Run your way to a healthier you

It’s summer time again- a dreaded time for all of us who wish we had spent as much time at the gym this past winter as we did huddled under blankets watching Netflix. While it’s tempting to simply wear a t-shirt to the pool and call it a day, taking up running is a fun and effective way to look bathing suit ready in no time. Haven’t been off the couch in weeks? No problem! These are five tips to get the biggest couch potato up and running in no time.

1) Start out running intervals

For those who don’t know, running intervals entails alternating between running and walking. This method is the best way to ease back into shape after being motionless for a while. Try walking at a brisk pace for about ten minutes to warm up, then run for a minute. To cool down, walk for three minutes and then run for another minute. After a week or so, you can bump up the amount of time you spend running or go to sprinting. Soon you’ll be able to run for miles without stopping.crossing the finish line

2) Drink more water

Being dehydrated can cause you to feel hungry, tired, and lazy. In order to stay energetic and eager to stick to your workout routine, try to drink water throughout the day. If possible, try to replace sugary drinks such as sodas with glasses of water. Sugary drinks cause your body to crash, making you feel weak and exhausted. Water, on the other hand, will keep you going all day long.

3) Learn how to focus on yourself

A big obstacle to people first getting into distance running is the desire to be fast. Forcing your body to sprint when you’re gasping for breath is the worst thing you can do. Instead of feverishly looking at your stopwatch every five seconds, put in some headphones, play a great song, and just relax. Learning not to look at the time and just focus on your breathing will be lifesaving when you’re at the starting line of your first 5k or marathon. It’s anxiety-inducing to feel like everyone is faster than you, but races are individual milestones. No one is going to care what you place; as long as you cross that finish line, you’re a winner.

4) Don’t cut the carbs

A big mistake that lots of people make when they want to lose weight is cutting carbohydrates. However, carbohydrates are energy sources and are a very important component of a runner’s diet. Instead of eating white bread and regular pasta, switch to whole wheat products. Whole wheat bread and pasta still give you the energy boost, and keep you feeling fuller longer which will help keep the pounds off.

5) Take a break

Don’t exercise every single day. Your body needs one day a week to rest, especially when you’re just starting to work out daily. Pushing yourself is a good thing, but if you push too hard you could get hurt.

Once the semester is over, there will be no excuses. Find a great jogging path, load up your iPod with music that pumps you up, and get started.