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How to begin a “Couch to 5k” plan

How to begin a “Couch to 5k” plan

After bariatric surgery, your doctor may encourage you to start a walking program. When you start walking, you are essentially beginning the “Couch to 5k” program. If you’ve never heard of Couch to 5k, it’s basically a fitness program to get you from sitting in front of the television to running/walking a five kilometer race. 

Many “Couch to 5k” programs and training groups are available throughout the United States and can be called. Often, an avid running team or individual coaches the program and gives you instruction and motivation to keep moving further in your training. These programs are designed to promote healthy habits and an interest in running/walking as a lifestyle change to get you healthy.

To get started on such a program, search the Internet for a beginner’s running program or “Couch to 5k” program in your area. Then, consider these tips:

  1. Invest in good running shoes -- you want to make sure you are walking or running in the right type of shoes that won’t hurt your feet or cause other problems.
  2. Listen to your body -- if your knees and hips feel a little sore, that’s normal. However, it’s not normal to experience agonizing pain from your toes, hips, shins, back, or knees so pay attention to these symptoms and see a doctor or trainer if the problem persists.
  3. Be flexible, but committed -- you won’t be able to finish a 5k if you skip workouts. The program will include flexibility in your schedule to allow you to rest and train your muscles, so don’t abuse it.

Learn more about “Couch to 5k” programs on U.S. News Health.

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