If you’ve always wanted to try running but still haven’t given it a go, maybe this will convince you: When researchers studied the long-term effects of running on 55,137 adults age 18 to 100 they found that persistent runners had a 29 percent lower risk of mortality compared to non-runners, and that all runners experience about a three-year boost in life expectancy.
And this isn’t just a wellness reward for the super fit—runners had a lower risk of death even if they ran the least mileage (under six miles a week), ran the least often (one to two times a week), ran for the shortest durations (5 to 10 minutes a day), or at the slowest speeds (under six miles an hour).
No one is expecting you to go from walking to running for 10 minutes straight (that’s unrealistic and unsafe), but that doesn’t mean you can’t get there—and do more!—if you ramp up slowly. So for now forget about running your first marathon, half-marathon, or even your first 5K and just concentrate on running your first full, uninterrupted mile. This 30-day plan will get you to the finish line.
How to Start Running
The plan below is designed to ease you into running and culminates with a 12-minute mile. That said, if you hit your goal distance (1 mile or 4 full laps of a standard outdoor track) before the 30 days are up, that’s OK too. Great, even! Just keep going and see how far you’re able to run on the final day without stopping. Remember to consult your doctor before starting any new health or fitness plans (including this one!) and don’t forget to warm up before every session.
On your marks. Get set. Go!
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.