Happy New Year’s from Midwest Podiatry Centers! Have you made your resolutions yet?
New year’s resolutions are great for your health, but you can’t always hit the ground running. If you plan on taking up a new exercise routine, it’s important to listen to your body first.
After a long period of inactivity, working out can pose some risks to your health. Jumping into a running routine may be exciting, but it must be done with research and precaution.
Running is a fantastic cardio exercise that has numerous mental health benefits, too. There’s something freeing about being able to physically let go of your worries and let your feet carry you forward.
However, foot injuries are common among runners, especially beginners who don’t have the right shoes or know what precautions to take. To help you have a happy, healthy new year, here is everything you know about how to start running for weight loss.
Why Running Is Good For You
No equipment other than a good pair of shoes and your own two feet is necessary to start running.
Running helps promote good heart health, strengthens your lungs and burns calories quickly. Because running engages every muscle group, it offers an accessible and invigorating total-body workout that can be great for anyone looking to lose weight and tone up.
When it comes to a 30-minute time window, running is the most effective exercise you can do. In addition to burning the most amount of calories, it also provides the greatest muscle engagement. So, you get to strengthen your body while simultaneously shedding those persistent pounds.
It’s Not About the Speed
It sounds crazy but hear us out. Running is not about speed, at least not when it comes to getting started. The safest way to run for weight loss as a beginner is to take things slow.
You need to build up your endurance and condition your heart and lungs to sustain running for longer periods of time. Someone who hasn’t exercised in years could put themselves at risk of a heart attack if they attempt to simply run for 30 minutes without a break.
One of the best things to do before you start running is plan your training schedule. You need to set aside at least four cardio sessions a week on top of choosing the right pair of shoes. Protecting your feet from running is far more important than many people realize.
How Running Can Hurt Your Feet
At Midwest Podiatry Centers, we see sports injuries all the time. Runners’ foot injuries can range from stress fractures from overuse to extreme soreness and muscle tears.
Just like any other part of your body, your feet need to rest after a workout, too.
Too much stress from running can cause problems ranging from blisters to overuse injuries, like plantar fasciitis. This condition affects the plantar fascia, the tissue that connects to your heel and extends across the bottom of your foot.
Plantar fasciitis can cause tenderness, pain, and soreness. Repeated overuse can lead to more widespread pain throughout the body, as well as difficulty walking and bearing weight.
Runner’s feet, a condition that wears down your protective tissues, also stems from overuse. The best way to prevent runner’s feet is to take a proactive approach; this means protecting yourself from any running injuries before you even start.
Protect Yourself: Running Precautions for Newbies
Part of your new year’s resolution should include researching how to lose weight safely. Instead of doing what works for others, focus on what is healthiest for you. Below are a few beginner runner tips to help you stay safe and lose weight.
- Don’t Feel Bad for Splurging on Good Shoes – The right shoes are a runner’s most important tool. The last thing you want is to sustain an injury just when you’re getting started! Running should feel good and be fun, and the right shoes make that possible.
- Use a Running Plan for Weight Loss – Rather than sprinting into the sunset, follow a beginner runner’s plan that covers how to lose weight while building endurance. This comprehensive guide by Runner’s World is the perfect place to start. Remember to take it slow and focus on distance more than speed!
- Start Walking – You should be comfortable walking for 30 minutes before you even begin to jog. Walking is a great cardio exercise, and it lets you test how those running shoes of yours are working out. If they feel uncomfortable, be sure to return them and find a pair that fits better. You should also use walking as a warm-up. The purpose of warming up is to safely elevate your breathing and pulse so your body can adjust to more intense exercise. You’ll always need to warm up before running, even when you can tackle 5-mile runs like a pro!
- Don’t Forget to Stretch – Stretching is the easiest and most effective way to prevent workout injuries. It’s also a great way to help your muscles heal and strengthen post-workout. These runner stretches are perfect for beginners; start doing them in your daily life now to build a healthy habit.
Choosing the Best Running Shoes
You might think that a simple pair of athletic shoes will do, but choosing the best running shoes requires a bit more detail. In fact, it’s best if you can have a gait analysis to have shoes custom-fitted for your unique balance and stride.
Good running shoes should fit snugly from heel to toe, provide plenty of support and compensate for conditions like flat feet.
It’s best to visit a store that specializes in running gear to receive personalized suggestions. However, if you decide to shop online, research is key.
The best shoes for running to lose weight also make shoes with athletes in mind. Nike and Adidas, for example, are two of the best brands of running shoes on the market. They offer shoes for men and women in a variety of sizes, styles, and cuts.
Be mindful of the fit of each shoe; you should not feel any chafing, rubbing, or pinching anywhere. The best running shoes will support your foot comfortably without any strain or limited flexibility.
Start the New Year Off on the Right Foot
If you’re taking up running or experience any pain after doing so, we’re here to help! Contact us today at Midwest Podiatry Centers to schedule an exam. We can also help you protect your feet, build a long-term foot care plan and recommend different ways to protect your feet.