How to improve your health through running: a beginner’s guide

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Tips for those who do not dream of running marathons, but just want to keep fit by running.

Why It’s Worth Trying

Running is the easiest way to change your life through exercise. It does not oblige you to find a company to exercise, does not force you to go to the gym all year round, and does not force you to look for expensive machines. Special equipment is desirable, but not obligatory. In any case, you can buy a pair of shock-absorbing running shoes and then. If you care about your health, you can take advantage of Florida Health Insurance and keep yourself in good condition.

Running helps you live longer. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests a correlation between exercise and longevity.

On average, in the last 15 years, people who ran at least occasionally lived three years longer.

It is important to distinguish between recreational and athletic running. As you know, the best is the enemy of the good. High athletic performance has nothing to do with wellness, so if you already run and dream of a marathon, you can ignore this text. Below we will talk about jogging, the purpose of which is to improve the condition of the body.

Where to Start

If a novice athlete has no significant musculoskeletal or cardiovascular problems, he or she can run without risk to health. But it is still worth consulting a doctor and undergoing a medical examination. Heart defects, lung and heart failure, a recent heart attack, kidney disease, and pronounced hypertension are contraindications to jogging. In other cases, beginners should listen to their bodies and measure and monitor their heart rate.

An objective way to clarify the tolerance of physical activity is to determine the dynamics of heart rate recovery.

In the first 10 seconds of recovery, the heart rate should decrease by about 70% of the maximum, from 200 beats per minute at 20 to 150 at 65.

After 10 minutes, the heart rate should decrease to 90-100 beats per minute, and after an hour should not exceed the norm by more than 10 beats. Exceeding these figures suggests that the load should be reduced and then increased gradually as physical fitness improves.

There are also subjective indicators. Most people can notice when something is wrong with the body.

After ruling out contraindications and determining your training level, you should create your own training program. A person with a sedentary lifestyle can take advantage of this 10-week program. Those who prefer to adjust their programs to suit themselves should start with a 1:3 ratio, where one is running and three is walking. For example, run for 30 seconds and walk for 90 seconds. The running time in this formula increases every week.

The duration of the workout should be 20-30 minutes. The total duration of workouts should not be less than 60 minutes per week. But if one hour of training per week is enough, it will do more harm than good.


Any workout begins with a warm-up:

  • walking or light training running for up to 10 minutes, depending on fitness;
  • dynamic stretching. It includes rotations of the head, circular movements of the arms at the shoulder and elbow, stretching the back with the arms folded in a lock-in front of you and extending the arms backward, body tilts, lunges to the side and forward, circular movements in the hip, knee and ankle joints.

The incorrect running technique will provoke an injury or cause a relapse of an old musculoskeletal sore. Therefore, beginners should practice and learn the technique of running.

Let’s start with the body position. The back is straight, the body is toned and slightly tilted forward. The neck and head continue the straight line of the torso. Palms are folded into fists without tension. Arms are bent at the elbows at about 90 degrees. The foot lands on the area between the toe and the instep, not the heel, pushing off with the toe.

There is a different technique for short, medium, and long-distance running.

Your heart rate should be kept within the aerobic corridor of 65-85% of your maximum, calculated using the formula: 220 minus your age.

The workout ends with static stretching, which differs from dynamic stretching by exercises with one repetition for 20-30 seconds up to maximum muscle stretching.

For those who are afraid to make mistakes in exercise and running techniques, we advise you to ask a coach or an experienced runner you know, who will point out mistakes and demonstrate how to do it.


There are two opposing views among amateur athletes. Some believe that specialized athletic apparel from well-known manufacturers is more marketing than actually helping equipment. The other extreme is technology-obsessed runners who prohibit beginners from going out for a run in a cotton T-shirt, shorts, and sneakers.

The main principle is comfort.

Comfortable clothes will not disturb the runner’s concentration, will not chafe the skin, will not allow overheating or overcooling, will not hinder movement and breathing.

The belief that the most appropriate clothing is made of cotton fabric is outdated. Cotton manages air exchange, does not cause allergies, is comfortable for the body, and can be used by novice runners. But with long workouts in warm weather, it quickly becomes saturated with water and does not remove it from the body.

Modern technology does a better job of draining water and protecting against wind and cold. Sports brands produce a fundamentally different line of clothes for warm and cold seasons and use polyester or other synthetic materials. The cost of such clothes is expensive, but they last longer.

The choice of tight or loose clothing depends on the runner’s preference. Outerwear should not be heavy. To protect against the wind in bad weather you need a windbreaker, under which there should be more than one layer of clothing.


Often non-athletes go out for a run to lose weight. Therefore, a small caloric deficit should be observed during exercise. The main thing is not to have a hunger stress test. With two or three workouts a week, the body needs one and a half times more calories. The necessary deficit is calculated by a special formula.

Meals should be fractional and divided into six meals.

50% of the diet should consist of complex carbohydrates, 30% – protein, 20% – fats (preferably fish and vegetables).

The last meal before a run should consist of complex carbohydrates (whole grain cereals, vegetables, legumes) and should end at least one and a half hours before training. At this time, it is undesirable to eat fatty foods.

The only useful consumption of simple carbohydrates is the period up to half an hour after the end of the workout. At this time, you should eat fruits, berries or some porridges (e.g. corn), drink juice. Fats are excluded. Fatty foods are consumed outside of training time, as fat is converted into energy at rest.

It is important to consume sufficient fluids both in pure form and in drinks. Green tea, coffee (but not to quench thirst), and table mineral water rich in electrolytes that the body loses during exercise are preferred.

During and after running it is useful to take a sports drink – isotonic, containing salts and simple carbohydrates (4-8 g per 100 ml). They help to restore the loss of salts and glycogen faster. Isotonic can be prepared at home.




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