I remember my first ‘run’ vividly.
I was not nervous, I was not worried, I was excited.
I knew how to run. When I was younger, I ran cross country. I was practically there to make up the numbers because I never placed in the top 10. Nonetheless I was still out there. In my teens I would referee 3 x 90 min matches. So I was fairly fit.
That was all a long time ago as I was soon to discover.
Fast forward from my teens and there I was ready to set foot on the pavement again. I put one foot in front of the other and started to run. That lasted for all of one minute. My body was crying out in pain! In agony! My chest tightened, my legs froze and I could hardly breathe.
I stumbled to a park bench and sat down, shattered. My pride was hurt. How did I get into this state? It seemed like only a few weeks ago that I was fit and agile.
The diagnosis was simple. I was 70 pounds overweight and had not exercised for at least 15 years. In my mind I was that skinny Shane from yester year who could run 6 miles and smile throughout. Whilst my mind was fit, my body was not going to go along with it. All those beers, kebabs, chocolates, cheeses, and the constant overeating during my 20s and 30s had made their mark.
I was overweight and unless I did something about it I was going to die early. I walked home that day, totally dejected. Defeated. Embarrassed. I knew that now was the time I had to act.
That day changed my life. I went on to run three half marathons (13.1 miles each.) and lose the 70 pounds.
All of us who have transformed our lives through juicing and exercise experienced a similar life changing experience.
I’m sharing a series of articles in the coming months that will walk you through the steps I took to get fit again and drop all that excess fat. Here are my first tips to help you on your way to get fit and healthy and ready to work out:
1.) See your doctor.
Before anyone, regardless of weight or perceived fitness-level, you should take care to be aware of any underlying health issues you may have that you don’t know about. If you have heart-disease in your family then take a stress test and be sure you are ready for cardio fitness.
I was such an idiot, I went straight out there without being checked by a doctor. Had I tried to keep running through the pain barrier who knows what may have happened?
I was caught in the excitement and just decided one day to get out there. Not cool. Please do not make this mistake.
2.) Lean into exercise.
It is far better to gradually ease yourself into exercise. Do not put pressure on yourself by giving yourself tough goals. There is a lot of psychology involved in exercising. Lets say you have never run before and you decide to run 3 miles.
Half a mile in and you are feeling physically sick. Ten minutes later your chest feels tight, a few moments later you feel a nasty jarring pain in your calf…So you finish the 3 miles and you are in a bad way. Not only have you risked injury, you have made it harder on yourself to go out and run next time. Why? You have created a negative association with the exercise and many people can’t go back to it. I am sure you have friends that spend a fortune on training gear and gadgets who only use them once.
I realized I had to start from the very beginning so I tried a program called ‘Couch Potato to 5k’. This is an 8 week program that is designed to get you off the couch and running 3 miles non stop. This regimen is set up to gradually get you running.
For example the first session asks for a ‘brisk 5 minute warm up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
The mixing of running and walking really does work. This was my very first session and I went on to run thousands of miles in training. It works if you take it slow and gradual. Angela at http://www.RunningonJuice.com also started with this program and she went on to lose 80 pounds and run two half marathons.
It is the power of the lean.
In the next installment I will walk you through the next two proven steps to being able to exercise and attain a good level of fitness.