We asked personal trainer, nutrition and health coach of Agent of Change Ashleigh Boehm to share her two cents on the benefits and aspects you should consider when running. Here's what she had to say. 

The pros and cons of running

 

 

 

Running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. You can do it anywhere, anytime and it doesn’t cost a thing. It increases your cardiovascular health, improves aerobic capacity, burns plenty of energy and could help you survive the zombie apocalypse.

A basic overview

Pros:

» Increased aerobic capacity from running transcends into other areas of training, i.e. weight lifting, circuit training, etc.

» The ‘runner’s high’ endorphins can boost your mood for an entire day.

» Running is a very social sport and there are many events held throughout the year to aid motivation.

Cons:

» Injury risk is high due to the repetitive strain on joints, ligaments and soft tissue.

» Running for too long or too frequently can drive up cortisol, the stress hormone.

» It can be catabolic, i.e. burn away precious, metabolism-enhancing muscle.

» Running increases your appetite, which can make it very difficult to control intake when attempting to lose weight.

There are several considerations to make before lacing up your brand-new trainers and hitting the pavement:

Begin where you are. When starting any new exercise regime it can be tempting to go balls-to-wall right away. Getting caught up in the excitement of your new-found motivation can mean you overdo it, leaving you feeling exhausted, disheartened and struggling to get out of bed. The key is to start small and continually build upon your previous effort. I suggest setting goal posts along your running track to ensure you feel as though you are achieving something, and ensure adequate rest between efforts. An example would be: run for 100m, walk for 100m; or use an interval timer app and run for 3 min, walk for 3 min, etc. Once your running interval becomes easier, increase the distance/time between walks.