Jennifer Brownlow


If there is any advice I can give to everyone it is “get moving”. The benefits of exercise are numerous and I know I’ve mentioned them before in an article and I know I will keep talking about them in my next article. I may work for our local YMCA, but I am not focused on you having a membership to a gym. I want everyone to just move. Some of the easiest ways to get moving is a walking program. All you need is a good pair of shoes. If you love your walking program, stay with that and keep it up.

What about running? Can anyone run? Did you know that any able-bodied person can be a runner? True statement.

Here is how to get started:

1. Make sure you get clearance from your doctor.

2. Buy some good shoes that are made for your feet.

3. Start walking if you aren’t already walking.

4. Begin by adding small segments of running in your walking routine. Start with 20-30 second long segments and walk as long as you need to catch your breath again. You can run for time or you can run for distance. Then as you get more comfortable, slowly increase time or distance.

5. Go slow, doesn’t matter how slow you go or if you shuffle your feet, you are moving more than the person sitting at home on the couch. During the running portion, run at a slow conversational pace when you are first building your base.

6. Vary your surface that you run on if you can. For example gravel, track, cement, and treadmill, etc.

7. Remember to warm-up, cool-down, stretch and drink plenty of fluids.

This 10 week training is from Runner’s World. I know that sometimes having a program laid out makes it easier. For someone that is new to running, 2 minutes might seem like a lot, start with shorter times and make it fit your needs.

Start and finish each workout with 5 minutes of walking. Then alternate the following run/walk ratio for 20-30 minutes. Try this 2-3 times each week.


1. 2 minutes Run /4 minutes walk

2. 3 minutes Run/ 3 minutes walk

3. 4 minutes Run/ 2 minutes walk

4. 5 minutes Run/ 3 minutes walk

5. 7 minutes Run/ 3 minutes walk

6. 8 minutes Run/ 2 minutes walk

7. 9 minutes Run/ 1 minutes walk

8. 13 minutes Run/ 2 minutes walk

9. 14 minutes Run/ 1 minutes walk

10. Run the whole time

Speaking of running, in five short weeks, the YMCA is hosting the second annual 1 Mile Color Run, at 7 p.m. August 18. This is a great distance. It is a lot of fun and great for families. This event is downtown Columbus during Columbus Days. Registration deadline for kits is 9 a.m. August 3. Register at or come into the YMCA. Late registrations will be accepted without kits ordered. Race is made possible by sponsors including Columbus Community Hospital, PRECOR, NOVA Fitness Equipment, LifeFitness, Cybex, Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, Fit-Tech, and We Can Run, Walk and Roll 5K and 1 mile run.

Jennifer Brownlow is Wellness Director at the Columbus Family YMCA.


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