Good day to you loyal readers, I’ve got another guest article for you all and this one is from Penelope from First Medical Products.  She is going to help all of us learn how to become a runner and how to stick to your workout plans.  Hope you enjoy!

I want to be in better shape. When I see people running on the side of the street, I think “Wow. I wish I could do that too!” and for a few days I get up early and go for a jog. After about a week though, I lose my motivation and I stop running. It never sticks! Sound familiar? Many of you have probably been in my situation. How can we incorporate running into our lives so it’s not such a chore? The key is in learning to run over a period of time instead of jumping in head first. This can be really hard, but keeping these tips in mind will help you when you come to a “wall.”

Set aside the time.

If you want to make any changes to your exercise routine (or you want to start having an exercise routine) then you need to set aside the time to do it. For running, this means at least three 30-minute sessions a week. You may end up running more than that, but to begin you need to commit to three sessions. Remember that the goal here is to make running a part of your identity, so you want to set aside time regularly and be committed to the schedule. Don’t let anything interfere with your exercise time!

Don’t overwork yourself.

When I have a task set before me, I tend to have the power to accomplish the task mentally but not physically. When running, take your workout piece by piece. If you have a lot of energy and you feel like your workout wasn’t pushing your limits, that’s okay! Your cardiovascular system is going to adjust to the physical exertion much quicker than your muscles and joints, so you may feel like you have the stamina to work harder when in reality your muscles aren’t ready for that. The best way to make sure that you aren’t over-doing it is to follow a run/walk schedule. Many schedules can be found online, but one of my favorites is can be found here.

Be patient.

You’ve heard the old adage “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? It’s a well-worn saying, but that doesn’t make it any less true. You aren’t going to see results in 1 week. You might not even see the results you want in 1 month. Remember that becoming a runner is a process of change. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t see the results that you crave. Try to enjoy every day of running for the sake of running and not just for the health benefits. It’s easy to get frustrated and you may be tempted to rush ahead in your running program. Resist the urge! Days of rest are just as important as running days! On the other side, you may become impatient because you feel like you can’t keep up with the running schedule you’ve set for yourself. It’s okay to do 2 weeks of the same workout instead of just 1 week. Realize that this is a long learning process and you don’t need to follow anyone’s timeline other than your own.

It’s easy to read these tips and it’s easy to say that you’re going to follow them, but it’s a lot harder to actually DO IT. I’ve been there! The thing is, you are not going to be any closer to becoming a runner if you never start. Buy nice running shoes, grab your dog, and go for a walk. Don’t start out with a huge mountain to climb, but start somewhere. Don’t let the fear of looking like a dork or being incompetent stop you from trying.  You are going to start running for you. It doesn’t matter what people think about how you look or how “in shape” you are, because being that fit person will happen one day. All it takes is discipline and time. Believe in yourself – I know that you can do this!