• A Beginners Guide To Running: 4 Key Tips Every New Runner Should Know

    Beginners Guide To Running

    Running is a great way to get in shape, improve health, and feel great. If running is not something you’ve tried before it is important to start off slow in order to avoid injury and risk losing interest. Maintaining regular running workouts can result in weight loss, better health, increased energy, and the joy of a new sport.

    Here’s a quick beginners guide to running:

    Get A Great Pair of Running Shoes

    The clothes you wear while running are not nearly as important as having the right running shoes. As long as the running attire is weather-appropriate, runners should wear what is most comfortable. However, when it comes to running, do not pull out an old pair of sneakers to wear on the run. Having a well-fitted and comfortable running shoe will reduce the chances of injury. Consider going to a running specialty store to get fitted for the right shoe.

    Stretch Before You Start Running

    Before heading out for a run, it is important to stretch. Stretching will keep muscles loose and help to avoid injury. Develop a stretching routine that will be completed before going out for a run. About ten minutes of stretching prior to a run is essential for reducing muscle-related injuries.

    Stretching the correct way for running is as important as stretching itself. Do not extend the stretch too quickly as injury can occur. Gently stretch and hold each stretch for about thirty seconds. Over time, the stretching routine will become easier and even more enjoyable!

    It is important not to push the workout to any extreme. Starting slow and building strength and endurance may take some time but will be worth the effort. By overexerting in the beginning, new runners run the risk of injury, overly sore muscles, and quickly losing interest. Expectations should be realistic in the beginning. The first few runs should not exceed one mile or fifteen minutes but if that takes too much effort, only do what you can.

    Keep Running

    Running a mile or so the first week should get easier as the second week approaches. Take a day or two off from running during each week, but replace the time with another exercise that is enjoyable. Taking too much time off from running or any other workout routine will make it harder to get back into it after the break.

    When the initial distance starts to get easier, it is time to add another five minutes to the run. Add time or distance in small increments to build up endurance. Run the new distance at least three times before increasing the running time. Some people may want to run the extended distance for up to two weeks before making the next adjustment.

    Set Goals To Stay Motivated

    Running can be extremely enjoyable and allow for time to take pleasure in the outdoors while improving one’s health and even losing weight. Set small goals that are achievable to keep motivation high. If a goal is to lose weight, keep in mind that muscle mass may increase so the scale may not reflect the health benefits achieved. Be aware of increased energy, better fitting clothes, and a sense of achievement.

    Some people experience a “runner’s high” and find running time to be peaceful and invigorating. Ensure you take extra precautions like proper stretching and wearing the right running shoes to decrease the chance of injury. You can also keep your motivation up by listening to health-based podcasts. Be sure to stick to the new running workout for at least three months to experience the real benefits of this healthy workout.

    Shop Must-Have Beginner Running Sneakers

    1. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker
    2. Brooks Women’s Ravenna 11
    3. Brooks Women’s Glycerin 18
    4. Nike Women’s Revolution 5 Running Shoe
    5. adidas Women’s Edge Lux 4 Running Shoe
    6. New Balance Women’s Dynasoft Nitrel V4 Trail Running Shoe
    7. Nike Women’s Running Shoes
    8. Under Armour Women’s Surge 2 Running Shoe


    I don’t talk about this often, only a select few are aware of my low key obsession with Beyonce. When she released ‘Formation’ last month I exploded. It spoke to me on so many levels. This was a Beyonce that I had never heard before. I was thinking to myself, “self, how can this get nay better?”, and then it as if God (or the microphone attached to my Facebook app) because out of nowhere I see a Facebook ad for DivaDance Company offering a four week long Formation dance class.

    I signed up immediately.

    On the first day of class I rolled up ready like

    I was ready! I gave my two left feet a stern talking to beforehand and told them they need to get their act together and get into formation with the rest of my body, and this class. I will not be undermined. They listened…most of the time.

    The class size was a decent size, about 15 of us. I don’t know about anyone else but I went into it completely hardcore, despite that not being the tone of the class. My instructor Tiana (who is a total badass) was great!

    She let everyone know out the gate there was absolutely no pressure to get the steps 100%, and that we should move in the way that would make us feel most comfortable. These classes are all about channeling out inner Beyonce (or whichever diva you prefer) and having some fun together, this the essence and foundation in which DivaDance Company was built.

    So what exactly happens when you take a four week class with DivaDance Company?

    Before the start of every class there was a quick 2 minute ice breaker question that allowed for everyone to chat and get to know one another. Questions included asking a classmate what they did for a living and next week we had the challenge of deciding which celebrity closet we would raid. I said Solange. I like her funky style, and that wedding dress!

    After our quick warm up we get right into it…

    THE FIRST WEEK: We started off with learning about our cues and when to start. We begin dancing after Big Freedia declares “I did not come to play with you heaux! I came to slay, bitch! I like corn breads and collard greens, bitch. Oh yas, you besta believe it.” We immediately start with the shoulder bounce and head nod, its on from there. We end the night learning choreography up to hot sauce in my bag swag. Tiana wasn’t in a rush, which was great. She allowed for questions and redid steps as many times as needed so that everyone was in sync.

    SECOND WEEK: We are a little more relaxed and are now moving with a little more ease. We would now learn the moves to the most famous part of the song

    Everyone was ready for these steps, its probably the only part of the dance that everyone knew. Tiana let us have fun with it but I saw how quickly she moved on the next stage of the choreography. Well played. We made it all the way up to learning the movement to at when Beyonce talks about how she slays.

    THIRD WEEK: This is the week when things get way more technical. If you thought you had it in the bag, nope. Now you’re gonna learn about your mark and how to move in symmetry together. Remember for this to work you you must keep it tight with your arms and legs fully extended. When done correctly you and everyone in class will be in perfect formation.

    FINAL WEEK: We spent this time going over everything we had learned from the weeks prior. This is meant that we were tightening up our line formation, which I was still a little wobbly on. But Tiana went over every step and answered tons of questions and worked with those who needed it one on one, which I was grateful for because I cannot stress enough how quickly everything moves in this video. You think its slow when you’re looking at it but when you’re doing it’s a whole nuther ball game.

    After the last class I left with my inner Beyonce smiling. Did I become a “master dancer” I set out to become? Uh, no. Not even close, and I’m okay with that. I learned that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself for my lack of dancing and rhythm skills. I need to relax, not over think things and just have a blast living in the moment.

    If you would like to take a class at DivaDance click here…and sign up as soon as you can as these classes sell out fast!


    When Beyonce dropped Formation earlier this month, she was literally like

    And since then, I don’t think the Earth’s rotation has been the same.

    Love it or hate it, the song is everywhere and plenty of people are trying to learn the steps.

    Myself included, cause my formation moves around the house just ain’t cutting it.

    Now as you remember from my I can’t dance post, you know this will be an almost impossible feat on my own. But thanks to a Facebook ad for DivaDance Company popping up on my screen, I learned starting the month of March they will be offering weekly Beyonce ‘Formation’ choreography classes that will run for four consecutive weeks.

    I immediately signed-up.

    Created by Jami Stigliano, DivaDance Company is a New York City based dance studio that’s been serving up fun and sexy choreographed dance movies since 2003. Named “Best Dance Class” by AM NY, and coupled with their 5-star Yelp reviews, I knew I they would be the best ones to get me into rhythmic formation.

    DIVADANCE company
    Photo Credit: DivaDance

    With a motto of LET YOUR HAIR DOWN DivaDance values having fun and celebrating life at any age and ability level! Which is perfect for anyone who is seeking to cut loose their two left feet and have a little fun in a judgement free environment.

    Classes will start on Wednesday, March 2 and be instructed by Tiana Murray, and conclude on Wednesday, March 23.

    divadance company
    Photo Credit: DivaDance

    My goal at the end of this four week class is to go from novice to a master dancer. In other words, I want to slay. All day.

    So call your girls, clear your calendars for the next four Wednesday’s and click here so yall can get into formation with me. Tickets are $85 ($21.25 per week, so worth it!) and classes are after work like a hump day happy hour. Don’t drag your heels on this one cause this class will be packed with those who’ve come to prove they’ve got some co-or-din-a-tion.

    And they aren’t only hosting Beyonce choreography, there are classes for Justin Bieber (which is currently wait list only), Britney Spears and many other artists. There are single day classes or classes that run over several weeks, and if  it’s a special celebration like birthday or bachelorette party they also have private parties. For more information and class pricing visit DivaDance Company and I hope to see you there.

    *Please remember all thoughts and opinions are my own and the only compensation I will be receiving are complementary passes for the purpose of this series.

    Cover Photo Credit: Teen Vouge (via YouTube)