Running for many people is difficult to get into and even harder to sustain on a regular basis. Often whilst driving in your car you will see people pounding the pavement on the various running/walking tracks in and around Melbourne and most of us envy the motivation and drive these individuals possess to give running a go.
Parks and recreational areas are a fantastic resource for physical activity and as residents of Melbourne we are extremely lucky to have such a vast number available to us providing a large variety of running and fitness opportunities.
Running out in the open environment can be a highly stimulating form of exercise and equally as challenging for your body’s overall fitness levels.
The top 6 benefits running can offer you and your body
- Weight Loss – Running is one of the best ways to burn those extra calories. It is an activity that requires a large amount of energy which means the body will burn more kilo joules/calories to acquire that energy.
- Improved Cardiovascular Fitness – Running at a level that causes you to raise your heart rate for around 15 minutes or more will improve your general fitness level.
- Increased Bone Density – When weight goes through the bones this stimulates ongoing bone growth and development which helps keep the bones strong. Running is an excellent way to provide the body with what it requires for strong, healthy bones.
- Muscle and tissue Strength – Running can cause an increase in muscular strength and there is some evidence that has shown an increase in the degree of connective tissue within the body surrounding your major joints which can assist in injury prevention.
- Decreases risk of heart disease – Regular aerobic exercise such as running can significantly reduce an individual’s risk of heart disease (normally in combination with a balanced diet)
- Stress Reduction - Running can assist with the reduction of stress, anxiety and even symptoms of depression. The release of the ‘feel good’ hormone endorphin can improve one’s mood and help to alleviate the stresses of daily life. Running also generates feelings of accomplishment which can help to distract people from the negative things in their life.
Common reasons people take up running include:
- Running is a great way to lose weight
- Regular aerobic exercise, such as running, decreases the risk of heart disease
- Running is one of the most effective ways to improve cardiovascular fitness.
- Running is a great way to quit smoking
- Running can be done almost anywhere and at anytime
- Running is cheap, all you need is a good pair of running shoes and some suitable clothes to run in
- As you become fitter by running, you’re more likely to improve other aspects of your lifestyle, such as your diet
- Fitter people tend to be more productive in the workplace and have higher energy levels
- Running is one of the best natural stress relievers
The most important fact to remember is that EVERYONE at any fitness level can take up running. However what you must remember is that like any other physical activity if you have never tried it before or if it has been a long time since you performed the activity, you MUST start slowly and progress yourself as your body allows. The ideal way to ease yourself into a new activity is to set a number of progressive goals that are realistic and achievable based on your own abilities.
For example you might start off running intervals teamed with spurts of fast walking i.e. 1 minute of running then 4 minutes of fast walking and slowly increase the ratio in favour of running time to walking time until you can run consistently for 10 minutes and then progress from there. Another running regime may include sprints or hill based running or running on softer surfaces like sand…the options can be endless and you will be surprised with what you can achieve once your confidence grows and you establish a routine.
Getting started is most definitely the hardest part thus if you are struggling to find the motivation to begin a running program or you simply don’t know where to start, enlist the help of a friend as your running partner or contact a personal trainer to get you started. Training partners are great motivators! Knowing that you have made the commitment to meet your training partner at a certain place and at a certain time, it makes it very unlikely you won’t show and extremely hard for you to find genuine reasons to break that commitment. Once you show up, you’ll start your run, and the workout and all the added health benefits will take care of themselves.
By enlisting the help of a personal trainer as your training partner, they have the knowledge and experience that can assist you to create a realistic and individualised running program catered to your own specific goals and ability that will greatly reducing your chance of injury and really maximise your results!
Where to find places to begin exercising
For a list of running tracks and available parks and ovals in the Hume area and other great places in and around Melbourne check out these websites for some ideas on good places to start:
Melbourne Parks, Ovals and Running Tracks
Run.com – Melbourne, Australia Running Routes
Hume Sporting Reserves
Step Where? – Running and Walking Routes in Melbourne
Start personal training with a MaxNRG Personal Trainer today for great fitness and weight loss results! Our mobile personal training services that operates throughout Melbourne is the best way for you to start achieving your health and fitness goals. Call 0403-741-278 or simply fill out our online form here