30 Days of Running promotes a shift toward better healthA new health movement aimed at getting people off the couch and pursuing a more active lifestyle is set to sweep through Grand Forks this June. The movement, called 30 Days of Running, encourages residents to get up and run or walk every day next month and is being led by Altru Health System.
By: Brandi Jewett, Grand Forks Herald
A new health movement aimed at getting people off the couch and pursuing a more active lifestyle is set to sweep through Grand Forks this June.
The movement, called 30 Days of Running, encourages residents to get up and run or walk every day next month and is being led by Altru Health System.
It doesn’t matter if the participants run marathons or have never stepped foot on a treadmill, according to Altru spokeswoman Lindsey Reznicek. She said the movement is focused on getting people excited about being active and healthy.
“If you get up off the couch, you’re already a step ahead of the person that’s still sitting,” she said.
Participants are encouraged to share their progress with 30 Days of Running’s social media accounts. Completing the initiative’s challenges such as Two-Mile Tuesday could win them prizes as well.
Altru and several community partners also have teamed up to provide runners of all skill levels with opportunities to improve their performance throughout June.
Before you lace up your shoes and hit the pavement for 30 Days of Running, health experts say you should do a few things to prepare yourself.
Visiting with a doctor before you start your new exercise routine is important, Altru spokeswoman Annie Berge said.
A checkup can be a good idea, especially if you have a history of breathing and heart problems, weight issues or are 40 years old and older.
If you’ve been cleared for running, the next step can be undergoing a gait analysis. Gait, or how you move when running or walking, varies from person to person.
An analysis consists of running on a treadmill while being videotaped, according to Heidi Panos. Panos is supervisor of the Sanny and Jerry Ryan Center for Prevention and Genetics at Choice Health and Fitness in Grand Forks.
The video allows staff to identify problem areas such as bad form or weakness in certain muscle groups. Staff can then make recommendations for improvement and track patients’ progress.
“It’s a great starting point,” Panos said. “We can help them develop a training plan and curb future issues.”
The analyses can identify bad habits in experienced runners as well.
Feet and food
Your gait isn’t the only thing that may need an examination. Finding the right type of running shoe could be the key to preventing foot and leg injuries.
Footwear analyses also are offered by the center. An analysis can determine how someone’s feet hit the ground and provide recommendations for shoes, inserts and orthotics.
“Most shoes are made for the average foot,” Panos said. People with flat feet or high arches are typically the ones in need of special footwear, she added.
In addition to acquiring new shoes and exercise routines, some may consider adopting a new diet. Classes for “eating to run” will be offered by the center this summer and will focus on types of food that are beneficial to runners.
The center is offering the analyses and classes for free to the public during June. To make an appointment or sign up for a class, call (701) 732-7620.
Once you’re ready to run, advanced runners say to start off easy and don’t go too fast.
Running too fast is the most common mistake new runners make, said Jim Lindlauf, leader of a beginners running group in Grand Forks. Instead, Lindlauf, 49, suggested walking briskly for 30 minutes to ensure your body can handle the change in activity.
From there, beginners should mix running and walking, gradually working up to running for 30 minutes straight, which can take 10 to 15 weeks.
To be sure you’re not going too fast while running, try the talk test.
“If you can carry on a conversation without gasping that’s good,” Lindlauf said.
Staying on track is the next step. One thing that can make this easier is having a place to run inside and outside.
“You don’t want to have to put off a scheduled run because it’s raining,” Lindlauf said.
Grabbing a friend or joining a group also will help keep beginners motivated. Lindlauf has been a runner for four years and is a member of the Red River Runners. He said the group was great for keeping him on track and a great source of knowledge.
Once new runners have conquered the basics, Lindlauf said they can expect to see weight loss, stamina improvement and more self esteem.
“They are proud of themselves” he said. “You can see it in their faces.”
Call Jewett at (701) 780-1108; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1108; or send email to email@example.com.