We keep coming across these wonderful photos of people running at beautiful locales and competing in marathons on Instagram and other social networking sites. Has that inspired you? Yes! Then if the truth is acknowledged the inspiration has faded fast and replaced by dread and apprehension. But if you have made up your mind or sitting on the fence, then let us help you prepare for that first run. How does running help you? · Losing the extra kilos: all that weight that you have put on being a couch potato can be shed by running that extra mile. Running unlike other forms of exercise concentrates on the whole body. You burn more calories than in the gym. · Gets you an envious body: It helps to strengthen your core and helps you lose the love handles. If you have are conscious of your legs, then get running ASAP! It helps tone your thighs, buttocks, quads, and calves. · Helps keep the doctor away: by running early morning you get ample dose of vitamin D, which builds your immunity. If you have a history of cardiac disease, stroke, osteoporosis, hypertension or diabetes in the family, then hit the track soon. Research has found that women who run, have a lesser chance of developing breast cancer. · The Happy feeling: running aids in the secretion of adrenaline- which is a positive mood-enhancing hormone, and this aids in handling stress and depression. So when you feel low, go for a run! · Makes you confident: very few things can simultaneously heal your body, mind and soul- and this feeling can help boost your confidence and make you go places. What to do before you take your first stride? 1. A good pair of running shoes: investing in a good pair of shoes, or you can injure yourself and that doesn’t mean the most expensive one. Talk to a consultant; remember your trainers aren’t immortal especially when running, so periodically keep upgrading them. 2. A perfectly fit sports bra: women runners need to invest in a good sports bra, otherwise, it can have a negative impact on your breasts. 3. Warm-up: stretch before you run, the muscles and joints need to be loosened. 4. Cool down: don’t immediately head for a shower, but do some light stretches. 5. Breathing technique: professional runners prescribe inhaling in 3 steps and exhaling in 3 steps. 6. Pace yourself: for beginners, you should alternate between walking and running, to let your body get accustomed, and as you go forward you can increase your pace. 7. Take days off: mix running with other forms of exercise like swimming, yoga, which will help your body to heal. 8. Hydration: always carry water with you, hydration is important, or your muscles will cramp. Always be mindful of your surrounding especially if you are running on the road. Along, you need to keep a check on your diet to reap the optimum results. The initial few days can be tough, but don’t GIVE UP!