As we mentioned earlier, running is a popular exercise option because it's both simple and cost-effective. If you have two working legs and a place to move, then there's a good chance you can run. But like any exercise or sport, there's some optional gear you can use to make the process easier and more enjoyable or even to keep track of your progress.
One of the first pieces of equipment a runner invests in is a good pair of shoes. When you're out pounding the pavement your feet can take a beating, they'll go a long way toward keeping your tootsies comfortable. If you're serious about running, invest in a comfortable pair of quality running shoes -- your body will be grateful for the consideration.
Another wise investment is a heart-rate monitor. Running, like any vigorous activity, causes the heart to work harder and beat faster. Monitoring your heart rate can tell you if you're pushing yourself too hard or even if you're getting the most out of your workout. A heart-rate monitor tells you how fast your heart is beating, and you can use it to make sure your heart rate stays within a healthy range, known as your target heart rate.
Some runners also like to wear a watch to keep track of the time. If you're trying to increase the number of minutes you spend running, then having something to check your time against can be a good idea.
Going for a run can be pretty simple -- you just open your front door, set one foot in front of the other and go. But for some, running outside isn't an option (especially those in very cold climates) and for others it's more convenient to work out in a gym or at home. For these reasons, many people choose to do their running inside on a treadmill. Some treadmills can change the speed and incline for you, and some can even monitor your heart rate and tell you the number of calories you're burning. While they're not required equipment, treadmills offer an alternative to hitting the pavement.
To find out more about what it takes to be a runner and the benefits of getting out and getting active, take a few minutes to run through the links below.
- How the Ironman Works
- How a Marathon Works
- How to Train for Your First 5K
- How to Train for Your First Marathon
- Walking to Lose Weight
- How to Lose Weight
- Does running fight depression?
- Does running reduce stress?
- How can I cut calories safely?
- How many calories does running burn?
- How many calories do you burn playing the average Wii game?
- Burfoot, Amby. "How Many Calories Are You Really Burning?" Runner's World. September 2005.http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-304-311-8402-0,00.html
- Burfoot, Amby. "Runner's World Complete Book of Beginning Running." Rodale, 2005.
- Diem, Carl-Jürgen. "Tips for Success: Running for Beginners." Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2002.
- Kahn, Jeffery. "Government Guidelines Underestimate Benefits of Running for Women, Says National Runners' Health Study." Nov. 13, 1995. (Aug. 31, 2010)http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/running-women-study.html
- Mayo Clinic Staff. "Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics." Mayoclinic.com. 2010. (Sept. 2, 2010)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/calories/WT00011
- Mayo Clinic Staff. "Interval training: Can it boost your calorie-burning power?" Mayoclinic.com. 2010. (Sept. 2, 2010).http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/interval-training/SM00110
- Mayo Clinic Staff. "Metabolism and weight loss: How you burn calories." Mayoclinic.com. 2010. (Aug. 30, 2010)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metabolism/WT00006
- Run the Planet. "Start Your Running Program." 2010. (Aug. 31, 2010)http://www.runtheplanet.com/trainingracing/training/beginners/trainingprogram.asp