New Year, improved you: Health hacks to kick-start the New Year
Here are five health hacks to start your New Year strong
Not everyone is gifted with a natural ability or love for running (including me!). It can be tricky to get started, but once you do, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the way it makes you feel – post-run endorphins, anyone?
Running is great for creating long, lean muscles; it can also kick your body into fat-burning mode, especially if you’re a beginner. Whether you’re looking to run a 5km race, keep up with your kids or just improve your overall fitness, these simple running tips will have you feeling like a pro in no time.
As a beginner to running, music can make the experience a little easier; and it’s been proven that music can help you run faster, so this is where it all begins. Music can up your effort, but make sure you choose tunes between 120 - 140 beats per minute to help lift your vibes, keep your pace up and put you in the zone.
Blast your favourite playlist whilst pounding the pavement and you might be surprised by how fast the time goes by. If you’re not sure where to start, then check out Spotify or Apple music. They’ve already done the hard work for you with a heap of running and cardio playlists ready to motivate you.
If you find the idea of long-distance running daunting, then start small. Interval training is a great way to increase your running fitness in a short amount of time, and Tabata is the perfect method to use. It’s as simple as running for 20 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds.
To maximise the benefits of Tabata training, the intensity needs to be high, so your run will need to be a sprint (sorry!). Repeat this format eight times, exercising for four minutes in total. Once you’re feeling fitter, you can increase the time you run and decrease your rest time. Before you know it, you’ll be a running machine.
If you’re feeling uninspired, get out of that sweaty gym, off that boring treadmill and into the great outdoors. There’s no better way to see the world than with your own eyes. Try a different route each time you run and really take everything in including the fresh air, nature, the sunshine on your skin and how amazing it makes you feel. Try to stick to a flat route and leave the hills for later down the track when your fitness level has increased.
Not everyone has the discipline to train alone and get results, so you might need a bit of help. A personal trainer should be your first point of contact, as they can push you to help you reach your goals and keep you accountable along the way. If you can’t afford one-on-one training, find a group class that offers running in their workouts. Start with one class a week then increase as time goes on. Getting sweaty with a group will lift your vibes and you might even meet some new running partners.
The foundation of a good running training plan is setting an achievable goal. Find a 5km or 10km race near you and register for it. Having a goal to hit will make it a lot easier to stay motivated along your new running journey. Even better, recruit a friend, partner or your kids to do it with you. Training with someone else will mean you will keep each other accountable and have double the FUN! And having fun is the key to success because if you enjoy running, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Creating your beginners' running plan is that simple. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get running!
Cassey Maynard is one of Sydney’s most recognised fitness experts and health advocates. Also known as The Energiser, Cass (@cassey.maynard) is passionate about energising people’s lives through health and fitness in a playful, fun and educational way.
For more articles by Cassey, check out The Check Up’s dedicated section.