Running is one of the most convenient and effective ways to achieve and maintain fitness. All you have to do to get started is lace up your sneakers and get moving.
Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned runner, you can get bored running the same path over and over again or lose your motivation to continue once you get to the two-mile mark. Here are some ways you get some pep back into your step:
- Change that tune. Tired of listening to the same running playlist? Swap it up with a podcast to engage your brain in a new way. Take your mind off how much farther you have to go and get lost in a story. Another Mother Runner is a popular weekly podcast that explores running and mothering. Need an uplifting message to jumpstart your day? Listen to The School of Greatness.
- Explore new terrain. Changing your environment can help you tackle new challenges. Trail running enhances a dull running path with beautiful scenery. Jogging up and down hills or stairs will not only help you strengthen new muscles, but also break up the monotony of a straight, flat road.
- Gamify your run. Download a smartphone app that uses your activity to tell a story or gives you a video game experience. Some popular fitness apps are Zombies, Run! and Ninja Fitness.
- It’s show time! If you’re a treadmill runner, run when your favorite TV shows are on. One study indicated that people who selected their entertainment while running on the treadmill experienced greater physical performance than those who looked at nature images.
- Step to the beat. Improve the quality of your workout by listening to music that’s motivational or synchronized with your pace. A 2006 study found that participants increased their treadmill speed and distance without becoming tired while listening to fast-paced music. On your next run, listen to a song with a strong, steady rhythm and run to the beat of the music.
- Run with friends. You don’t have to go at it alone. Join a local running group like the West Georgia Track Club or call up a friend to keep you company on a run. Running with a friend or two can help break the monotony of running alone. Having a race to prep for is also a great way to stay on track. If you have enough people to form a 2-4-person relay team, consider signing up for the Carrollton Half Marathon, which will be held Sept. 7. If you’re not up to running 13.1 miles, find a partner or a few friends, and split the distance. Each participant will receive a T-shirt, finisher’s medal and free food and drink tickets. Visit runcarrollton.com to sign up today.