Running for beginners: Health benefits and training tips

Improving endurance, achieving new record times, promoting health, or simply leaving everyday life behind for a few minutes – every runner sets their own goals and finds motivation in different ways. Whether you are a beginner or looking for new challenges, running offers the right training for every age and fitness level. In this guide, you will find out about the health benefits of the different running sports such as walking, Nordic walking and jogging or running.

Why is running healthy? – Benefits of running

When you run, you get regular exercise and fresh air, which can have numerous positive effects on your physical health and well-being: Whether walking, jogging, or running – the speed and intensity of the training is not essential to feeling an improvement in your overall health.

Staying healthy with running and jogging

Jogging and running help you stay fit. Running is considered a true all-rounder when it comes to promoting and maintaining good health. Even moderate running training can help you maintain a healthy weight, increase your fitness, and prevent health issues that can arise from lack of exercise.

With any form of training, however, it is important that you do not overload yourself and that you give your body enough time to recover. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t exercised for a long time or if you are a little older: with a gentle introduction to training, you can benefit from the following health advantages at any age and fitness level:

  • Running strengthens bones, tendons, and ligaments. The repetitive stress of running stimulates bone formation and increases bone density. The risk of developing osteoporosis or osteoarthritis can be reduced through regular running training.
  • The cardiovascular system is stimulated. Running stimulates blood circulation and increases oxygen intake. This strengthens your heart and keeps your blood vessels elastic, which can prevent heart disease.
  • Endurance training strengthens the respiratory muscles, which increases lung volume and in turn, function. This means more oxygen can be taken in with one breath, which increases oxygen supply to your body.
  • Your immune system is strengthened, especially if, in addition to exercising in the fresh air, you also pay attention to a healthy diet and recovery phases after exercise.
Staying healthy with jogging - Woman ties her running shoes.

Why walking and Nordic walking are healthy

Compared to jogging and running, walking and Nordic walking are low-impact forms of exercise. This means that the training is associated with a lower load and is, therefore, gentler on the body.

People that are new to running, older people, or people with joint or bone diseases such as arthritis or osteoporosis may prefer to start walking as it’s easier on the body. Runners who have had a sports injury find walking or Nordic walking a gentle way to get back into the sport. Walking and Nordic walking also strengthen the cardiovascular system and the immune system, in addition to the following health benefits:

  • Improved posture and balance.
  • Tension in the body can be released through gentle, steady training.
  • The muscles are strengthened while at the same time bones and joints are relieved.
  • The use of Nordic walking poles mobilises the muscles and tendons of the upper body and neck.
  • The metabolism is stimulated even at low levels of exertion, which can have a positive effect on blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Running and general well-being

During sporting activities, the body releases endorphins and serotonin, which provide mental relaxation, satisfaction, and balance. Running is one of the best ways to relieve everyday stress. If you focus on your body and the route ahead of you, you will quickly clear your head. Every training success, no matter how small, also makes you feel happy and boosts your self-confidence. 

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Running clothes - Woman jogging in sportswear.

Jogging and running for beginners

Running is a versatile sport that you can do almost anywhere and almost all year round. When exercising in the fresh air, you not only improve your physical fitness, but your mood can also benefit from regular running. In this article, we explain the difference between running and jogging and how you can get started. We also go into detail about what equipment you need for running and what requirements must be met for healthy and safe running training.

Walking for beginners - woman learns the technique from a Nordic walking trainer.

Walking and Nordic walking for beginners

If you have not been active in sports for a long time or have no experience with running disciplines, walking and Nordic walking are great places to start. (Nordic) walking is a low-impact sport that is easy on the joints and ideal for running novices of all ages to develop their own flexibility. In this article, we also explain the difference between walking and Nordic walking, explain what equipment you need and give tips on how to get started.

Walking for beginners - woman learns the technique from a Nordic walking trainer.
Walking in winter: Man running on a snow-covered track.

Running in winter and autumn

A bit of drizzle or cold weather does not stop many passionate runners from continuing their running training outdoors in autumn and winter. However, it is important to adapt your running routine and intensity to the colder temperatures in order not to overload your body. You also need suitable functional clothing to protect you against wind and weather. In this article, we will show you what you should look for when running in the cold season and how you can best prepare yourself.

Stretching exercises - woman during cool-down after a run.

Warm-up and cool-down as part of the training routine

To take full advantage of the health benefits of running, it is important to include warm-up and cool-down exercises in your running training. A thorough warm-up prepares your muscles and joints for the stresses ahead, reducing the risk of injury. The cool-down, on the other hand, signals to your body that it can slowly relax again and start the recovery process. Warming up and cooling down is crucial for healthy running training. You can find suggestions for possible warm-up and stretching exercises before and after a run in our article. If you get sore muscles, the guide also gives tips on how to relieve the discomfort.

Stretching exercises - woman during cool-down after a run.
Improving your running technique - friends jogging together in the forest.

Running training for beginners: Types of training and exercises

Balanced running training combines different types and intensities of training. If you gradually train your body to new challenges, you can safely improve your performance. Even advanced runners can benefit from incorporating different types of training and exercises into their training: You can achieve continuous training success through new stresses and strains. In this article, you will find an overview of different types of running training as well as exercises to improve your running technique. We also give some basic tips on how to support your progress with a healthy diet and how to check your progress with fitness gadgets.

Running plan for beginners: a group of runners jogging together over a bridge.

Running goals for beginners

Every runner has different goals for their training, such as getting fitter or simply staying healthy. These running goals show you how you should structure your training to monitor your progress. Your goals can of course change over time – therefore you should make sure to set yourself realistic subgoals in smaller steps. This way you won’t overload yourself and will stay motivated. In this article, we have collected some suggestions for setting different goals for your running training.

Running plan for beginners: a group of runners jogging together over a bridge.

(Accessed on 26.10.2021)
(Accessed on 26.10.2021)
(Accessed on 26.10.2021)
(Accessed on 26.10.2021)

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