How to Start Running
If you're thinking about taking up running, just know you'll be in good company--and a lot of it. It's arguably the most popular form of exercise, with about 13 million women regularly hitting the road, trail, or treadmill, according to a report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.
Most women get into it as a way to lose weight or shape up, which we totally understand: Running burns about 100 calories per mile, builds strong bones, and--contrary to popular belief about wrecking your knees--can reduce your risk for arthritis. Plus, Danish researchers found that just one and a half to two hours of slow or moderate running per week can add about six years to your life.
According to the Women's National Runner Survey, which polled more than 5,500 women, 66 percent of female runners said their running habit relieves stress, keeps them healthy, and allows them to meet personal goals and overcome challenges. (It's hard to match that "runner's high" effect you feel the first time you run for 30 minutes nonstop or cross the finish line of a race.) "Almost every time you go out there, you can accomplish something new," says Carl Leivers, a running coach in Atlanta--whether that's running an extra minute longer, tackling a hill without stopping, or just having a more positive attitude while you're hoofing it.
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