Another year brings another set of lofty resolutions, but you want to set fitness goals and wellness priorities that will really count in 2013. Running is the perfect segue into a healthier, happier you.
"For someone who's looking to go from couch to 5K, the first thing I would suggest is that they get fitted for shoes," says Jimmy Boyle, footwear buyer for Sun & Ski. "The key is getting into the right footwear, which a representative can recommend by analyzing a customer's gait."
Whether you're a neutral runner, an overpronator or a supinator, experts at Sun & Ski can tell you what model is right for you — and what's hot right now, like Brooks' Pure 2 and new models from Newton that are as comfortable as they are vibrant.
The next step, Boyle suggests, is connecting with a local running club and signing up for a race. Both the West End Running Club and the CityCentre Running Club are free, socially-focused organizations that meet weekly in Houston.
"Running is sort of terrible when you first start," he says, "but if you put something on the calendar and train for it with others, you're more prone to get out there and run."
Once you're up to speed, you'll be ready for any after-work jogging invitation or Flash Mob Race that comes your way — even with just a few days notice. Sun & Ski will launch its second Flash Mob Series in March, so stay connected on Facebook for dates and locations.
Even for the veteran runner, the holiday season tends to interrupt proper diet and exercise. Now's the time to get back on track by replacing sugary sodas with water at lunch and setting a training schedule that's easy to stick with.
Boyle says that the proper running apparel can make all the difference, especially in winter conditions. A moisture-wicking fabric keeps your clothes from getting wet and heavy and prevents chafing.
Other add-ons just make the experience better and safer: A water bottle or hydration belt, like the Sprint Palm Bottle ($11.95) or the R30 Hydration Belt ($43.95) from Fuel Belt, to keep you hydrated; an easy-to-use GPS watch, like the Soleus GPS 1.0 Digital Training Watch ($79.93), to help you track your progress and stay the course; and a reflector light, like the Nathan Streak Reflective Vest ($26), to increase your visibility at night.