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How to Make the Start of Running Season Less Painful

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If the thought of running makes you feel a little sick, you're not alone. Even the most experienced runners need to continuously push themselves to go farther and faster. Running is all about building endurance - it's impractical for a beginner to wake up one day and be ready to complete a marathon unscathed. So, if you're just starting to branch into the world of cardio, have no fear. Take baby steps - and keep these tips for a more comfortable run in your back pocket.

Start Slowly
It's unlikely that you're going to tie up your laces and finish a 5K if you've never jogged a day in your life. It's much more practical - and better on your muscles and joints - if you start slowly. Try incorporating a few minutes of running into your daily walk. If the weather or your schedule keeps you indoors, sign up for a gym and alternate between walking and running on a treadmill. After a few weeks, kick up the intensity so you're running more than you're walking. You'll be an avid runner in no time! 

Be in Tune with Your Body
You should continuously push yourself to run longer and faster, but this doesn't mean you should ignore pain. Certain types of discomfort are serious, and you should take note of anything that's out of the ordinary. If you have sharp pain anywhere in your body, stop running and talk to your physician. Chest tightness, as well as any pain that causes you to walk or run differently, should also be discussed with your doctor.

Make sure you're properly stretching before and after your runs.Make sure you're properly stretching before and after your runs.

Stretch Often
Stretching is one of the most overlooked parts of a person's workout. Preparing your joints and muscles for exercise and stretching them out afterward is extremely important for a few reasons. First, reserving a few minutes for a warmup and cooldown can loosen muscles and reduce next day soreness and tightness. Second, it can help prevent injury. You're more likely to experience discomfort when you're tense and not properly eased into a workout.

Stay Hydrated
Any time you're sweating, you should be drinking water. It's important to replace the water you sweat out - otherwise, you could get dehydrated. Drink water before, during and after physical activity to keep healthy and hydrated.

Load up on fruits and vegetables to fuel your workout.Load up on fruits and vegetables to fuel your workout.

Maintain a Healthy Diet
Even though you're getting regular cardio, it doesn't mean you should load up on junk food. Be good to your body and maintain a well-balanced diet full of fruit, vegetables and protein. When you eat healthy foods, you feel better - and that makes your runs that much more enjoyable.

Soothe Sore Muscles and Joints
Sometimes, no matter how well you stretch or slowly you ease into a run, your muscles and joints can get sore. Ease the discomfort with heat and ice therapy. Use the Body Shaped Heating Pad with Hot & Cold Pack to bring heat or cold to any part of your body. It has a Velcro strap for added convenience. After all, you can't let the pain of running confine you to the couch!

Get Excited
Staying active is much less dreadful if you mentally prepare for it. View running for what it is - a healthy activity that's great for your overall well-being. Do whatever you have to do to stay motivated. Buy fun sneakers and workout clothes that get you excited to prepare for a long run. Read fitness magazines and follow bloggers who write about their healthy lifestyles. There are plenty of sources of inspiration to follow for motivation to put on your sneakers and get outside!