Running is a highly beneficial form of exercise, can easily be turned into a
HIIT routine and also costs very little to achieve. It provides a great workout for weight loss, toning and cardiac health. Unfortunately, more often than not some women can’t run across the front yard without becoming winded. This can often leads to mistaken beliefs that we just can’t be successful runners.
The truth is, almost anyone who can walk can run for exercise. Those of us who are out of shape just need to build up slowly but steadily. Too many people try to run long distances at top speed when starting out, and that only leaves them out of breath and makes them more susceptible to injury. A better approach is found in great fitness plan, such as the the Couch to 5k.
How it Works
Couch to 5k is designed with couch potatoes in mind. It starts out at a slow pace, at first doing more walking than jogging. The same amount of exertion is used consistently for a week, then add a little more jogging to the workout. If the program is followed, anyone can be will be running 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) or 30 minutes after two months.
The Couch to 5k program is easy enough for anyone to follow. I chose to talk about this one today as it only requires working out for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week. Each level begins with a brisk 5-minute warm-up walk, and progresses as follows:
* Week 1 – Alternate 1 minute of jogging and 1 1/2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
* Week 2 – Alternate 1 1/2 minutes of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
* Week 3 – Jog 200 yards (or 1 1/2 minutes), walk 200 yards (or 1 1/2 minutes), jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes), and walk 400 yards (or 3 minutes). Repeat.
* Week 4 – Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), walk 1/8 mile (or 1 1/2 minutes), jog 1/2 mile or 5 minutes), walk 1/4 mile (or 2 1/2 minutes), jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), walk 1/8 mile (or 1 1/2 minutes), and jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes).
* Week 5 – Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes).
* Week 6 – Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes), walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), and jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes).
* Week 7 – Jog 2 1/2 miles (or 25 minutes).
* Week 8 – Jog 2 3/4 miles (or 28 minutes).
* Week 9 – Jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).
Couch to 5k provides a way for even the most experienced couch potato to get fit. It requires no classes or special skills, just a pair of running shoes and some motivation. A good idea might be to bring along your MP3 player, and listen to music or even a motivational speaker while you’re working out. By the time you reach your goal, chances are you’ll be ready to come up with all new fitness challenges for yourself.