For such a simple, innately human movement, running can be intimidating. Just the idea of lacing up may trigger feelings of inferiority. But devotees attest that no other form of exercise is as physically and mentally satisfying, and admittedly the rush of endorphins, aka “runner’s high,” can’t be beat. Neither can the calorie burn: The average woman blasts through more than 600 calories an hour when running at a 10-minute-per-mile pace. But before you burst out of the gates, there are a few things to know to help you progress and prevent injury.

Walk Before You Run

If you’re just starting out, you may be inclined to run like the wind, because after all, you already know how to run, right? And yeah, the calorie burn. However, it behooves you to be patient with your progress because going like gangbusters could do more harm than good.