5 Reasons to Run a 5K

Can't get motivated about fitness? Signing up for a 5K race is the perfect way for you to stay accountable, get healthy and burn fat. Click here for a training schedule.

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You say you want to get fit, but then you hit the snooze button instead of the gym. You want to get in shape, but you spend more time in your pajamas than your running shoes. You want to tone up, but your only strength training involves carrying groceries from your car. Sound familiar?

It is extremely common to experience a disconnect between your workout goals and your fitness realities; a crucial step in reconciling these is to find motivation. And there is perhaps no better motivation than signing up for a race. Don't shy away before you've laced up your shoes for this first time. A 5K is the perfect race for beginners - and here are 5 reasons why.

Wonderful Workout
Running can burn up to 700 calories per hour. You'll raise your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relieve stress - all while toning and shaping your body. Running targets everyone's favorite problem areas; it tightens your glutes and flattens your abs. Plus you'll be meeting 2 of Dr. Oz's fitness rules: breaking a sweat 3 times a week and checking off more than half of your daily 10,000 steps!

Everyman's Race
K stands for "Kilometer," and a 5K race is around 3.1 miles. Even if the last time you ran a few laps was in high school gym class, this race is a realistic goal. By committing to train only 3 days a week, starting 7 weeks before the race, you can get in shape to complete your 5K. Click here to see a training schedule for all fitness levels.

The reason many people get intimidated by running is that they do not begin their training properly. They make the mistake of trying to run as long as they can right away instead of gradually building up their endurance. This methodology can exhaust your muscles and leave you feeling extremely frustrated( and convinced that runners are masochists in the purest sense.)

Instead of shocking your body, ease into getting in shape. Start off slow and give your body time to warm up. Alternate walking and running for equal intervals of distance. Gradually decrease your walking time each week, and eventually you will be able to run up to 30 minutes consecutively.

Get Going and Stay Going
Once you determine an appropriate schedule to get you in shape, you'll find the motivation you need to exercise. A schedule will keep you motivated and focused when you could otherwise make excuses. Print out your schedule or Dr. Oz's Health Pledge and post it at work or on your refrigerator. These reminders will keep you accountable to your commitment to health and wellness.