Ready to get in shape? It’s as easy as lacing up your sneakers and walking out your front door. With so many recreational trails around the Tampa Bay area, it’s also a great excuse to explore your town.
Here are 10 effective tips for walking or running:
1. Stride right –If you have an irregular gait, your movements will cost more energy. Keep tall, don’t slump over and utilize the foot’s natural spring mechanism.
2. Set goals – Strap on your pedometer or Fitbit and set a goal of how many steps you want to take. Don’t stop until you reach it.
3. Find a buddy – Walking and running doesn’t have to be a solitary activity, get your family and friends involved. Knowing you have to meet someone will motivate you to get out the door.
4. Move to the beat – Update your playlist with some songs that will pump you up for your workout. Upbeat tunes may even get your body moving faster.
5. Keep your abs tight - Engaging your core can cut your risk of injury. Add some additional toning by walking or running up hills.
6. Go exploring – Set your mileage goals by hitting one of the many trails around the Bay area including the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, Flatwoods Wilderness Park or Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail.
7. Rest easy – Resting days are important. It gives your muscles time to recover. Without rest days, you’ll see little improvement.
8. How to train – Prepare for a race by searching online for a training program. Many health and running websites have day-by-day training schedules for different levels and distances.
9. Invest in good shoes – Make sure your shoes fit well. They should be lightweight and have arch support. Many runners find they need to go up a size, so going to a specialty store might be worth the investment.
10. Stretch and flex – After walking or running, gently stretch your muscles. Stretching will increase flexibility and improve the range of motion in your joints.
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