Let's start by giving a few good recommendations before you begin. Check with your physician to make sure you are in a good place healthwise to participate. This is not an activity you will need to engage in if you have trouble with your knees or back for example. It IS high impact and may put unnecessary pressure on the joints. It is smarter to start out by walking first.
Comfortable shoes are a must. I recommend you go to a running store, get properly fitted, and consider buying two pairs of shoes so you can alternate. Start off slow and continue steadily is my motto. Too much too fast and you may get injured, burn out, or just plain quit.
Set a reasonable goal for yourself and do your best to stick to it. If you miss a day don't feel bad. Your body needed the rest.
Dress appropriately for the season. Again, a running store can deck you out. However if you are just starting and don't want to spend too much money sweatpants and sweatshirts will work fine. This is also something the whole family can do together!
Always spend 5-10 minutes doing a full body stretch before and after your workout. It gives your body a chance to loosen and warm-up, gets the blood flowing, and helps prevent injury.
Start with a manageable time of about 20-30 minutes. This will mean 10-15 minutes of warm-up and cool-down, and you will have 15-20 of walking or a light jog.
If you are not already following a daily routine and are just getting back into exercising, I would recommend walking only for the first 2-3 weeks, for about 4 days a week. If you have already been walking daily for 1-2 miles then go to sample 2.
If you are already walking a few miles a day, then introduce a short jog-walk pattern. Walk for 2-3 minutes, jog for 1 minute, and so on. Remember to breathe, listen to your heart and your body, and go at a slow comfortable pace. You should be able to speak in complete sentences when jogging.
Have alternating days. Walk only one day. Jog and walk the next.
Continue this pattern for a few weeks, taking 1 or 2 days a week to rest. When comfortable you can try and increase your jog time to 4-5 minutes and then 1-2 minute walk for recovery.
At this point, you are up to about 3 miles of mostly jogging. If you want to mix it up, you can do a fast-slow routine. 2-3 minutes quick sprint, 1-minute jog, and so on.
Now you have some consistency, and hopefully, are still enjoying yourself, while reaping the many benefits of a disciplined exercise and running routine.
Want to try and better your time? Go from a 10-minute mile pace to a 9-minute mile? Join the community of runners and try your hand at a local 5k run or consider joining a local running club to help you get to where you want to be.
Whatever your ambition just get out there, do it and have fun along the way!