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    Nina Sakura


    I recently started the practice of running regularly as a means to get exercise and i must say, i am really enjoying it. I am quite out of shape at the moment and targeting a healthier life-style now with eventual weight loss in mind – need to lose about 10 kgs over time. Anyone here has been running too? Can you please share any tips and also how the experience has helped you?


    YAY! It’s awesome that you’re changing your lifestyle for the better. Putting on a pair of running shoes 6 years ago was one of the best decisions of my life! I have gained so much joy and friendship from running, I hope it works out for you too!

    The biggest piece of advice I would have is: Don’t get discouraged! Keep moving. Running is simple, but it can be really really hard, and that’s why it is so great. Everyone who is a fast runner was a slow runner once, and it is the slow runners who work their butts off that really inspire me, I don’t care about the fast runners so much (or at least I try not to!)

    Also, I don’t know where your favorite running place is, but I really enjoy running on trails through woods. If you’re currently running on the streets, I highly recommend you try trail running a little bit.

    Have fun!



    Dear Nina Sakura:

    Of course, aerobic exercise is healthy in every way I can think of. I much prefer fast walking because when you run all your weight (and extra weight) drops on one knee, then on the other, again and again, and can injure the knees. This is because your whole body is in the air again and again before all the weight falls on this and the other knee. Injuries are frequent when running, not so in fast walking. Fast walking is definitely aerobic (especially on incline, so you can make it as difficult as you can stand it) and safer.


    Call Me Ishmael

    Hi, Nina Sakura.

    Although cycling is my only aerobic sport now, I used to cross-train to supplement my aerobic fitness by running (minimum of an 8-minute mile) three 5 KMs a week. I never ran a marathon (nor did I ever want to do so), so I can’t be of much help there. Nonetheless, for your consideration, here are the practices that I found to be the most beneficial for running:

    1) Warm up by slow-jogging at least ¼ of a mile.
    2) Stretch thoroughly: legs (calves, quadriceps, glutei, hamstrings), back (latissimus dorci, trapezius, erector spinae), shoulders and neck. Stretching is very important because it helps to avoid injuries.
    3) Set yourself a goal of either time (mile per minute, or total time per distance), or distance (how far you run) and force yourself to meet that goal, increasing the goal as necessary.
    4) Warm down after the run is over, by either slow-jogging or walking at least ¼ of a mile.
    5) Stretch thoroughly again, same as above.

    If you aren’t already familiar with how to do so, I also suggest that you learn how to hydrate properly, and how to feed your body what it needs to recover from the stress it endures while running. The proper amount of sleep is important, too.

    Of course, it depends on your goals, but if your intent is to systematically increase your fitness level, with a goal of getting stronger, faster, and more competitive, I suggest that you learn about zone training (a percentage of your maximum heart rate) to make the most of your workouts.

    Other basic necessities are good, quality running shoes, and functional running attire.

    I’m sure there are other, more experienced and dedicated runners here who can give you advice as well.


    Nina Sakura

    Thanks a lot for your thoughts and inputs Stephen, Anita and Ishmael. I am very glad you all have found your ideal exercise form and are committed to staying physically healthy.

    Stephen : I can feel a change already when i am working on my habits. My parents are particularly very happy with this change and are encouraging me further.

    Anita: Excellent point about the knees. I am rather careful about this as well and have consulted doctor to get it checked before i started.

    Ishmael: Yep these days I am trying bits of quick sprinting and alternate walking at the moment. It really gets me sweating and makes me feel like i am pushing. You are absolutely right about stretching in particular.


    Dear Nina Sakura:

    You are welcome. One more point for fast walking vs running: running seems like the “cool” thing to do for young people and walking seems like what older people do? But putting these perceptions aside, fast walking gives you the same (!) benefits without the harm to the body- a gradual harm or quick injuries.


    Hi Nina Sakura,

    I think it’s great that you’ve consulted a doctor before starting. I used to run without talking to a doctor. That was a mistake. But not because of the knees. I thought with the expensive, correct shoes I would not have any problems, but after two years my right leg got messed up gradually and the problem was that I was placing my foot on the ground in the wrong way and apparently didn’t have the shoes to correct this. And also I was told that running is actually not for everyone and some people (like me) can have more health benefits from walking. I was skeptical at first, since, as Anita said above, walking seemed like something older people would do. But it is indeed not less beneficial than running and I’ve also combined it with swimming and cycling to have some diversity.
    So anyway, I hope you have correct shoes and you have consulted someone (theoretically people working in the shop should be able to help you) about how your feet are behaving when you run. Because a noticeable injury can occur after years and it’s hard to correct it then.

    All best

    Call Me Ishmael

    Hi, Nina.

    Sorry for the late reply.

    You’re welcome!

    I hope you’ll advance your training at a comfortable pace. Speaking from my own experience, nothing kills my motivation to train like an injury: pulled muscle; shin splints; twisted ankle; foot, knee, or hip injury, etc.; and nothing kills my joy for training more than turning it into a job of constant improvement.

    As long as you are actively training, even if you are not where you would ultimately like to be (as far as fitness and fitness goals are concerned), as long as you stick with it, improving at your own pace, you are far better off than doing nothing.

    You go, girl!



    I also enjoy running as an aerobic exercise to get in shape. Lightly jogging a mile or two a day can burn at least 76 or so calories. Whenever I run, I go out in nature and I enjoy the scenery. Often early mornings before the sun gets too warm is a good time to run. Running and other exercise helps release endorphins that help us feel energize and boost our mood. To keep track of your progress you can use a calendar and mark the time you run. then you can set a daily practice of running at the same time. also remember to stretch for five minutes before and after your run. running 5 times a week is often enough and give yourself rest on the weekends. you can also do calisthenics to help tone the rest of your body as well such as sit-ups, push-ups and squats. you can alternate a week of running and stretching (yoga) and the next week with calisthenics. you may also make your run more enjoyable by lightly skrogging (skipping and jogging) or swaying from side to side like a dancer (the swaying works your abdominals as well). also having music along and dancing for 30 minute helps or you can jog for 30 minutes. i wish you luck in your workout:)

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