Weight Loss 101: Learn to Walk before You Run
Whether you’re following a preplanned diet and fitness routine or starting out on your own, what’s been long established is that exercise is paramount to realizing weight loss. The workout of choice for most individuals at the onset of their transition from a sedentary lifestyle to an active on is running. According to the website Statista.com, in 2014 there were 65 million proclaimed runners and joggers in the United States. Running is popular activity as numbers show; however, what they do not show is the number of individuals who develop chronic injuries due to starting out too hard too fast.
If you’ve never run consistently before or it’s been years since you last hit the open road, you could be in for more frustration than success if you don’t approach this fitness activity carefully. So how can you make sure you don’t become sidelined?
Why Walking Matters
The best activity you can perform to reintroduce your body to a specific physical activity like running is by starting out with its little brother: walking. “Walking is boring,” you might be thinking. Yes, walking isn’t something that reminds us of Olympic Athletes or conjure up images of Greek legend and lore. What you must realize though is that walking is the foundational movement of the human body. Absolutely every terrestrial activity and sport involves it. The problem in the modern era is that we’ve effectively found ways of removing it from our lives on a day-to-day basis. From cars and buses, to trains and subway systems – walking literally has become a thing of the past. As a result, our bodies have adapted in the opposite direction. Our joints weaken, our muscles lose density, and our tendons become less sinewy over time.
This is a problem and an even bigger one that is magnified when a person who has been inactive for years decides to begin running cold turkey. It is an immediate shock to the body – a body that is not in any way primed to take the toll of thousands of impacts on joints and bones and whose muscles and tendons are not nearly strong enough to maintain efficient form. In a very short time many people develop shin splints, micro fractures, IT band pain, joint swelling, muscle tears and tendon inflammation that ultimately sidelines them for weeks, months, or even indefinitely due to discouragement.
Your Road to Running
If you’re looking to pound some pavement, the best chance you’ll have of staying injury free is to begin walking it first. Runner’s World recommends starting out with 2 weeks of pure walking on the surface you wish to run on. After that it is recommended that small amounts of intermediate running be introduced at a 4:1 ratio – meaning, for every 4 minutes of walking you can run for 1 minute. As you progress, you can reduce the ratio to 2:1 (2 minute walk, 1 minute run). By following this conservative approach, you should be running more strongly and injury free.
Let’s Make your Workouts More Effective
At Be Well 365 it’s all about making you a better, happier, and healthier. Exercise is key, but a healthy meal plan can effectively double your efforts and help you see results fast and more importantly, ones that last. Talk to our team of weight loss, meal planning and nutritional experts today to get the most out of your workouts.