Get your run on: 5 tips for beginners

Natalie GulbisRunning is one of my favorite activities. As your feet hit the pavement over and over again, there’s a rhythm that you come to love. Slowly all the worries that plague your mind start to fade. It’s more than just mental, though. Running is excellent for improving your overall health. And it was something I was eager to get back to doing after I had my back surgery at Laser Spine Institute in 2010. It’s because Laser Spine Institute helped me find relief that I am able to run today.

I was a new runner at one time and my experiences have taught me some things. I’ve been where you are now — wondering if it’s really worth the sore legs and blisters. Here are my tips to help you along your running journey:

Gear up. Before you even begin to run, make sure you have the proper equipment. You should invest in a good pair of running shoes and moisture wicking socks. Having these tools in your arsenal will help prevent blisters and discomfort. You don’t need a lot of gear to run, but you should invest in the equipment that you do require.

Build up slowly. It’s easy to be overly ambitious when you first begin running, but that can cause injuries or encourage a quick burnout. Instead, start slow — literally. Run slower for longer, as distance will help you build up endurance.

Track your success. The great thing about our modern-day society is the advent of the app. There are tons of great apps to help track your success — from mileage completed to pacing. Make sure you track it all, including how you feel after each run. In the beginning, you’ll find that you will be tired. Soon, though, you’ll be able to say you “feel great” after you trek!

Stick with it. The first month will be the most difficult, but don’t give up. Create a running plan to help you stay on track to reach your goals. If you give it one month, you’ll find that running will become easier and eventually it will be an activity that you enjoy.

Find friends. The best way to stay motivated is to find some friends. Ask around to find out whom in your group of friends runs and ask if you can join them. Having a partner will motivate and encourage you!

You can be a runner. Follow these tips and you’ll find that running is a great way to clear your mind and stay fit, which will help reduce your risk of back pain in the future. Make sure you check with your doctor to ensure you’re healthy enough for running before you begin. And if you have chronic neck or back pain like I did, I encourage you to contact Laser Spine Institute. They’ll be able to tell you if you’re a candidate for one of their minimally invasive procedures.

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