In addition to burning calories and lowering the risk of heart disease, running can be extremely beneficial for mental health.
But even though you may be taking steps towards a healthier, more active lifestyle, British long-distance runner Paula Radcliffe is adamant that it is important people don't push themselves too far too soon.
"The biggest advice I would give to someone who hasn't been on a run recently but who is looking to become more active is to start gradually. Don't suddenly try and run a marathon first day, instead start by walking and running a bit, or just try to run a couple of miles and then give your body a day off to see how it recovers and how it responds," the athlete, who is supporting Flora's Get Towns Active campaign, shared. "The other big advice is to make sure that you've got the correct running kit and the right shoes for your style of running. If you don't know your style because you're just starting, then go with a neutral pair."
To figure out your running style, the easiest way is to run barefoot on a slightly damp floor where you can see your foot's imprint, on sand, or to get yourself filmed. You can also get your running style analysed by experts at a specialist running shop.
"A lot of people can see if you land on the outside of your foot, or if you land on the inside and collapse. If you land on the outside that's called supinating if you stay on the outside, and a lot of people supinate and then correct to neutral," the three-time London Marathon winner continued. "Some people will even overcorrect and then go into pronation, which is where you are collapsing over on the inside of the foot. There are different shoes to support each style, so an anti-pronation shoe will build up the inside and the arch to stop you collapsing in and anti-supination shoe will do the opposite with the outside of the shoe."
The 2021 London Marathon takes place on 3 October.