Taking up running, simply for the exercise benefits, is something that almost anybody can do. I did it, you can too! Unlike other exercise activities, there is virtually no learning curve to getting started.
There are no machines with which to become familiar, no equipment to purchase, other than a comfortable pair of running shoes (as you advance, you'll want to visit the local running store and be properly fitted. It will be well worth the investment).
Get Up, Get Moving!
All you need to get started is the desire to get moving. Beginners should probably check with their doctor before getting started. There is no need to worry about whether you can run at all. Start by walking for as long as you can fit into your schedule, even if only 20-30 minutes - make it a routine, schedule the time 3 days a week.
The key is to get active and establish the routine. As your fitness improves, you can begin increasing the length of your walks or incorporating short periods of jogging into your walks. Eventually you can work up to running the entire time. A simple search online should yield a number of training regiments to get you started. Check the app store for your favorite device (check out Couch to 5K - C25K).
Please Be Safe!
Recruiting some friends or finding a local club is a great way to motivate yourself to keep to the routine. If you decide to go out alone, make sure you remain safe. Following are some simple tips to consider to be safe on your solo outings:
- Stick to open, public spaces.
- Vary your route, in order to avoid establishing a predictable routine.
- Be aware of your surroundings, trust your instincts, if you wear headphones, keep the volume to a level that allows you to hear your surroundings.
- Carry your cell phone, if possible. At the least, let somebody know your intended route and how long you plan to be, give them a call upon your return.
- Run facing oncoming traffic.
- Consider carrying pepper spray, be sure you know how to use it.