Have you started running to lose weight? Good for you, but beware. A lot of newbies quit running within 6 to 12 weeks, and the #1 reason is injuries. So, here are the most common excuses people use to stop running - and how to avoid them - courtesy of Prevention magazine:

  • The first excuse: Your knees hurt. Your body’s not designed to land on your heel when you run. Even with cushy shoes, the impact travels straight to your knees, and can cause tendinitis. The fix: Shorten your stride. Experts say a shorter stride helps you land on the middle of your foot, which maximizes your body’s natural shock absorbers and helps protect your knees.
  • Another excuse for not running: You keep getting blisters. Hal Higdon is the author of Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He says your feet can increase a size-and-a-half when you run, because fluids pool in your feet, and make them swell. So buy running shoes in the afternoon - and make sure to get your feet measured.
  • Another excuse for not running: It’s too hard. Researchers at the University of Nevada found that exercisers who said encouraging phrases aloud ran faster and felt better afterwards. So, before you run, tell yourself: “I’m stronger than I think” or “I’m the Energizer Bunny.” It may sound goofy, but it’s scientifically proven.
  • The final reason people stop running: I’m always out of breath. The newer you are to running, the less efficient your body is at converting oxygen to energy, which means, you need to take bigger, more frequent breaths. The fix: Slow down, and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. It’s the most efficient way to get oxygen.

So, now that we’ve dealt with the excuses, what can inspire you to keep running? Eating the right foods!

  • Like sweet potatoes. They contain complex carbs that provide long-lasting energy, and replace crucial energy-boosting vitamins and minerals that runners lose through sweating.
  • Finally, running can damage muscles. So eat oranges – which are high in Vitamin C – and eggs – which are packed with protein – to help your muscles heal faster.