Keeping fit on a budget- Running

Woman jogging

Running is the perfect budget exercise because it’s FREE! I took up running just a couple of months ago in an effort to increase my level of fitness. I have been walking to work, which is a couple of miles, at least twice a week since I moved to the city. At first it would leave me out of breath and all muggy when I got to work. But quite quickly I noticed I wasn’t getting as out off puff as I was and felt less tired afterwards. So, I decided to take it up a notch and begin jogging in an attempt to tone up an increase my stamina.
I run at least once a week for between 3 and 5 kilometres around the local park and can honestly say I feel better for it. Yeah, it feels horrid when you are gasping for air and your legs feel like jelly but at the same time it feels insanely satisfying and when I finish my run I feel physically and mentally fantastic. I really recommend running to anyone.
Here are my tips for anyone who is thinking of taking up running:

Make a realistic routine

It’s really important to be realistic when setting your goals. If you tell yourself you are going to run every Monday, Thursday and Saturday then you miss a couple because you can’t face the rubbish weather or have a friend over to visit, then you will soon start to feel as though you are failing to meet your target. If this happens it is likely you will soon lose the motivation to keep it up and so will probably stop altogether. Set goals you can stick to, to keep motivated and positive. I started, and still sticking to, my target of running a minimum once a week at a time that I can fit it in. This way, I don’t have to plan around my run and can just do it whichever day I can fit it in. Another benefit of not sticking to a specific routine is that I only run when I actually feel like it. This makes sure I actually do it rather than finding some excuse not to and ensures I keep the enthusiasm.

Get a free running app

Using an app lets you track your pace, speed, distance, course and even tells you how many calories you have burnt, which is a massive motivation spinner. I use Map My Run which is free for the iPhone and comes with a bunch of extra features including a Calorie Budget tracker that I am yet to try out.  The app can be run simultaneously to your music and you are given an update on your pace and distance every 1.6km/1 mile. I love comparing my latest run to a previous session which is great motivation to try harder to beat your own record.

Do what feels right for you

With so many racing competitions taking place and with piers sharing their latest runs on social networks it can sometimes make one feel a bit …well..inadequate. If you’re working towards a 10km race is your target then that’s great but if you are just happy running a mile once a week, then that’s fine too. My aim is just to increase my fitness, get a bit more toned and have a routine I can stick to for, hopefully, many years to come.

Jenni's signature

Ps. Do you have any tips to get into running? I would love to hear
if any of my tips help you

By Jenni Tulip

I'm a bright-haired, hill walking, magpie whispering, skull collecting, tree hugging, money saving, bird watching, happy campervanning, ferret fanatic, woodland dweller sharing my stories and passion for the outdoors to inspire you to immerse yourself in nature.