The COVID-19 pandemic has changed lifestyles across Australia. People have realised the importance of being healthy and are incorporating positive changes. Many have chosen to take up running, either as a hobby or a routine. This should come as no surprise thanks to its convenient and affordable nature. The popularity of running is evident from the boom in sales of running shoes, running socks, activewear and other fitness apparel.
More than 25% of Australians rate jogging/running as their number one exercise (with an astounding 3 million being regulars). It is one of the simplest physical recreational activities out there, and its benefits are endless. Keeping an individual fit and active also facilitates better cardiovascular health and regulates the circadian rhythm. An individual’s mental health and mood are elevated due to its therapeutic nature.
However, beginners may find it difficult to acclimatise to the strenuous demands of running. Getting into a routine and overcoming the initial hurdles are crucial. Using the right gear can help one remain comfortable and motivated. Clothes, shoes and music help personalise the running experience and accelerate progress. The advent of technology (smartwatches and fitness bands) has further improved one’s ability to track progress. While running/jogging is relatively cost-effective, it makes sense to invest in certain products.
Basic items one should equip themselves with include:
Running Shoes and Socks
Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) estimates that an alarming 70% of recreational runners sustain injuries. Problems like tendonitis, stress fractures and joint pain can be detrimental to one’s ability to run. However, 42% of these injuries could be prevented just by purchasing the appropriate footwear.
Shoes and socks designed for running improve comfort, increase grip and provide traction. They are versatile and suitable for rough terrains. It is critical to select a shoe that is durable and long-lasting as it requires higher investment. Running socks compress the calf muscles and ankles, thereby increasing circulation in the area.
This reduces tiredness, boosts recovery and prevents cramping. Some socks are also equipped with extra padding for arch and ankle support. Overall, choosing good-quality footwear can enhance running performance and prevent injuries.
Research shows that music significantly boosts athletic performance. It elevates mood and alleviates tension. Listening to peppy, energetic beats motivates an individual, thereby increasing run time. It is now quite convenient to listen to music during runs, thanks to advancements in technology.
Thousands of songs can be downloaded on mobile phones, mp3 players or iPods. Airpods and Bluetooth earphones make the experience seamless. Various music streaming applications also offer curated playlists for runners and athletes. Music is a game-changer for first-time runners.
Fitness trackers, bands and smartwatches have completely revolutionised running and athletics. People can monitor several critical aspects of a run. These include:
- Calories burnt
- Heart rate and pulse
- Distance covered
- Time spent during the run
- Steps were taken during the run
- Stopwatches to measure lap times
When synchronised with mobile applications, this data is converted into useful graphs and charts. Monitoring progress becomes simple and convenient. Beginners can see where they stand in comparison to others and take note of their improvements.
Running serves as an escape for several dreary Australians seeking refuge from the hectic urban lifestyle. Taking care of these subtle factors can enhance the activity and make it more enjoyable for first-timers. It is also pertinent to remain safe and injury-free during runs.
For information and tips on running safety, click here.