RUNNING - FOUR WAYS TO GET STARTED

Feeling nice and rested after the summer holidays and ready to get fit - or want to feel and look better on your big break next year?

Maybe, it's time to get into running. It’s great for losing weight, toning legs, strengthening bones, improving your cardio-vascular fitness, and helping to focus your mind.

You may well sleep better, too. Starting out can feel intimidating but - subject to being healthy and getting the right shoes - our part of London, with its huge green spaces, is ideal for you to get started. Of course, running is free, too, and flexible to every schedule.

Here are four ways to begin:

Your rules Get out into the park and start with a walk to warm-up, then break into a run. When you need to walk, walk! When you are ready to run, run! There are no rules about how long to run and walk for - you just listen to your body. Aim to do 10-20 minutes.

Get an app There are plenty of apps to record your run and coach you. To record your runs - to see your progress - the Nike+ Running apps looks handsome and is straightforward to use. To get you up from beginner to running 5km, the NHS’s free One You Couch to 5K app is super. You can pick your in-app trainer (options include Sarah Millican and Jo Wiley) and you start with intervals of a minute of running and 90 seconds of walking for a total 20 minutes.

Join ParkRun They organise weekly, 5km timed runs across the UK. They are open to everyone and are free. You just need to register online. There are events on Saturday mornings at 9am Mile End park, Highbury Fields and Hackney marshes.

Find an event When you are in the groove, you can test yourself in a timed raced. A 10k would be a great event to try.

Roger Love