FITNESS

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Hydrate often. Take a water bottle or wear a belt designed to carry small bottles of water.
  5. 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.
  6. Track your progress. Your smart phone and fitness watch can measure your mileage and be a reminder to stay with it.

Start Training!

  • 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.

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