise but I am going to try to focus on different aspects of health on a weekly basis because, as I said seven days ago, health is the most important aspect of anyone’s life, including a young professional’s.
This week, I want to talk about my favorite form of exercise. It is an activity that anyone can do and it doesn’t require any equipment. I love to run. Specifically, I love doing it outside and really taking in nature’s beauty. Although I do prefer when it’s not ice cold outside, I find that the winter is one of the best seasons to really test your body’s endurance. Plus it will make running in the spring and summer’s 5Ks and half marathons much easier because your lungs won’t have as much strain as they do from breathing in that cold air.
A few tips to make your running experience better.
- Find a good pair of shoes. The wrong shoes will make you hate running and NEVER want to run again. Now, like any good shoes, from athletic to formal, it will take time to get your feet accustomed to them but sizing and style are key. As my wife once told me about a pair of slacks that were a bit too trim, just because the price is right doesn’t mean the product is right for you.
- Get some clothes that you get excited to be seen in. Whether you’re an indoor runner or an outdoor runner *Ray-J voice*, chances are someone will see you. So make sure you’re excited about being seen in whatever you’re wearing. I truly look forward going outside in my Under Armour Cold Gear. Go out and spend a few dollars and really add some excitement to your run.
- Get a routine going. Stretch. Find a day of the week that works for you. Explore the trails in your area. Or go to the gym in your apartment and hop on the treadmill. Whatever works for you, define it and take ownership over it and do it regularly.
- Get an accountability partner. It’s always great to have someone to walk/jog/run with.
- Which brings me to my fifth and final point: I’m not saying you have to sprint. I’m not even saying you have to jog. Just get out and walk for 30 minutes if that’s where you’re starting. And then, after walking for a few weeks, see if you can throw some intervals of jogging into your routine. And, after you’re jogging more than you’re walking, toss in a couple sprints. At the end of the day, every time you exercise, you’ve already beat out the you that would be sitting on the couch watching reality TV
This isn’t about competition*. Yesterday’s you is your only opposition. Run a little harder. Go a little further. You are capable. We’re coming up on the end of winter. Make sure you’re ready for the spring races. Let’s go it!
*If competition helps you succeed, try finding a running application like the Nike Running app or Map My Run and go head to head with some of your friends. I, personally, push myself harder when I realize that my 45-year-old frat brother is out running me every month. (Bro. Aikens, I’m going to catch up to you!)
Make your health a priority.