As temperatures start to rise, so do the number of races. From 5K’s to marathons, there’s no shortage of running events in the summer. Races are a great way to get active and be social, but you don’t have to be a racer to obtain the benefits of running and walking. Just grab some shoes and start moving!
Benefits of regularly walking or running
- Improve muscle strength
- Build cardiovascular strength and endurance
- Boost bone strength
- Defend against disease
- Contribute to a healthy brain
- Can help control blood sugars
- Release endorphins to improve mood
- Can help manage weight
Walking and Running Essentials
- Wear the right shoes. Your stride is different when you walk versus run. Shoes specifically made for walking and running are designed to meet those variations.
- Stay dry with socks, shirts, shorts and pants specifically designed to wick away moisture. You’re still going to sweat, but this gear can prevent chafing and blisters.
- Stay safe from the sun. Be sure to wear sunscreen and sport sunglasses. You may even want to consider wearing a hat for extra sun protection. Look for a hat made from wicking material.
- Hydrate often. Take a water bottle or wear a belt designed to carry small bottles of water.
- Motivate with music! Look for an arm band for your phone and find ear buds that are comfortable for running. Lower the volume or turn off music in high-traffic areas to stay safe.
- Track your progress. Your smart phone and fitness watch can measure your mileage and be a reminder to stay with it.
- There are many training programs to get started. Consider using this eight-week training program from Hal Higdon to get you to the finish line of your first 5K.
- Find a 5K run or walk in your area. Check out runningintheusa.com to find a race.
In the Grand Rapids area? Join us for the Meijer LPGA 5K Run & Walk on June 18 in Rockford, Mich.