We all want to get into the habit of exercising every day, but it can be a real struggle to motivate yourself to do so. Challenging yourself and starting small – for example, running one mile every day – is one of the best ways to get started. Running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise: all you need is a pair of the best running shoes for men or best running shoes for women to get you started.
YouTuber Keegan Acton (opens in new tab) hadn't run in six years, but she took on the challenge to run one mile every day for 30 days. Check the video below to see how she got on:
After buying a treadmill on Amazon, she initially began running inside as she felt quite self-conscious running around her neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the treadmill broke a few days into the challenge (it clearly wasn't one of our best treadmill entries) forcing her to get outdoors.
"I was hoping this challenge would turn me into one of those girls who loves to go on runs," said Keegan. "On the treadmill I was like 'heck no', but I actually enjoyed this. It helped there was a pretty view by the river."
Running outdoors is great for your mental health. A review of studies published by Under Armour (opens in new tab) found Running in nature, particularly exposure to green spaces, resulted in lower incidences and risks of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and general premature death. The participants even slept better.
Keegan continued to gradually improve during the month. Some times were longer and some times were shorter, but on day 14, two weeks after the trial began, Keegan successfully ran her first sub-10-minute mile. Even after an injury on day 25, Keegan continued to power through and finished the challenge.
"I was curious if I would lose weight, or how my body would change" said Keegan. "My body and weight stayed exactly the same." Even though her weight remained stable, Keegan's mile times improved as a result of increased cardiovascular health, with her best mile time clocking in at 8 minutes 37 seconds – a 4 minute 15 second increase over day one.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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