Fitness is one of those things for myself that I struggle to find (or I guess make) time for. I want to be healthy and fit for my kids. I also know how important living an active lifestyle is and when I get into a good routine I am so dedicated but like anything in life once I get out of my routine I have such a hard time getting back into it. Before my son was born I was super dedicated working out 5 days a week I struggled in the beginning but quickly learned to love it and enjoyed the progress I was making. Then my sweet baby boy was born and I had to learn to juggle two under 2 and the whole new born thing plus trying to run a house and keep it tidy ect. Sadly my work out routine was one of the first things that had to go and I have tried to get back into routine a few times since his birth but I’ll be honest it is hard, really hard.When I was in dancing (when I was younger and through high school) and I would have no problem in high school getting up early hitting the gym before school and then dance classes after school, plus I was on sports teams in school as well. Man I so wish I could go back to my level of fitness back then. Last year I decided I wanted to learn to run. Sounds simple I know but I have a bad knee to begin with and have been told by surgeons that I need surgery in order to be able to live a life where I am not in chronic knee pain so running is strongly discouraged but I wanted to try. I purchased a treadmill as a way to start and be able to run while my daughter napped. It was hard in the beginning and many days I got discouraged with myself. But I am stubborn (I like to think of it a determination) and so I was refusing to give up. I know lots of friends who run 10k a day with ease so I thought surely I can do 5k. I got a running app on my phone and I started. Let me tell you I wasn’t a runner when I started and I am still not a runner today but I am still craving to be a runner. My goal was to run a 5k run, in honour of my dad, with the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in May 2014. I did it but I wouldn’t say I was proud of my run. Since I’m hard on myself it really discouraged me. I’ve struggled with my health over the past 6 months and even though everything still isn’t figured out I know that fitness needs to be a part of my daily routine. When I think of running I get excited and I want to keep going – keep trying. When I look back over the past year of running or should I say of learning to run (I know that sounds so silly) there are things that I have now realized I wish I had know before I started.
First start slow and start short! Like I mentioned earlier I purchased an app to help me start running. I had no idea what was a reasonable speed, distance ect when I started. I had to (and still do) remind myself that this is new for me so its ok to not be able to run as fast or as far as my friends that have been doing this for years. For me getting my shoes laced up every day and going for a run was better than what I was doing before so that was something to be proud of.
Secondly, there is no shame in walking. I thought when I became a runner it meant I could run and run and never need to walk. I now am more aware when I see someone out running down the street and they appear to me to be an advanced runner then all of a sudden I see them slow down to a brisk walk and I think oh ok if they can do it then I guess I can too.
Third, clothing is so important. As a women we are blessed with body parts that men (obviously) don’t possess and some of us are more “endowed” then others which makes working out more challenging. Having proper attire from head to toe is key. Making sure everything stay’s in place and you have the proper support. Shoes are also very important. Each persons foot is shaped so differently so what you need in a shoe will differ from what I need. For myself I also need a shoe that helps take pressure off my knees so all these things are important to think about when purchases new shoes. A lot of running stores will have a treadmill in the store for you to test of shoes on before buying them and they also have trained employees to properly fit your feet in the right shoe. Most running shoes should be replaced every 400 – 600 miles.
Fourth, I know for some they enjoy running because it is time to be alone and thats fine if you like running solo. For myself I need accountability I don’t mind the actual running part alone but I need someone to check up on me and hold me accountable that I did it. There are lots of options with running clubs in your area and there is always a large community of supporters found on social media. Check out Instagram, Twitter, Facebook if you really have no friends who are runners and your looking for some support! I’m more than happy to be your accountability as well if you want.
Fifth, it is important to eat and it will still be important what you eat. Your body needs to fuel in order to run and denying it that energy is only going to bite you in the butt. But just because you’re running and working out do not mean you shouldn’t care about what you eat. The phrase “you can’t out run a bad diet” is true. Eating well will only make running easier. And as much as we joke after finishing something that isn’t good for us “I’ll have to run extra long tomorrow” we shouldn’t deny ourselves the treats we enjoy but in moderation. If you’re going to all the work and effort to work out why throw it away by not eating properly?
Those would be some of the things I have learnt since starting to run. I don’t run every day though as it is hard on my knees and all though cardio is great for burning over all fat you don’t want to forget to tone and build muscle as well. I usually will do a 20 min run mixed with a 20-30 min dvd work out that will combine muscle building, core strengthening and toning and ab workouts.
Are you a runner? If so do you have any tips for me to help me find that “runners high” as they like to call it? What motivates you? What kind of work outs do you enjoy?
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