By Lisa Landrum, runCLTrun
Ready or not, it’s the new year and while one can start a new healthy habit any day of the year, often people use the beginning of the year as a starting point. If exercise, particularly running, is a part of your resolutions, we’ve pulled together a few simple tips to make it happen and keep happening.
1. Do a little every day. Every. Single. Day.
It takes a while for a habit to form. In order not to get bored or discouraged, start out with small increments of running. Something like a brisk walk for 20 minutes is a great place to start if you are totally new to it. Then, a 5 minute run/5 minute walk pattern for 20 minutes is the next step a week or so later. Don’t overcomplicate it—just move your body in some way every day. Soon you really will miss it if you don’t do it.
2. Find a friend to hold you accountable.
We all are more likely to stick to something we’ve told someone about. If you’re on social media, there are exercise groups that can offer support and ideas. If you like to run with people, there are a lot of different run clubs that meet almost every day of the week, at different times. Those groups can offer encouragement and advice because there are usually some runners who have been running for a while. And yes, there will be someone your pace. Promise.
3. Pick a goal.
Pick a goal, whether it’s an official race or a personal distance you do on any given day, circle a date on the calendar a few months out and focus on it! This month, there are two great local events that can get you out there. If you have already been walking or running, Strip It To Give It has a 5k and an 8k and it’s on 1/11. We love this race because runners and walkers take off a layer of clothing at each mile to donate to the homeless in Charlotte. If you need or want a few more weeks, The Winter Classic 4k and 8k is on 1/25. This run will be held on a cross country course, which is really unique.*
4. Mix it up.
Running can get monotonous. Even professional runners do cross-training. Do yoga. Try a spin class. Do some weights. Do a Fitness Blender from YouTube. Just do something. Every. Single. Day.
5. Take it one day at a time.
Don’t think about doing something for the rest of the entire year. Think about doing something just for one day. Then do it again the next day.
6. Keep it simple.
As you can tell from these tips, we’re all about keeping things simple. The more basic you can keep it, the likelier you are to stick with it. Who likes a 15 step routine? That’s why we love running so much. Get some shoes, step out your door and go!
Lucky #7. Take it easy on yourself.
Miss a day? Miss a few days? That’s ok! Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just start again the next day. Here’s a little secret: you can start over as many times as you want.
Whatever you do, please make sure you’re safe. Our local running stores sell reflective gear and safety accessories. Run with a friend if you can.
*More information about the races mentioned (including discount codes), run clubs and blogs with more running tips can be found at runCLTrun.com and be sure to follow us @runCLTrun on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We often do giveaways for local races!
Don’t forget to check out the Smarty podcast with runCLTrun!