How fast should I run? How will it feel? What should I eat? Could I do a race? Trying a new activity like running can bring a certain level of anxiety. But relax! Running is a great activity for anyone to try, regardless of age or fitness level.
Running may be one of the simplest fitness activities to pick up-you just need a pair of shoes and the open road-but it's also hard on your body if you're not used to it. I spoke with Jason Fitzgerald, a running coach (and longtime friend of Lifehacker) who specializes in helping runners avoid injury.
Most or all of your runs at a pace that feels comfortable, controlled, and conversational.
Exercise that is not running, if you feel that the above isn’t enough for you: Cycling and other cross-training can work your lungs and muscles without putting too much strain on your tendons and ligaments.
Strength training, to help everything get stronger and more adaptable.
Running can significantly improve physical and mental health. As a form of aerobic exercise, running can reduce stress, improve heart health, and even help alleviate symptoms of depression. Some researchers think running may be so good for us because it's something we evolved to do. People are built to run.
Knee pain is often a sign of over-training or a need to improve form or flexibility. Running actually seems to improve knee health. Researchers found the more people ran, the less likely the were to suffer knee pain or osteoarthritis.