Running can be scary. A nice brisk walk after work or at the weekend sounds ideal. But running…well it can be a bit daunting.
If you’ve been trying to bring yourself to don your running attire and get out at least once a week, we here at VIP Magazine have some very helpful tips.
We spoke to Dr Suzi Clarke, the MSK Clinical Lead and Consultant Sports & Exercise Medicine Physician at Vhi 360 Health Centre in Carrickmines, about braving the run and she shared her top tips on how to start.
Dr Suzi shared her love for exercise, telling us: “Exercise has shown, not only from a cardiovascular side of things but from a mental health side of things, it gives you are really good sense of mental well-being.
“From the mental health side of things, exercise has been shown to help you sleep better, you have more energy, you have a better memory, you are more relaxed and positive, it boosts your self-esteem and it boosts creativity. It helps stop inflammation in the brain. All of those things are good things. You get that sense of mindfulness as well.“
It may be an obvious one, but you have to stretch.
It won’t just stop you from seizing up when you’re out for your run, it actually helps you in the long run.
“The Irish College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise five times a week,“ Suzi tells us.
“You should probably do about two days of strength training to help with your muscles and your flexibility. This will take the pressure off your joints. This is really important as you get older as well, as it will help with your balance as well.“
If you thought being mindful of your breathing was just for yoga then we have some bad news for you.
Or good news, because focusing on your breathing not only helps you when it comes to physical fitness it’s massively beneficial when it comes to your mental health.
“Concentrate on your breathing. It’s a really powerful tool,“ Dr Suzi reminds us.
Get A Buddy
Let’s be real, if you start out running by yourself it’s not very likely that you’ll stick with it. You’ll lose steam fairly lively.
But if you gather round your friends and start a running club, where you can gossip and get a tea afterwards, well, it’s a lot more appealing.
“I think the Parkrun is the best place to start. You’re surrounded by people so it gives you that sense of community. It’s really important, especially when the weather is miserable. There are 106 Parkrun locations around the country. It really is the best way to start the weekend,“ Dr Suzi tells us.
Parkrun in partnership with Vhi, takes place every Saturday morning at 9.30am in more than 100 locations across the country and is free to take part in