Running for Health
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Is running a sport for all people?
Running is definitely a sport with many benefits. It not only improves physical fitness, but also strengthens cardiopulmonary function. It is also one of the building blocks for most sports. However, if you are suffering from disease or having some health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, joint problems or symptoms of chest pain and dizziness, you should consult a doctor and other medical professional before taking up running or other physical activities.
- Is running good for children?
Running is good for children, but only if attention is paid to the following points:
- Emphasis should be put on enjoying running and training willpower rather than attaining a certain duration or speed
- Increase the duration and distance gradually
- Children should not engage in professional training at too early a stage
- Long distance training or excessive special training is not suitable for children
- Children should avoid running on hard surface or rough and uneven mountain path for a long time. A running track at sports grounds or a jogging trail in park is more suitable
- How to develop a habit of running and make it a part of your daily routine in order to lead a healthy lifestyle?
- Invite your friends and family members to join you
- Switch to another activity (X) from time to time, so as to increase the variety of activities and prevent causing strain to muscles and joints by repetitive movements. This practice will not only increase the amount of physical activity, but also allow for active rest. Activity X may be cycling, hiking or training with fitness equipment. For triathlon enthusiasts, activity X may be roller skating. For running beginners, activity X may be swimming or gardening
(Activity X also known as “Cross Training”)
- Build regular rest days into your schedule. Take a rest day after running for a maximum of 3 days in a row. For beginners, 2 to 3 rest days are needed. You may do stretching exercises or engage in activity X on rest days
- Devise a running plan and keep a training diary. Jot down the date, time, place, weather, distance, your mood, training method and results. Sometimes you may also make a record of your body weight, blood pressure and heart rate in order to assess the changes after continuous practice
- Participate in competitions that suit your physical fitness level and take them as your short-term or long-term goals. This will help you be more committed to your regular practice and build running into your daily routine
- Set short-term or sectional training targets. Very long-term targets may cause you to give up easily. The achievement of periodic targets can give you a greater sense of success, boost your confidence and give you the impetus to continue with your training
- Reward yourself. After achieving your targets, give yourself some rewards as encouragement to work towards the next target
- Tell your friends or family members your training plan. They can help monitor your progress and give you support
- What type of race should be targeted for beginners?
It would be better for beginners to opt for a road race held on relatively flat and even roads as the course requires less physical energy and is easier for them to finish. Races on uneven roads with steep slopes may cause injuries to runners whose thigh muscles are not strong enough. Although race courses in the hills and countryside usually come with beautiful landscape, gravel paths may easily lead to injuries. Runners should also choose to compete in cooler seasons such as early spring or late autumn. Hot summer or severe winter days should be avoided as hot weather may cause body dehydration while extreme cold weather will lower the body temperature, leading to faster consumption of physical energy.
- How to choose running shoes?
If you are running for leisure or health, the durability, comfort and protection of running shoes should be your prime considerations. A pair of sports shoes which fit well and offer good protection and shock absorption can reduce the impact when your feet hit the ground, and thus help prevent sports injuries and protect your feet and ankles. Other requirements include shoe uppers made of breathable and quick-dry materials, heels offering stability and good shock absorption, and toe boxes made of soft material.
- How much energy will be burned on a run?
The amount of energy expended on a run is determined by factors such as the intensity of the run, personal physical fitness, skill level, age, gender, body weight and exercise duration. For ordinary people running for 30 minutes (on flat and even surface) at a speed of 8 kilometers per hour, the approximate amounts of calories burned are as follows:
|Energy burned every 30 minutes
My Training Dairy
- For information on the programmes of “Long Distance Running”, please visit the website of Community Recreation and Sports Programmes of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).
- For details about the “Healthy Exercise for All Campaign”, please call the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) 24-hour Customer Hotline at 2414 5555 (This hotline is handled by “1823”) or visit the website of LCSD at www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/healthy
- For more information on health, please call the Health Education Infoline of the Department of Health at 2833 0111 or visit the website of Centre for Health Protection at www.chp.gov.hk.
- For enquiries about training or competitions for running, please call the Hong Kong Association of Athletics Affiliates at 2504 8215 or visit the website of association at www.hkaaa.com/en
- For information on running as an exercise prescription, please contact the Physical Fitness Association of Hong Kong, China at 2838 9594 or visit the website of association at www.hkpfa.org.hk.
Hong Kong Association of Athletics Affiliates
Physical Fitness Association of Hong Kong, China