Starting a running program is a great way to ease into exercise and jump start your fitness. If done properly, you can prevent overuse injuries by slowly increasing your mileage. Here are five benefits of starting a running program:


1. Weight loss

We all know that to lose weight it’s important to exercise. By adding 30-60 mins of moderate exercise three times per week, you will boost your metabolism which will ultimately help get rid of that unwanted belly fat. To maximize weight loss, try reducing your caloric intake by 200-300 calories per day and make sure to eat plenty of vegetables and protein.


2. Increased energy

Running increases blood flow which carries oxygen to muscles. This allows them to produce more energy keeping you more alert throughout the day. It also stimulates chemicals in your body to keep you awake. Instead of drinking a cup of coffee, try going for a 20-30 min morning or lunchtime run to wake you up.


3. Improved mood

Besides giving you more confidence in the way you look, the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion found that exercising 30-60 mins per day three times per week increases endorphins (Dopamine and Serotonin) in the body which helps make you feel happier. This can help reduce anxiety and depression.


4. Better sleep

There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep after a hard run. Research shows that people who perform 150 mins of exercise per week get a more restful night’s sleep. Rest is an extremely important, and often overlooked, component of a well-balanced exercise program. Eight hours of sleep will improve your metabolism and help your body recover from your training program so that you are refreshed and ready for your next run.


5. Progress to a more advanced exercise routine

If running a marathon seems like a daunting task, starting an easy running program of one to two miles a few times per week can help give you the confidence to increase your running frequency, speed and overall time running. Before you know it, that marathon that seemed impossible may just sound like your next bucket list item to tackle!


If you’re interested in easing into a new running program, the Foothills Running Group may be the place for you. Join us on Saturday, August 25th at 7 am at FAST Ahwatukee for an informational meeting and fun run. Learn more here.

Here at Foothills, mid to late August means one thing—the kick off of the Foothills Running Group. It’s no secret that running is one of the most beneficial activities that you can do for your health, but can also be the most dreaded task for many weekend warriors. We’re sharing three tips to help you reach your goal of running your first 5k.

Tip #1: Creating a Support System

If you’re one that needs a little accountability to get you started, join the Foothills Running Group. It’s a 16 week running program that’s open to walkers and runners of all abilities, with weekly speed workouts, Saturday morning runs and more. Not to mention, it’s a great way to meet like-minded members of the community and chances are you’ll find a new fitness friend to help you stay accountable.

Tip #2: Sign up for a 5k

Nothing will motivate you more than signing up for your very first 5k. Once you’ve found the 5k for you, tell your friends and family about it. Now that you have a deadline, you’ll be more motivated to train in order to accomplish your goal!

Tip #3: Cross Train to Prepare for Your First 5k

By planning and preparing for your first 5k, you can run comfortably to the finish line. Start with a slow build up and easy pace, and soon enough your body will adapt to running the 3.1 miles. We also recommend cross training such as strength training, swimming or cycling. If you’re signed up for the Foothills Running Group, you’ll gain access to 1 free FAST group fitness class a week, which is the perfect way to break up your running routine.

Ready to confidently lace up your running shoes? There’s still time to join the 2017 Foothills Running Group and achieve your first 5k finish. Learn more here and happy running!