If you are currently considered overweight and would like to start running, then you have come to the right place. Perhaps, you are looking to lose a few pounds so that you can gain more confidence in yourself. You may have also seen popular running publications sharing inspiring stories about overweight people completing marathons and ultra-marathons, which inspired you to give running a try. 

How do you start

As you may already know, running is a fantastic exercise that provides a number of health benefits, both mental and physical. Whenever you go for a run, you will get a sense of accomplishment that no one can take away from you. Furthermore, running is free and convenient because you can do it anytime anywhere. You do not need to buy expensive equipment, nor spend thousands of dollars on coaching, unless you have the budget and you really want to.

Without a doubt, running is a great way to lose weight, particularly if you don't enjoy going to the gym or are nervous about group fitness classes and want to avoid crowds. 

It's time for you to become a happier, healthier and more confident version of yourself.

Best tips on how to start running when overweight

1. Consult your doctor prior to starting running

 if you are very overweight, have any medical conditions or if you have been physically inactive for a long time. Prior to starting any exercise program, it's always important to check with your doctor. Your doctor will be very supportive of your desire to get healthier through exercise.  Furthermore, he or she may be able to offer you some guidance on how to safely get started. This step is particularly important if you have heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure or diabetes. 

2. Be sure to get appropriate shoes and clothing for running 

If possible, you should visit a specialty running store and consult with a shoe fitting expert. The shoe fitting expert should be able to look at how your feet land and give you recommendations for the shoes that are right for you. Running in properly fitted shoes will help make your journey much more enjoyable and you will also be less likely to get injured. 

When it comes to clothing, you do not need to get the most expensive outfit out there. However, your outfit should be comfortable, you should feel good when you wear it and it should be moisture-wicking. 

3. Recognize that getting started is the hardest part 

Therefore, the goal is to just focus on getting out the door for approximately 10 to 15 minutes when you go for your first run. Of course, it will be challenging, but completing your first run will give you the confidence to go out again next time. 

4. Set small, measurable and realistic goals 

For example, if you are working towards being able to run continuously for 20 minutes, you should not sign up for a marathon just yet. Focus on completing your first 5k, then 10k, and only then you can start to gradually work towards longer distances.

5. Try alternating between running and walking each time you go out 

If you are just starting to run and you are overweight, then you should try alternating between running and walking. For example, if your goal is to go out for a total of 15 minutes, then you should try running for three minutes, followed by walking for two minutes and repeat that sequence a total of three times. If you can't run for three minutes, then try to run for two minutes followed by three minutes of walking. Gradually, you will be able to run more and walk less. Eventually, you will be able to run continuously. 

6. Try to add some strength training exercises to your running routine 

In order to prevent injuries, you should do some strength training. There are many bodyweight exercises you can do at home such as planks, glute bridges, modified pushups and crunches. Almost every strength training exercise can be modified to suit any fitness level.

7. Don't worry about your pace or distance when you are starting out

 So many people get hung up on how long it takes them to complete a mile or how many miles they run. However, if you are just starting your running journey and are overweight, then you should primarily focus on getting out for your run as opposed to your pace and distance.

8. Be consistent throughout your running journey 

Don't run every day for one week only to get out once (or not at all) the following week.  If you believe that you can commit to running three times a week, then stick to that. In order to make progress, it is important to be consistent, week after week. 

9. Find an accountability buddy or join a free online running community

 Ideally, your accountability buddy will be someone with similar fitness goals and challenges as you. You can encourage and support each other, as well as keep each other accountable. Furthermore, there is no shortage of online running groups that you can join for free to get inspiration and encouragement from other people on a similar journey as you.

10. Ignore the negative comments 

If you are starting your running journey while overweight, then you may encounter negative people who, unfortunately, do not have anything nice to say. If you come across people like that, then the best thing to do is to ignore them and stay clear of them. Do not ever let people like that tell you what you can and can't do. 

11. Listen to your body 

When you run, you may get some muscle soreness, aches and pains, particularly since you are new to running and are overweight. In order to prevent injuries, it's important to listen to your body and be able to know the difference between muscle soreness and an injury. 

As you can see, even if you are overweight, you can still learn to run and achieve your fitness goals if you keep these tips in mind. 



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