This Article is About
keeping fit
proper hydration
right shoes
preparatory step
foot hits
running shoes
health and fitness
physical activity
ordeal
circumstances
exercise
Keeping Fit And Healthy –Part 2
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Keeping Fit and Healthy - The Early Stages -Part 2

The Beginning of the Road

So you have completed the early preparatory work for launching into a keeping fit and healthy program which has included: * deciding what kind of "exercise" (physical activity) is best suited for you, i.e., one you like doing; * being cleared by your doctor for that physical activity; * determining and setting aside the specific period (day and time) during which you can, commit and devote to the carrying out of this "exercise"; * choosing your "exercise" outfit or "gear"; * having the proper hydration equipment, such as water bottles, pouches etc.

As you have decided that your form of exercise is going to be running, under normal circumstances you would have purchased a pair of running shoes. As pointed out earlier, this is perhaps the single most important preparatory step that you have had to make - getting a suitable and comfortable pair of running shoes. A 'bad' choice in this has caused many people to "give up" in the very early stages because one's foot hits with a force somewhere between three and four times one's body weight when it strikes the ground - and that really jars you!

But we have the right shoes -so let's get on with it! On to the "road!" But we hesitate! WHY? Several reasons! For one, we are not fully convinced of the efficacy of what we are about to do! We ask ourselves if are there any REAL benefits from the ordeal through which we are about to put ourselves.

What Reason Running?

The answer to that is simple and straightforward. Overall, we should literally and figuratively run for our lives - hopefully, so-called long and healthy lives! This "overall" can be broken down into "individual" elements or benefits" which when taken together, give us the life of health and fitness. Life is however not just about living. It is about quality as well, and, that is where the feeling of "wellness" pervades!

Benefits of Running

The benefits of running are variously described as follows:

? Decreases body fat levels and obesity ? enhances cardiovascular health and lowers risk of heart disease and stroke ? prevents the development of many different forms of cancer ? boosts and improves the immune system ? significantly reduces the risk of any cause of death, including diseases such as cancer and diabetes ? facilitates weight loss ? increases bone density and fortifies the bones, thus reducing the risk of bone diseases such osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, etc. ? strengthens muscles thus decreasing the risks of degeneration of joints ? gives greater mobility, flexibility and co-ordination, especially for older people ? ameliorates the risk of muscular aches and pains such as occur in the legs, backs, etc. ? decreases the incidence of stress thus lessening depression and anxiety ? helps you sleep better if you are an insomniac.

A very impressive list - with these gauges of keeping fit and healthy! physically prepared, mentally convinced and psychology fashioned, we have got our motivation in place about what we are about to set off doing - running! - and yet, we hesitate! It is not like a day at the office. We are in uncharted waters and have several worries and insecurities about the next move. We are unsure and because of our own uncertainties, a kind of paralysis sets in.

But we can move ahead. Just let us deal with some of the more pertinent worries. We will get around to addressing most of these and to answering at the appropriate time, most of those questions which are drumming in our heads. For now, however, we will just concentrate on some of those concerns which immediately challenge us!

Worries and Insecurities

* Is there an optimum time for me to start running? When is it?

No, there is no universally optimum time for everybody. Obviously, the earlier in life that you start to run, the better it is. For you, the best time to start is now! Now you really have no excuses left. Just don your running gear and start out today.

* If I have to run down the hallway, I get breathless and tired. How am I going to run any distance on the road?

We all have to start out running sometime. Without a doubt the first time you go out, you will return breathless, puffing, panting and with a tightened chest after a few minutes. However, that is OK, because, the more you work your body, the "fitter" it will become, and with time, the puffing and panting will decrease. After even a few weeks you will be able to run much further than you could before, and do it faster. A time will come when the only thing to stop you is yourself - not shortness of breath! What will be important as a runner is perseverance!

* The road has a hard surface. Will I not damage my joints from running on it?

That is a worry for some. However, available evidence suggests that running stimulates the body to strengthen joints, and, with the proper running shoes and relaxed jogging, the condition of joints in the lower body will actually be improved.

* Am I going to look or get bulky from building up muscles?That might mean a new wardrobe.

You need not be distressed about that. .Running will burn fat and make your leg muscles lean and toned.

* Won't people make fun of me while I'm running?

Doubtlessly, some will make comments, especially if you are fat and overweight. However, ignore them. You will have the last laugh because you are improving yourself by running, while they are debasing themselves by behaving in this churlish manner.

* The cliché is: "no pain, no gain!" Am I going to experience much soreness and pain?

When you perform any type of exercise which you don't normally do, like running, your body will be performing actions that it wouldn't normally do when you are at rest. Your muscles will therefore at first, become sore and stiff. However, this, with time, will gradually go away if you are not overdoing it.

* Can I become addictive to running?

Yes, but isn't it wonderful to be addicted to something that's good for you? This allows you to take control of your health, improve your fitness, and boost your self- image.

* Am I going to be losing weight?

Most definitely! - but what- the fat! - you lose, is that which you should lose, if you are to keep fit and healthy.

Hard Times.

When you first attempt to become fit and healthy by running, the going will not be easy. You will be challenged to sustain it, particularly if you are an older person, you have not been maintaining any sort of physical fitness program, nor, are you the "athletic" type.

The key to sustainability and future success is that you control your impulse to rocket out on to the track, and that instead, you set yourself goals and make a leisurely and un-hurried start. One of the most common ways of doing this is to use what is known as a run/walk program. This involves breaking up your running/exercise routine with walking. This has the great advantage that it protects you from early exhaustion and you are thus able to do much more in any one session.

Conclusion

Running for health and fitness is an achievable goal and you just need to make a start with it. "Keeping fit and Healthy - The early Stages", provides some insights, advice and tips on approaches as well as information about exercise programs and running outfits. Now we are "on the road", this will take us further along the way.

We will share with you your passage through the various stages as your body progresses along the path to wellness and well-being. As dieting is also an essential element, we are inviting you to begin to eat healthy diets. You will soon be getting more tips here on fashioning a healthy lifestyle. My next article will develop the subject further and attempt to answer pertinent questions on running to keep fit and healthy.


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