A healthy lifestyle is all about looking after your body from head to toe– and a great way to achieve this is to get more exercise. Physical activity can help maintain a healthy lifestyle, which is important for cholesterol and overall heart health.

Running in particular has plenty of other benefits, offering a chance for stress management, fresh air, and the freedom to dictate your own workout from day to day – pushing yourself a little further each time. You don’t need a lot of equipment, and you can do it wherever you happen to be. You just need suitable trainers and comfy clothes to run in. This guide, the first in a series on trying out new hobbies for a healthy lifestyle, shares advice on how to start running for beginners.

Here are our top 10 tips to start running:

  1. Get a buddy: Teaming up with a friend for jogs is a great way to stay motivated. Partner with someone who has more experience, so they can give you tips on starting to run. If possible, also find someone at a similar level of fitness ¬– otherwise you may find you are not running together for long!
  2. Alternatively, join a beginners’ running club. These groups are usually made up of people of all abilities, so they have all the info on how to start running when unfit. They can also help you meet plenty of other runners around your area, so it’s easy to make new friends who share your interest in fitness.
  3. Find a good running podcast: There are lots of available running programmes (for free!) that can give you a boost. Listen to them as you run to learn about ‘intervals’ and good resting points. There are many different podcasts that explain how to start running for beginners. Search online for one that suits your needs.
  4. Good shoes: These are a must to protect your feet and ankles. While you may not want to buy a new pair of trainers as soon as you start running, it is at least worth checking that your current ones fit. If you find your trainers rub, try browsing online or in shops to see what’s available within your price range.
  5. Listen to music: A motivational soundtrack is brilliant alternated with running podcasts. Listening to upbeat songs will keep your energy up and help you enjoy the run that bit more. Make a playlist of all your favourite tunes.
  6. Find somewhere interesting to run: This can really keep you engaged with your hobby long after you start running. Beautiful scenery – like a park, fields, or even an interesting city route ¬– is usually available somewhere near you, even if it takes a while to find. It can make all the difference to the way you feel about your workout. Switch up your route regularly to keep things interesting.
  7. Make a plan: This is important for many reasons. A planned route can help you track your progress and avoid exhaustion midway through your run.
    Plus, comparing early runs to later, longer ones you can give you a huge sense of satisfaction with how far you’ve come.
  8. Take care of yourself: It’s best to warm up with dynamic stretching before you run, and to drink water before, after, and during if you need to. You also need energy to exercise, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep and eat healthy, balanced meals to fuel your workout.
  9. Measure and record: What gets measured, gets done – and running is no exception. Keep a chart, make a list, and write down those vital statistics! Once you reach your milestones, treat yourself. Think of something you really want ¬– like tickets to an event, a gig, or a new pair of shoes ¬– and run towards it!
  10. Share your success: There are plenty of apps available that make running social by sharing your achievements online. If you struggle with motivation, apps can help you get lots of encouragement from friends, and compare notes with other runners. Before you know it, you’ll be giving sage advice on starting to run to other beginners!

Our 21-Day Challenge App is another great supporting option for help keeping fit and maintaining or lowering elevated cholesterol. Offering three simple tasks and two tips each day to give you a hand, it’s a great compliment to your running workout – click here to try it out today!