Running, Walking, Hiking
It takes some time to not only get your muscles used to activity, but also those tendons, ligaments and joints. Depending on the length you’ve chosen to run, walk or hike, arrange some time during the coming weeks to get some miles in.
Maintain Good Posture
Stand up straight, like you’re hanging from the ceiling from a string in the middle of your head.
Keep your eyes forward and your chin parallel to the ground. This helps to reduce strain on your neck. Your focus should be about 20 feet ahead of you.
Let your shoulders be back and relaxed, and your ribcage up. Tighten your tummy muscles, which can help you maintain good posture and resist slouching and leaning.
Tuck in your behind and rotate your hips forward slightly. Don’t stick your butt out or let your lower back arch.
Everyone has different anatomical needs and goals, so make sure you are selecting the proper footwear and clothing for you. Check out a specialty running or outdoor activity store near you or reach out to their customer support online. Most folks who work out of these specialty retail stores have a wealth of knowledge to share about your chosen physical activity, have tools to evaluate your needs, and can make recommendations for what gear will suit you best.
Don’t Be Only a Weekend Warrior
Consistency is key. Arrange to get some training in throughout the weekdays, too. There are a ton of baseline training programs available. Some good ones are Runner’s World, the American Heart Association and The American Hiking Society.
Warm Up Dynamically
Stretching is great, but it’s best after your workout. That’s because you want your muscles to be ready to get-up-and-go. To prepare your mind and body for activity, dynamic warm-ups are the new go-to. Check out this great video to get an idea. To prepare for movement, get moving!
You want to start out at a comfortable, conversational pace. It’s exciting to get started, but don’t overdo it as you start your training. That’s a recipe for possible exhaustion, burnout or injury!
Listen to Your Body
The great thing about becoming more active is that you get to learn more about your body and when it’s telling you it needs something. It’s important to tune into cues for you to take a break during your training period to catch your breath and hydrate, and also when it’s time to take a rest day to allow your body to recover.
Switch it Up
Cross training is essential for building your body up and keeping the need for injury rehab off your training to-do list. Doing things like lifting weights, swimming and yoga are great ways to switch up the way you’ve been moving your body. It might be a good idea to check out your local fitness center and get in a few sessions with a personal trainer, too. Often the first session is free!