Starting—and sticking with—an exercise habit is no easy task. Yet setting a doable goal is one of the most effective ways to bid farewell to your couch and get the activity your body needs.
Need a little motivation to move? Consider signing up for a 5K (a 3.1-mile race). It’s a manageable distance to tackle, and training doesn’t take much time, says Chris Heuisler, Westin Hotel’s national running concierge and running coach in Belmont, Massachusetts. Plus, you’ll have an easy time finding a 5K near your home.
Jump right into this beginner’s eight-week training plan designed by Heuisler, including weekly focus tips and strategies to ensure your success. Who knows? This 5K could be the fitness wake-up call your body has been waiting for.
... then check out our 5 keys to success on the next few slides.
Going it alone can be tough, which is why running groups are more popular than ever. Even if you don’t want to join a group, at least find people who can support you and help you check in with yourself.
Heuisler, for instance, once recruited five friends, each of whom represented a word he wanted to apply to his marathon training, such as humility or consistency, and asked them to hold him accountable for those words. The end result? “I had five amazing coaches who were wishing the best for me,” he says.
This program is designed to jump-start your fitness program, not make you feel guilty for missing a scheduled workout. If you have to skip a day, no sweat. Rather than beating yourself up, just get back on the program.
The one caveat? If you’re taking time off because of pain, listen to your body, Heuisler says. If pain lingers for three or four days, it could be the sign of an injury, so see your doctor.
One thing you have to accept about running: “There will always be somebody faster than you,” Heuisler says. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to compare yourself to anybody but you.
Who cares, after all, if somebody passes you while you’re training or doing the 5K? Instead, think about the positive changes you’re making and be proud of what you’re doing.
Every time you reach a goal, no matter how big or small, do something to celebrate, which will motivate you to keep going. Think about nonfood-related activities and create a list of possible rewards, such as getting a pedicure or buying new music.
While you should definitely reward yourself after the 5K, pick little milestones along the way—finishing the first week of training, for instance—and acknowledge your accomplishment.
Some runners get caught up in running times, but it’s crossing the finish line—no matter your time—that counts. So make a point to enjoy the journey. Take in the sights and scenery as you’re doing the 5K, and then celebrate your success at the post-race festivities.
Free Couch-to-5K Training Plan from @deliciousliving #health #fitness
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