Nudging u to better health


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Running is one of the best exercises to improve stamina, endurance and is fantastic for weight management. If you’ve never been a runner  before, the prospect of taking up the sport for the first time can be quite daunting. This is especially apparent as most people’s experience of running is drawn from their days at school being instructed to take part in cross country in all types of weather. Click here to see our 10-week beginners running programme. 


However, the good thing about running is that almost anyone can do it and the health benefits can be reaped by people of all ages. There are a number of health benefits from taking part in regular running:


The benefits of running include:

  • Calorie Burning - Running is the simplest and most effective way to burn calories, this helps you lose weight
  • Body Composition - Regular running helps tone your muscles
  • Heart – As with any muscles, your heart gets bigger and more efficient (not to mention more healthy) in response to regular training   
  • Blood Pressure – research shows that your blood pressure will start to lower within a few weeks of training.
  • Better Blood Cholesterol - Total levels should drop and the ratio of good to bad cholesterol (HDL/LDL) improves with regular training.  
  • Bone Density - The impact of running makes your bones more dense and stronger. This is of particular importance due to the increased risk of osteoporosis and arthritis as you body ages
  • Stress – Jogging regularly has shown to positively affect stress levels
  • Sleep - Regular exercise can improve sleep habits and reduce anxiety.  
  • Self-esteem – Evidence shows that confidence and self-esteem can improve in response to regular running  

 Tips on running 

  • If you are new to exercise, it is advised that you speak with your GP before undertaking a running programme.
  • Research has shown it is more important to stretch at the end of a run than before. In fact, evidence suggests that stretching at the beginning offers very few benefits – if you do decide to stretch, ensure your muscles are warm first    
  • When you first start running it is important that you have the right footwear that a suitable for running. Not everyone's feet are the same and getting the right kind of footwear will help prevent injury. The easiest way to do this to go to a specialist running shop. Most specialist running shops will watch you run and work out which type of shoes are best for you. They may also let you take them for a test run. A decent pair of trainers should cost no more than £30-£50
  • You should always be able to hold a conversation throughout the run. If you can’t, you are going too fast
  • Try and think about your posture. Pull in your tummy, keeping your shoulders back and relaxed
  • The first 5-10 mins of a run can be the toughest until a rhythm is found. Even if you’re fit, start each run with a couple of minutes of brisk walking. It’s the ideal warm-up for any runner, regardless of ability.
  • Listen to your body – if you feel any uncomfortable aches or pains, stop running and rest or walk for a bit until you feel better
  • Ensure you keep hydrated by drinking before, during and after your run.
  • A common error by runners is running too much, too soon. Ensure that your gradually increase your runs and have sufficient rest days in between to enable your muscles to recover
  • Wear suitable clothing – Don’t wear too much clothing. Make sure you are warm or cool enough depending on the weather. If it’s dark, wear white or, high visibility clothing. Avoid cotton.
  • Some runners prefer running to music, use up-tempo music that will help you get into your stride.

    Local running groups
    Some people may prefer to run with a friend or partner. This not only make the run more enjoyable, but also reduces fears on safety. There may also be a beginner running groups in your area. There are several national running organisations that might be able to help you:
A network of womens running groups across the UK
 Run England
Run England is the official England athletics recreation running project which aims to get the whole nation running