Exercise is an important part of both physical and mental fitness. For many people, running is their exercise of choice. This is partially due to the options that it gives them in terms of where and how they work out. For people who prefer to exercise in the open air, running can be done in a park, around the neighborhood, or at any outdoor location without additional costs or fees. During inclement weather or when a suitable running area is not available, people may choose to run indoors on a treadmill. The numerous health advantages are another reason why people choose to run. One of the most obvious advantages to one's health is weight loss or the management of healthy weight. In addition, running has also been found to help fight aging, boost the immune system, reduce cholesterol, and improve joint health.
Before a person starts running for exercise, it is important to see a doctor and ensure that it is safe to do so. This is particularly true for people who are older, anyone with a heart condition or other medical condition, and those who have not exercised for any length of time. Depending on these factors, a doctor may encourage the patient to begin slowly, or even to start walking regularly before attempting to run. In addition, a person should set goals and start planning out the days and times that he or she will go running. By creating a schedule or plan, a person will be more likely to stick with it and return to it despite minor setbacks or illnesses. Reassessing what one eats is also important when starting to run for fitness. Switching to a healthy diet that consists of lean proteins, whole grains and plenty of liquids such as water is important.
Having the right equipment is crucial to get the most out of a workout and to avoid injuries. Clothing should be suited for the season and the weather on individual days. During sunny and warm days, shorts, a short sleeve shirt and a hat with a visor may suitable. Warmer clothing, such as a winter cap, long sleeve shirt, running pants or tights, and a jacket are choices for cold or rainy weather conditions. Choosing and wearing the right athletic shoe is also mandatory for both comfort and the prevention of injuries. Runners should look for shoes that are made for continuous forward motion. The best way to ensure that they are buying the right shoe is to visit an athletic shoe store with a trained staff that can recommend the correct running shoe and measure the foot accurately for the length and width of the foot and the length of the arch. Ideally they should be replaced every 500 miles that a person runs.
When running outdoors, there are certain safety precautions that must be taken. These precautions not only prevent physical injury from the act of running itself but it will also help the runner from coming into harm as a result of traffic or another person. When running at night, a person should stay in areas that are well-lit and that are not isolated. When possible run with a friend or a dog and always carry a cell phone in the case of an emergency or in the event of a threatening situation. Clothing with reflective material will make the runner more visible to cars and it is advised to run against traffic so that approaching cars are visible.
Running is one the most popular forms of exercise and it offers many health benefits. Before starting to run, however, there are certain steps that should be taken. These steps ensure that people start off running safely by visiting their physician and obtaining the necessary equipment, such as proper clothing and shoes. In addition, a runner should understand the rules when it comes to personal safety.