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How To Start Running for Fitness and Stress Relief

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Providing we introduce ourselves slowly to a new fitness regime, running can help us to get fit, lose weight and even help to relieve stress – and we can even do it to music! Even if you are new to running BUPA has a team of experts to help you get the most from your runs – so go to their website for a free interactive running health check and training programme.
People often start running to lose weight but they quickly realise that the exercise makes them feel good – less stressed and much happier
This is because running pushes blood around working muscles, which can alter stress levels and an emotional state very quickly. And this is why people often feel clear-headed with a more positive perspective on problems after a run.
Joining a local running club is useful for beginners because it adds to your circle of friends, while instructing you in the correct techniques and how to avoid injury. The most common injuries being to ankles and knees – and usually caused by doing too much, too soon.
Begin by making the run enjoyable by taking a scenic route while listening to music, which takes your mind off the discomfort in the early stages of running.
Start your programme by running two or three days in a week for 15-20 minutes walking and running – but not two days in a row to give the muscles a chance to rest after the unexpected exercise. Begin by walking for four minutes, jogging for one, walking for another four and jogging for one.
To build up to jogging, gradually lessen the time spent walking by one minute and increase the time spent running by one minute each week. Don’t push yourself at this stage or it could lead to injury.
Run at a sensible pace to begin with, and you will still get all the benefits without the exhaustion.
A spokeman for BUPA said that the result of feeling calmer doesn't just last for the time of the run but can affect your whole week - particularly if you run regularly - helping you feel more in control and emotionally stronger.
Some runners take the family dog; others invest in a special running buggy and take the baby. Some find running alone relaxing - while others prefer running in company.
Apart from the short-term benefits, it is also thought that running provides a sense of achievement and self-confidence.
Recent medical research has revealed that PET scans taken on the brains of people immediately after a run, show endorphins produced during running were stimulating areas of the brain associated with emotion and the feel-good factor.
Investing in a specialist pair of trainers can help prevent injury.
Never ignore pain that is more than aching muscles, and consulting your doctor immediately can mean less time spent recovering.


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