We have all heard the phrase ‘Exercise is medicine’ a thousand times, but when it comes to running, this is really true. In fact, scientific research proves that going for a run several times a week has health benefits that extend well beyond any medicine a doctor could prescribe. While you probably know that running can help prevent obesity, you should keep in mind that it can also prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, various type of cancer, as well as improve the quality of your emotional and mental life. Believe it or not, it also strengthens your knees and other joints keep you sharper and add years to your life. Since running can be beneficial to your overall well-being, incorporating it into your daily routine might be the best decision you’ve ever made. However, making excuses is always easier than actually putting on your sneakers and hitting the pavement. Maybe you are just too busy, you feel tired or just not motivated enough to get some home exercise. Whatever your case is, use these strategies to incorporate running into your daily schedule and improve the quality of your life in a simple yet effective way.

 

Set realistic goals

You need to realize that you won’t be able to complete a marathon your first day and you surely won’t see any results quickly. When it comes to running, you need to set realistic goals, take small steps, gradually increase your distance and push your speed without overdoing it. This is the best way to see lasting results.

Find the right equipment

People say that you only need shoes to start running. Of course, there is some truth to it since wearing the wrong pair of running shoes can cause serious injuries. However, once you found the perfect kicks, you might want to add a few other essential pieces of gear to your closet in order to make the run more comfortable. Friction-free pair of shorts, performance socks, and sweat-wicking tops are just some pieces of equipment you will find useful. In addition, running waist packs are not just in style right now, but they are very convenient since in this tiny bag you can place your keys, wallet, phone, and other nick-nacks while you are exercising.

 

Use the stairs

Do you live in a building with an elevator, and you use the stairs only when it’s broken? Well, from now on pretend that your elevator is always out of order and instead run up or down the stairs. This is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn those extra calories. So, whenever you have the opportunity to use the stairs, whether in the subway, at work, the mall or at home, just do it.

 

Leave your car in the garage

You are probably already sitting in front of your desk for eight hours a day, so why should you spend the rest of it sitting in your car? Instead of driving to work, consider running from your home to your office if possible. You can always clean up and change your clothes when you get to work, but if you are worried

that you won’t be able to get rid of that workout smell with a couple of wet wipes, run home instead. At the end of the day, change into your sweatshirt and get the exercise you need on your way home.

 

Get a running buddy

We all have those days when we just don’t feel like exercising at all. However, if you have a workout buddy, every time you try to talk yourself out of running, you won’t only be letting yourself down but also your friend. This will give you the motivation you need and prevent you from steering off course.

 

Get a treadmill

Running on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day doesn’t necessarily mean gazing at an empty wall for half an hour. You probably have a favorite TV show you watch every day, so why not place your treadmill in front of the television and get your daily exercise while watching it. Trust me, those 30 minutes will just fly by when you are having fun and you won’t even pay attention to how sore or tired you are.

 

Run with your dog

Just like humans, dogs need to get their daily exercise as well. So next time you are taking Rover for a walk, start with a brisk walk and then gradually move up to jogging. This way both you and your pet will get in shape in a short amount of time.

Running for even just a few minutes a day may benefit your health. However, if you are worried about whether it’s safe for you to start running, talk to your doctor. They can recommend a program that’s appropriate for your age and fitness level.