Running for beginners: from how to start, to what to wear, and the tech to track your progress

If you want to get fit this new year then running is a fantastic, inexpensive form of exercise - here is your starter guide

A guide to running for beginnersA guide to running for beginners
A guide to running for beginners

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Running can reduce your risk of long-term illness, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, according to the NHS. It also burns more calories than any other form of mainstream exercise, so the great news is it can help you to get fit quicker than any other form of exercise too. You’ll also find that running on a regular basis helps you to lose weight, or keep your weight stable.

On top of that, it’s been proven to boost your mood which means a run will leave you feeling uplifted.

How do I start running?

The brilliant thing about running is that after an initial outlay, it’s free, meaning anyone can do it, anywhere, at any time. All you really need to get started is a good pair of supportive running shoes, the right running gear for the weather, and the will to actually get out there and run.

We’ve rounded up the best men’s running shoes and the best women’s running shoes, so you can be ready to hit that pavement with the support your feet and joints need.

If you’ve never been running before it can feel a little daunting, so it’s best for you to start slowly and gradually build up your speed and distance as you get more comfortable.

How do I get the best out of my runs?

Before you start running you should warm up first to avoid injury, according to NHS advice.

You could have a quick walk, march on the spot, lift your knees, side step or climb the stairs for around five minutes to warm up your limbs before you start. During your first few runs, as your body gets used to the pace of the exercise, you may find it necessary to alternate between running and walking.

It’s a good idea to start with shorter distances too, and then increase the distance that you run over time as your body adapts. A popular goal for first time runners is to reach 5k.

The best thing for beginner runners is also to run regularly, so it’s advisable to go running twice a week, every week.

Once you have completed your run it’s also important to cool down by doing a few stretches.

What products can help me to run better?

There are a range of products that can help you get more out of your runs. We’ve rounded them up below.

How else can I get fit and healthy?

For even more ways to get fit this January - and beyond - check out our guides to the best indoor exercise bikes and also the best home gym equipment - perhaps for the days when the British weather won’t allow for you to get out and run.

For some tasty, healthy recipes to compliment your new fitness regime give recipes from one of these best vegan cookbooks a try.

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