If you think running is not for you- think again. If you’re reading this, then there’s a small part inside you that says, “I think I can do this. I want to do this.” No matter your age or fitness level there’s a place to start for everyone.

The tips we share today are general tips and will give you some good insight to get you going, but remember the importance of building a support team to monitor you as you go. We don’t mean your mom, your brother, or your co-worker- although they are great cheerleaders to have supporting you through. Instead consider your doctor and a physical therapist as two key players on your team to keep you focused and healthy.

Visit Your Doctor

This should go without saying. Before you start any workout routine or make a health decision, talk to the person that knows you best. That would be your doctor. Talk to them about what you’re plan is, your end goal(s), and work with your doctor to create a plan.

Visit a Physical Therapist

Having a Physical Therapist (PT) on your team is a great choice. One of their main purposes is to teach you how to prevent injury, not just treat you after an injury. Imagine having an expert show you the proper stretching techniques and exercises to prevent you frominjury. Having access to this information ahead of time, and learning to listen to your body are both key elements in helping you attain your final goals.

Keep a Running Log

Tracking your progress is vital. Tracking allows you to see where you are succeeding, what you need to change, and can serve as the motivation you need to keep improving. Not only can it tracking assist in motivation, it can assist you in ramping up too quickly. Tracking your workouts is easier than ever with all the fitness trackers that are on the market. Pick one, attach it to yourself, and go!

Listen to Your Body

Your doctor will say this to you, and your PT will say this as well. Your body is just like a car, if it starts to sound funny, it’s time to take a look under the hood. Any aches, pains, and especially pain over several days, needs to be addressed. Be sure not to push yourself to hard because that only heightens the risk of injury. “No Pain, No Gain,” is not a phrase you should live by.

Balance Exercise and Diet

We’re not advocating for you to join the latest diet craze, but instead use the term diet to mean “food” in general. As they say, you are what you ear.When you eat healthy food, you will notice that your performance will increase. The two go hand in hand and play a large role in your success.

Set Goals

Did you set goals? You should have, because that’s how you’re measuring your success. All that data you’re tracking needs to be applied to something. So review your goals with your doctor and your PT, and put them up somewhere so that they are constant reminders of what you are doing and why you are doing it.

You’re Going to Have Bad Days, Maybe Even Bad Weeks

Life happens, and we’d hate for you to beat yourself up for it. We can’t see the future, we can only hope that things go smoothly and all your effort makes for great results. But things happen, and WHEN they do, forgive yourself. Some days you won’t run your best. Maybe you were tied up at work and couldn’t make it out. Maybe you went out with friends and didn’t eat well. It’s okay, measure yourself by how focused you are by getting back on track.