With the warmer weather here most people either want to take their workout outside or have the desire to start working out to slim down for summer. This is the time of year many people decide to start running. Running has so many health benefits including weight loss, lowering blood pressure, positive mood, strengthening your immune system, stress relief and more.

If you are just starting out running here are a few tips to get started and avoid injury.

1. Start slow with a combination of running and walking. One of the biggest mistakes new runners make is running too fast for too long. Their body feels good as they are doing it so they continue – but this can lead to strains, tears, or a knee injury. When starting out follow a 2:1 ratio for walking to running.

2. Shoes are important! You don’t need any fancy gear to start running but don’t skimp on your shoes. Old or worn-out shoes can lead to injury. When selecting a good pair of shoes it’s important to visit a store that specializes in running or fitness to have your feet properly measured and find the right shoe.

3. Where to start? A treadmill can be a good place to start out for new runners as it offers more cushion compared to pavement. Plus you can start to build a rhythm with varying speed and incline to help start building stamina and confidence. Don’t have access to a treadmill? Another good option for starting out is on a track. Most tracks are 400 meters around, so four laps is roughly equivalent to one mile. If this is not an option, you can start out on either a trail or hitting the pavement.

4. Make a plan. When you first start out being consistent with running can be challenge to maintain. Running coaches recommend that you train your brain – develop an energizing playlist to listen to while you run, make a routine for when you both start and finish your run and try to run at the same time every day.