FAB BAG Magazine

Published on July 11th, 2015 | by Yashodhara Ghosh


Running is arguably the easiest, most enjoyable, and least expensive road you could take to fitness. And it won’t eat up more than 20 minutes of your time every day.

Remember those days when breaking into a wild, free exhilarating run was your most natural response to a park or a beach? We all lost that gay abandon somewhere along the way to college, exams, tuition  bills, jobs, and the sedentary lifestyles that came with them. And one fine day, you’re the mom in the park watching your kids run, while you prefer to sit it out. But why not change all that? No matter what your level of fitness, shape or size, running fits you. And the perks are many: no painful gym bills to cough up, an incredibly toned body with great legs and a shapely derrière to go, and of course that exhilarating feeling of being outdoors. It’s liberating.

On your mark

The one and only investment you have to make before you hit the road is in a good sturdy pair of running shoes and some comfortable track pants. Try not to make do with your regular sneakers or canvas shoes, cause running shoes are specially designed to absorb shock and buffer your limbs from injury.

Nothing but the beat

Now that you have your new shoes on, get some good music on your pod. The right kind of music actually adds a kick to your workout and gives you a higher high that when you sweat it out in silence. Music masks the sounds of you huffing and puffing, distracts you from that feeling of exhaustion that is inevitable during a run, gives you momentum, and most importantly, a beat to keep up with.

Slow and steady, wins the race

  • Build up: When you’re ready to hit the track (or the park, the pavement or the beach), it’s important to be realistic in your expectations. Don’t just break into a run on Day 1. Start tentatively by walking lightly, without putting too much pressure on your feet or falling hard on your heels. Don’t exert yourself too much at the outset: take small and slow measured steps. When you are comfortable with this; progress to brisk walking before you graduate to running. Even when you run, don’t try to do the entire 20 minutes at one go: you could slow down for brisk walking whenever the going gets too tough.
  • Drink up: Once you’re on the move, it’s time to ensure that your body gets what it needs to keep moving: hydration is key. Carry a small bottle with an easy mechanism that you can sip from without having to pause.
  • Running for (your) life: Once you’ve managed to break on through to the other side, it’s imperative that you stay there. Motivation is necessary to prevent quitting. A few roadblocks are sure to crop up, and here’s the antidote.
  • Don’t compete: Remember: there will always be people walking/running faster than you. Focus on finding that perfect pace for yourself, set yourself your own gradual goals, and take pleasure in achieving them.
  • Interact: Rope in a friend or your partner: it has to be someone who shares the same concerns as you, and can cooperate with you on things like timing and pace. Two can keep each other motivated when boredom sets in. Plus, you get your daily gossip fix on the stroll back home!
  • Keep a journal: Mark out your progress, jot down your goals; give yourself a few smileys when you reach them. This helps maintain honesty. The journal is also evidence of the fact that you are doing something to keep yourself fit.
  • Treadmills are good: While it’s difficult to replicate the exhilaration of exercise in the outdoors, treadmills are a convenient option for those who don’t have open spaces nearby, or when it’s slippery and wet outside. Plus, there’s no traffic to watch out for, dog or bird poop, and no jostling. 



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