Here’s what expert running coach Laura Houston had to say:
I would advise them to start with a walking program if they are completely sedentary (i.e., no other aerobic activities like biking). When they are ready to incorporate running, start with maybe a minute of running, followed by 5-10 minutes walking, and gradually build up the running time, while decreasing the walking time. Always listen to their bodies!
Laura is a certified ChiRunning Instructor, which is a type of running and walking that emphasizes minimal impact on the joints. You can find out more about what she does at her website, Feel the Run.
Laura brings up the good point that walking can be great exercise on its own. Just make sure that you’re walking at a pace that is aerobic for you. Remember from our discussion on exercise we had the other day that aerobic activity is something that gets your heart rate up, gets you breathing faster, and makes you feel warm and sweaty. I used to coach for an after-school running program for children, and we would call it “walking with purpose.”
If nothing else walking and running is a good way to get outdoors on a nice day and relax your brain a bit. The next time you’ve got nice weather where you live, give it a try!
If you want to learn more about ChiRunning, check out their website here.