Now don’t get me wrong – running for weight loss really works. But if you haven’t exercised for ages and are a bit overweight, jumping straight in to running is probably too big a step.
Think about it.
- You didn’t learn how to write by penning a 400 page novel.
- Your first steps as a baby were not a full sprint at world record pace.
- The first time you drove a car I’m betting it wasn’t in a Formula One race!
When stepping up to a higher level of any endeavour – be it writing, walking, driving or anything else – it will take some time for your body to adjust. Exercise is exactly the same. And many people who just want to make excuses for not doing something for their health, will use this as an excuse not to try exercising. You must have heard it “Did you hear about poor old Sid – started running to get fit and twisted his knee. Exercise is too risky for me. I’ll just stick to eating the pies….”
The fact is, running before you can walk really is a bad idea.
- You need to build up a few muscles.
- You need to lubricate your joints so they don’t feel the strain of the new level of exercise.
- You need to stretch your muscles so they are not so tight and likely to get strained.
- You may need to improve your circulation so that your lungs can supply enough oxygen for the amount of work that you are going to do.
The human body is a wonderful thing. It can adapt enormously. It can adapt to living in very hot inhospitable places on earth. It can adapt to the solitude of living on tiny space craft Millions of miles from home. It can adapt to surviving where food is scarce. And it can adapt to doing a huge amount more exercise. It just needs time.
It’s really difficult, I know. You have just decided that this year you ARE going to lose weight, get fit and run that marathon. GREAT! WELL DONE! And now I’m telling you to take it easy. But believe me, you will make much faster progress if you start with walking. Steadily increase pace and distance. Then start jogging a bit. Then a bit more. Then a bit more. Then running a bit. Then a bit more. And so on.
If you go out for a run for the first time in 20 years with out any preparation you may get injured. Or you might just find it too much of a strain and give up. Either way is MUCH slower at achieving your goal than slow, steady progress.
Running for weight loss really can change your life. But it’s taken you some time and effort to put on those extra pounds and do so little exercise. Now take the time to transform your body without pushing yourself too hard at first. It may seem like slow progress. But progress is better than having a setback due to injury. Continuous steady steps towards your goal are better that taking one step forward and two steps back!