By: Mark Myers
You’ve been on the fence for awhile, but you finally decided to commit to better health and fitness. Walking or running seem like the logical approach to the new venture, but you’re not sure how and where to start this journey. As a first step I would recommend getting involved with a walking/running group in or close to your community.
Getting plugged into a local group is beneficial for several reasons, whether your new to the activity or someone returning. If you are just starting out, chances are that you will not be the only newbie and will be joined by other people who are on the same level of experience. You will also reap the benefits of having others to encourage you and progress along with you. Also there will be a more structured training schedule that will help you move forward at the same rate with others with a common goal in mind. That final goal is usually an upcoming race that everyone is training to compete in so that you will know several of the people there to share in the fun and fellowship of completing this journey.
With a healthy group of walkers and runners you will find several different levels of ability. From the beginner to the experienced, and from the 5k to the marathon runner. This will be of a great benefit to you as a beginner since this will be a huge resource of knowledge and experience . Your fellow members will gladly share of their experience of both the triumphs and struggles they have faced. With this resource to draw on hopefully you will be able to avoid problems that they have experienced. Also in a group, you should be able to find a smaller group of people who will be running at other times that will fit your family and work schedule. This group will probably become good friends over time that will come along with you during walking and running career. As time goes on you will become one of those people you were going to for advice and you will get to help develop runners and new runnning groups.
Find a local group in your area to connect with. They will be able to help you go down the road as a runner or walker. The biggest benefit of joining the local group is friendship and fellowship. It is this that will help make walking or running and enjoyable and lifelong activity. The Joplin Family YMCA, the official training partner of the Joplin Memorial Marathon, has several running groups including an Anyone Can Run class that is perfect for beginning runners. For more information about these class and other option please contact them at 417.781.YMCA.
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