Broken Arrow Family Drug blog
4 tips for success in your walking/jogging routine.
Last month we talked about the four ways, besides weight loss, that a walking/jogging routine can benefit and improve your life. With the April temperatures rising and Spring in full effect, now more than ever is the time to begin getting outdoors to replenish the Vitamin D your body has starved for all winter! So, if you’re ready to start a jogging or walking routine (consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regime, in order to find what works best for you!) and enjoy the beautiful Oklahoma spring while you’re at it, here are 4 tips to starting off on the right foot (pun very much intended)!
1. Measure it!
Before you can start, you’ve got to know where you’re going, and most of us humans want to know how far we’re going, if we’re going to go! You’ve got a few options to track your distance. You can buy a clip-on step calculator which will measure the number of steps and your distance achieved. Runkeeper is a great, free app that you can load on your smart phone, which tracks your distance, pace and even allows you to create a custom training program leading up to a race. If you’re running routes in your neighborhood, try taking the car out, resetting the odometer to 0 and then clocking the distance beforehand, so that you know how far. Local running trails often have a key/map giving you the distances as well.
2. Protect your feet.
One of the fastest ways to kill a healthy walking/jogging initiative is to wear poorly made or poorly fitting shoes. Invest in good shoes! One small blister can keep you couch-ridden (and at least become another good excuse not to go). Make sure that your shoes fit snugly, but allow your foot to move slightly and breathe. Instead of just trying them on, give your shoes a test jog in the store, so that you feel how the shoe handles the forward motion of your jogging stride. You’ll also want to consider having your arches addressed by a store clerk in order to find the right fit for your foot.
3. Be prepared.
A good walking or jogging routine involves safety. Invest in a small hip pouch that can carry your cell phone, so that you can call for help in case of emergency. Night joggers will absolutely need to invest in reflective tape or gear that already has reflective fabric built into it. A flashlight is important in order to avoid pitfalls, as well as to deter any wildlife if you happen to be in the country. Female walker/joggers are advised to bring along a protective measure, such as a can of mace, if they will be alone.
4. Be realistic.
One of the most common killers of a good routine is over-achievement. If you’re just starting an exercise program, you’ll likely need to halve the time and distance you imagine you can achieve. Start small and work your way up to greater distances slowly. This serves two purposes: you’ll be much less likely to experience a strain or injury if you put less stress on your body. You’ll also be less likely to get discouraged. For most of us, we have high expectations of ourselves and if we set a goal, we set a lofty one. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, but there’s also no shame in the slow and steady approach. Take a cue from the Tortoise and the Hare, slow and steady can be the key to making a routine that sticks, instead of another failed attempt at staying active. When you are ready to set your sights on a race, check out this website for links to races in Broken Arrow and surroundings!