Motivational Tips to Get Back Into Running
As research suggests that almost 50% of adults have gained weight during lockdown, many of us are looking for ways to be more active as restrictions ease. If you’re hoping to drop a few pounds or embrace a healthier lifestyle, this guide contains top tips to help you restart running and up your activity levels.
Tips to get back into running
A study conducted by Ipsos Mori and King’s College London revealed that 48% of adults have gained weight during the pandemic (source). With most of us spending more time at home than ever before during the last year, it has become more difficult to remain active. Statistics from Sport England suggest that only 35% of men and 30% of women hit weekly activity targets of 150 minutes during lockdown (source). Now that restrictions are easing and the summer is upon us, it’s a brilliant idea to try and increase your activity levels and embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle.
If you used to run and you’ve taken a break, or you’re keen to get back into regular exercise after struggling to find the motivation during the pandemic, here are some steps to take today:
- Setting daily or weekly targets: setting weekly or daily targets for running distances, taking steps or clocking up active minutes is an excellent way to get back into the swing of regular exercise and build fitness gradually. Set a target that is ambitious but realistic. You can use an activity tracker or simply work on a new schedule that encourages you to go for a run three times a week or complete 150 minutes of brisk walking or jogging per week. As you get fitter, you can increase the intensity or prolong sessions.
- Using fitness apps: health and fitness apps have become increasingly popular, and there’s a huge range to choose from. You can use apps to do everything from tracking your activity levels and monitoring your heart rate to analysing your diet and working towards health and fitness goals. Chart your progress by looking at the distances you cover, the speed at which you run and how quickly you recover. You can also access data such as your VO2 max to see evidence of health benefits. If you’re unsure where to start, you can browse app stores, read reviews, seek advice from representatives from a UK online chemist or ask your GP for recommendations.
- Joining forces with friends, relatives and fellow running enthusiasts: exercising alone can be boring for some people. If you lose motivation quickly, try getting friends and family involved or consider joining a local running group or club. Being around others can make you try harder, and it can also be more fun.
- Listen to music: many people find that they enjoy working out more when they listen to music. Running to tracks or playlists can make exercise more fun and it can also encourage you to work harder, run faster or keep going right until the end of the route.
- Focus on the positives: it can be tough to get motivated to get off the couch and go for a run, especially if you’re tired or you’ve had a long day. If you’re struggling, focus on the positives. Learn about the health benefits of regular exercise and think about how you feel after your workout, rather than during it. Exercising triggers reactions in your body, which lift your mood and provide a natural high. You won’t regret going out for a run, but you might be frustrated with yourself if you decide not to go.
- Increasing fitness and confidence: for those who are relatively new to running and people who might have taken a long break, there are some brilliant tools and resources you can use to increase your fitness, maintain high levels of motivation and build confidence. You can join programmes and schemes that encourage you to get off the couch and work up to 5k or 10k runs, you can get involved in community and group sessions or you could work towards a challenge, for example, a charity run or assault course.
Running in the summer- tips for dealing with allergies
Hay fever is a very common problem for people who enjoy running outside. If you’re prone to outbursts of sneezing, itchy eyes or a runny nose when you run, it’s a great idea to seek advice from your GP and explore treatments available from a trusted online chemist. You can take antihistamine tablets daily, use nasal sprays and eye drops and practice self-help techniques to reduce the severity of symptoms. You may find that changing your route to avoid trees and meadows or wearing sunglasses when you run can help, for example.
Studies suggest that most people are not doing enough exercise and almost half of adults polled have gained weight during lockdown. If you’re looking to get back into running or to increase your activity levels, take these tips on board to start getting fitter and healthier today.