Ready to start running? 10 tips to get you started

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The 3TV Phoenix 10K takes over Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix this weekend. You might not be ready this year, but it's time to get inspired, get running and make sure you're part of the fun next year.

Running Tip 1: Whatever your age; it’s never too late to start running! Regular exercise gives you many benefits, including more energy, lower risk of cancer, better sleeping and weight loss.

Running Tip 2: Visit a physician. Before you start your running program, visit to your physician and have a stress electrocardiogram.

Running Tip 3: Start with a run/walk program. Some people will never start their exercise program because they don’t know how to start running. When you start, especially when you are untrained, you will not be able to run very far. Don’t put yourself at the risk of running injuries by going too far too fast. Start slowly and make progress in a matter of several weeks.

Running Tip 4: Check your pulse. Many beginning runners will monitor their weight, but most forget to check their heart rate. Running is a cardiovascular activity. It trains your heart. Regularly check your pulse and see if you are improving. The best time is early in the morning.

Running Tip 5: Keep a running log. A log is an excellent way to keep track of progress. It is extremely motivating to see your mileage increase and your weight and pulse decrease as your running program progresses.

Running Tip 6: Listen to your body. When you run you are bound to get tired and you can experience muscle aches and pains. That’s fine. However, if you feel dizzy, lightheaded or experience chest pain, stop running and sit down.

Running Tip 7: Low intensity. Another cause of problems with beginning runners is intensity. If you are a starter, you are better off doing low intensity runs. Running too fast is maybe more than the body can handler. If you go too fast too early, you will end up with injuries.

Running Tip 8: Regular workouts. Regular workouts are an important key to your progress. Try to run/walk every day for the first 30 days in order to develop a habit.

Running Tip 9: Set goals and celebrate progress. One of the best ways to keep motivated is to set attainable goals for yourself. Lose weight. Run a 5K race. Sometimes there is nothing better than just feeling that you have accomplished something you couldn’t do before.

Running Tip 10: Warm up and cool down. By doing a warm up you are letting your body know that it will have to start working out. It is important to do this so that your heart and legs can adjust properly. At the end of your workout, take several minutes to cool down.

Interval training burns more calories in less time

Recent evidence has suggested that even short workouts that include surges of high intensity can boost fitness and potentially shrink your waistline.

A new study shows a mere 2.5 minutes of giving it your all on an exercise bike can burn up to 220 calories. That doesn’t mean that you can do an entire workout during our commercial break, but instead, those 2.5 minutes should be divided into five 30-second sprint intervals, each followed by a four-minute period of light, resistance-free pedaling, which totals about 25 minutes.

Additional benefits that come from interval training are increased insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, which helps to control your blood sugar.

This research could help motivate people to get more fit and burn more calories.

Previous studies have shown that high-intensity interval training also improves cardiovascular fitness in addition to shedding pounds.

Dr. Art Mollen's practice is located at 16100 N. 71st St. in Scottsdale. For more information, call 480-656-0016 or log on to