Aerobic exercise is one of the most popular ways to stay fit and lose weight. The reason behind the popularity of aerobic exercise is its relative ease in comparison to other forms of exercises. Aerobic exercises include any move that make use of the larger groups of muscles in the body including walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, cycling and using the treadmill. Beginners starting to exercise for the first time are advised to start with aerobics. Even if the person is not trying to lose weight aerobics make the body flexible and agile and also improve the health of the heart and the lungs.
Walking, jogging, and running are three of the simplest aerobic exercises for anyone. Walking is something everyone does every moment of their lives. To be able to move we need to walk. In fact walking is so commonplace that it’s not considered exercise at all. However, walking is one of the easiest but also most effective aerobic exercises that anyone can take up at any age. Even those with weak joints and bad knees can easily walk a few minutes a day without any strain. Jogging and running are natural progressions of walking. When you walk at a very fast pace the body automatically switches gears and takes to jogging. The same applies to jogging at a very high pace when the body automatically switches to running. Walking and jogging are two of the easiest exercises for beginners. Over time they also help in weight loss because they have the capability to burn a few thousand calories a week if done consistently.
But just like any other exercise, walking, jogging or running must be started on the right foot. Most people underestimate the necessity of the right clothing, shoes, and accessories when starting walking jogging or running regimen. Workout gear isn’t limited to the gym. You need the right clothing and shoes even if you are just running out on the street.
Most beginners assume that their old, worn-out pair of sneakers is capable of protecting their feet from impact. Unfortunately, such wrong assumptions lead to severe injuries. If your feet are injured right when you are starting to run your entire workout regimen is hampered. Injuries sustained because of the wrong running shoes can take several months or even years to heal. Along with shoes you also need comfortable clothing. If you are serious about running for weight loss and fitness you should be entirely prepared by arming yourself with all the essentials.
The gear that you will need can be classified as essential items and helpful items. Essential items are absolutely necessary, while helpful items are optional but great to have nevertheless. Let’s begin.
The indispensable item in the list of essential gear is a quality pair of sturdy running shoes. The focus is on “sturdy” here because you cannot afford to buy a new pair of running shoes every week. The pair you buy should last you for the longest time. As already discussed, do not take the easy way out when it comes to running shoes because some of the most common running injuries are caused by the wrong footwear. There are hundreds of options in running shoes, so much so that the beginning runner is likely to get overwhelmed and confused.
To make the process easier, all you need to do is head to the nearest running specialty store and have your feet evaluated by professionals. This is necessary because size alone isn’t the criterion to choose running shoes. The shape of your feet and any orthopedic problems should also be taken into account. There are no separate shoes for walking or jogging so you can use a running shoe for both of them. Your style of running must also be considered when buying running shoes. Will you run at a slow, steady pace or will you sprint? Will you run uphill or on even ground? The experts at a running specialty store will be able to guide you in the right direction by measuring your feet, asking you to run on a treadmill, and evaluating your gait.
People often tend to get swayed by a particular brand, color, or design. When buying running shoes your focus should be on the right fit and quality. The fit should be snug without being too tight or too loose. The shoe must be cushioned and shock absorbent and not make your feet sweat. You do not need to buy the most expensive pair but try to keep it reasonable. Cheap running shoes are often low quality and will wear out in a short while. It is recommended that you invest in a branded pair that is comfortable and long lasting. Also make sure to ask questions about the shoe’s features. If you do not feel comfortable when trying on the pair let the SA know and ask for a different pair. Don’t settle until you find the right fit.
This process only needs to be followed when buying running shoes for the first time. Once you know the type of shoe that fits you well you can easily by replacement pairs without going through this entire process again.
While the attention is entirely on running shoes, people often neglect the item that goes hand in hand with the shoes – performance socks. Even if you can, you shouldn’t wear your running shoes without socks. The friction of the shoes against your feet while running will definitely give you blisters. The right pair of socks will prevent this. Ideally, running socks should be made of cotton, polyester, or a wool nylon blend, should be moisture-wicking, hypoallergenic, and odor assistant. The right pair of socks will keep your feet comfortable, dry, and protect against sores and blisters.
Instead of any regular sock, choose one specifically made for running. Most running socks cost above Rs 900 a pair, but if you want to be comfortable while running, it’s worth the price.
A beginner could be wondering about the difference between a regular sock and a running sock. The major difference is that running socks come with cushioning and are tight around the heel but roomy for the toes. The heel pocket of the socks should cup your heel in a snug fit. Running socks should always be made of technical high performance moisture wicking materials. The length of the sock depends on your personal preference.
You don’t need to go all out and get yourself a whole new wardrobe just because you’re starting to jog or run. You only need to make sure that the clothes you wear while jogging or running are comfortable and moisture wicking. Cotton is the first material that comes to mind when you think of running clothes but it is one of those materials that you should not wear when running. This is because cotton is not moisture wicking; it is absorbent. So if it gets wet it takes a long time to dry. Instead, you should be looking for technical fabrics that are moisture-wicking and dry easily even they get wet. Besides keeping you dry and comfortable technical fabrics also automatically regulate temperature, keeping your feet cool in warm weather and warm in cold weather. Some of the most popular technical fabrics are Thinsulate, DryFit, CoolMax, Thermax, polypropylene, or silk blends.
When buying running clothes, do not forget to include a sports bra. The bra should fit you snug and not stretch out you should always try the bra on at the store by jogging or jumping up and down. It is recommended that you buy a sports bra only from a store and not online, for a perfect fit.
Helpful (optional) items
The essential items are what every beginning runner needs. Once you have all the essentials that you need to begin jogging or running, you can consider getting some of the optional items.
An insulated stainless steel water bottle or sipper is one of those items you could consider including in your running gear. While running you will get thirsty and taking small sips of water well keep you from getting dehydrated.
A smartphone loaded with a few helpful running apps can also be useful. If you are running to burn calories and lose weight you can use one of these apps to measure your progress. There are both free and paid apps so you can take your pick accordingly. A running watch will also help you measure the distance you ran in a specific time.
If you’re running a short distance you don’t need a running belt but you can still consider having one especially if you plan to carry essentials like money, ID cards and medicines.
If you are a running enthusiast and want to get your hands on all the latest accessories meant for runners, there is no reason why you shouldn’t or cannot. Fitness accessories are often known to motivate people to exercise more and stay in shape. In fact, that is the primary reason why fitness accessories are made besides the fact that they are pretty cool to own. Keep in mind that as a beginner once you start splurging on running accessories and gadgets the list can soon become very long and you will keep spending money buying things instead of exercising more. Starting with one or two gadgets is what beginners should do and then progress to more as they become adept at running.
The following are some of the accessories that you could consider to make running more exciting:
Fitbit: Anyone who is even remotely aware of what happens in the fitness world has heard of the Fitbit. To put it simply the Fitbit is a wearable heart rate monitor which helps you calculate the calories you burn exercising. Because the device is so cool, it soon turned into a style accessory. Depending on the type of Fitbit you get, it can count the steps you take in a day, the hours you sleep and the distance you run. It isn’t actually the most popular fitness gadget for nothing.
Run sensor: This is a sensor device that can be fixed to the back of your pants for tracking every running stat. It has seven sensors including a vibration sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope, and weighs only 25 grams.
Smart shoes: Your feet take the maximum impact when you run, and these smart shoes are designed to record every move you make with the lightweight pressure sensors built in. From how your stride changes to the amount of impact you’re taking to the changes in elevation, the shoes record the data and store it on the smartphone app they come with. They even provide you with live coaching tips to help improve your running speed and style.
Now that you know the walking, jogging, or running gear you should get, you can easily prepare to start. Make sure that you replace the shoes and clothes once they get worn out and lose shape, because old shoes or clothing are not capable of providing comfort or support during exercise.