A new year is upon us. It is time to make good on those intentions to take better care of your body. We have been encouraging many of our patients over the last year to get more regular exercise. I usually mention running as an option, because I enjoy running. I didn’t always enjoy running. I made attempts so start running in the past which met with excessive exhaustion, sore hips, and blisters on my feet. That was not fun. I changed to bicycling which is easier on the joints. I was able to enjoy thousands of miles of riding local streets until my bike broke last year. Eventually I found a way to become a runner without being too hard on my body. I was even able to run the entire J&J Sports Productions‘ Resolution Run 10K last week without hurting myself. The two factors that made the difference were getting appropriate shoes and starting out gently.
For getting good shoes I went to the Auburn Running Company. They observed my natural barefoot gait in the store, asked about the kind of running I intended to do, and came up with several different running shoes to try. They had me run in each pair right on the sidewalk of Lincoln Way in front of the store. They have a generous return policy that lets you really run with the shoes to see if they are right. I put the return policy to use by returning two different pairs of shoes which did not feel perfect with prolonged running. The third pair was right, and I now have over 500 miles on that pair. I tried to replace them and save a few dollars by buying on Amazon, but the pair I received (although marked the same size on the tag) was obviously at least one-half size smaller. After returning the off-sized shoes I am going back to Auburn Running Company to get my new pair of shoes. Given the inconvenience of having to return a pair of shoes, I found it was not worth the slightly lower price of going online. Online shopping just doesn’t work for shoes you need to wear and try out.
Starting out gradually does not take anything special. I just happened to use a free smart phone app called C25K. It is an abbreviation for “Couch to 5 Kilometer.” The app gives voice prompts to guide you by telling you to walk or run during a 20 – 30 minute work out. It also guides you through a 5 minute warm-up and cool-down walk before and after the session. The app will get you from mostly walking for 20 minutes to running a full 30 minutes by gradually increasing the running over three sessions weekly until the eight weeks are done. The same principle is found from other sources, including a table you can print out on paper from Cool Running.
Running is a great form of exercise, but there is also potential for injury. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program if you have any chronic health problems or if you experience pain with running. Also, be sure to be subscribed to our YouTube channel so you won’t miss our upcoming video on running. Please comment below with your experience or questions regarding running or starting new exercise.