Running often gets a bad rap as being too hard, too boring, and too tough on your joints. Truth is, as with any workout, it’s going to feel harder than it needs to be without proper technique. Follow these 10 must-try solutions for everything from achy knees to a lack of motivatio—and you’ll soon be looking forward to lacing up your sneakers and hitting the trails (or at least dreading it a whole lot less).
1. Shorten your steps.
No matter how cushiony the heel of your shoe is, your body isn’t designed to land on it when running, experts say. Shorter strides help you land on the middle of your foot, activating your body’s natural shock absorbers. (And avoid these 3 sneaker mistakes that seriously hurt your feet.)
2. Build your thigh muscles.
One of the most common causes of knee pain is weakness in the thighs and hips, which absorb impact, says runner Alexis Chiang Colvin, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. (Try this easy 10-minute routine to protect knees and put a spring in your step.)
3. Go up a shoe size.