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Before I start ranting, I'll just put the question here: What are some tips for someone who has never been into running, and is fat? How should I start out?

Will walking on the elliptical machine be a good start or can I just start running?

Are breathing techniques really that important?

So, I have been on weight watchers for about 2 months (I need to lose a ton of weight) and I've only lost 14 pounds so far. I'm happy with that accomplishment, but I know that I could have lost more if I had been exercising regularly. When school starts, I'll be back in New York, where I can walk around more without putting any extra effort into things. Here, things are very different, you need a car to get around reasonably. That's no excuse for not exercising, but its a lot harder opposed to the environment I'm in when I'm in New York. This is just *my* personal experience and opinion.

I've never really been turned on by the idea of running, but I realize that it would help me lose weight and that incorporating it into my lifestyle means lots of health benefits. I read somewhere that the lifestyle of elderly runners in a study helped push off physical burdens of ageing by 16 years, in comparsion to elderly people who didnt run. Thats a huge deal. I'm not elderly (I'm 21 lol) but still, thats something that I am concerned about. My own parents are very young looking, attractive, wrinkle-free, and at very good weights at age 48 (not elderly, i know) but there are a few people in my family who are just so unhealthy at the same age and you can see the difference...I just dont want to be like that. I want to look like my parents do at that age. Yes, looks are a huge part of this for me, but health is important as well. I'm sure aging well is partly genetics but i know that if i continue treating my body like crap, its going to backfire. Well, it already has (im fat...lol) but you know what I mean.
 

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I just started the Couch to 5K program...there's a thread in this section of the forum. You do running/walking intervals and gradually increase your running time. Day 1 was run for 1 minute, walk for a minute and a half (6 times).
I've never gone running and I haven't even ran since PE my junior year of high school (6 years ago...) and I completed week 1 without dying


I hope other people chime in! I want to know about breathing techniques too.
 

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Congrats on losing weight, 14 lbs in 2 months is great!!!

You are right about needing to exercise, it is essential to effective weight loss and also feeling good in general.

Running is great, however there are lots of activities to try out too: swimming, cycling, yoga, trampoline, jump rope, aerobics class, boxing...
I suggest trying out a variety of activities at first to see which ones you really like doing. some people hate swimming but they love jumping rope, both will give a good cardio workout it best to do the ones you really enjoy


As for running, i luv it bc you don't really need much and you can just do it. elliptical is good for running but the treadmill is better
start off at a steady jog or brisk walk to warm up, then set a time goal or distance goal and work towards that at a pace you are comfortable at ( a slow jog is still fine). be sure to take a walk after to cool down. another option is intervals, use a timer or distance markers to go faster or slower, like walk for 2 minutes then jog for 3 minutes, or walk to the corner then jog to the stop sign (or whatever markers you set).
The first few days of running are the toughest, just know that once you get past that it will get much easier and you will be able to go faster and further.
 

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I got myself an online running buddy, and we are doing this: http://www.halhigdon.com/beginrunner/plan.htm
We started at the beginning of August. I got to 15 jogging intervals in two weeks, two weeks ahead of my goal. Believe me, if I can you can. I am recovering from either mononucleosis or chronic fatigue or extreme adrenal shutdown, I don't know which, (or maybe all three) and I have been a dedicated couch potato for most of my life. Not sure what's gotten into me, but I knew I couldn't go on as I was for much longer.

I'll be switching to this in September: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

Good luck! You can do it!
 

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The hardest part is putting your shoes on, getting out the door and forming the habit to do so again a day or so later.

If you are inexperienced I would have a time on your calendar to go for a twenty minute walk each day. When you are doing that consistently, think about what's next.

Stay away from "beginning programs" on the Internet - learn to cultivate consistency and enjoy being outside and things will naturally progress.
 

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I agree that the Couch to 5K program, which ChiKat and SomebodyElse (coolrunning website) mentioned, is a great way to start. If you find that it's too much for you, you can either repeat the first week until you're ready, or even stick to walking at first, like you mentioned. But you want to push yourself, at least a little, to improve - I realize you know that, or you wouldn't be asking this
But what I mean by that is if you did, say, the Couch to 5K program and the first week was hard but doable, you don't keep repeating it waiting for it to be easy before moving on to the next week. That's not what I'm suggesting. I just mean if it's beyond what you're physically capable of doing, then maybe take it slower. You can really adjust things however you feel. But I've heard a lot of good things about that program, and before I moved, I followed it for a bit with pretty good results.

As for breathing techniques... I don't know much about that and running, sorry!

Good luck, and let us know how things go!
 

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I don't know if you'd call this a technique really... I tend to breathe on a rhythm based on my pace which usually ends up being 2 paces to breathe in and 2 to breathe out once I get going. Really just make sure you're taking in air, it's not much more complicated than that. If you aren't used to exercising in general, especially aerobic conditioning, it's gonna be uncomfortable at first. Breathing improves with conditioning just as muscles improve with resistance training though, the more you do it the better it gets. The efficiency with which your body utilizes oxygen will actually improve over time, allowing you to make better use of it. The broad term for this is VO2 max, and it will improve over time, as will your overall comfort level as you get used to the feeling of exerting yourself for long periods of time.

If you have problems with phlem or mucous coming up once you start getting winded, which can make breathing on a rhythm kind of frustrating, you might try adding a little lemon to your water, or even a very small amount of salt (don't overdo the salt or it will negate the purpose of the water
).
 
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