Written by Darrell Freeman, Founder and MD of plus-size male clothing brand, www.BigDudeClothing.co.uk

The road to weight loss is never an easy one, particularly if it’s a road you choose to run down.

Body InsecuritiesExercising can often make people struggling with their weight feel self-conscious, and this is particularly apparent with those taking up running or jogging. Being outside and doing exercise in the public presents its own set of challenges, but this shouldn’t prevent you from taking up running.

If you are feeling insecure about your body then the prospect of going for a run can be a daunting one, where you may fear your insecurities will be amplified. However, exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, and it is important to overcome these insecurities, so here are some top tips on how to do so:

Run with a friend, or in a group

Running alongside others can help you to conquer the nerves that are associated with going out for a jog, and make you feel that you are not alone. Jogging with someone else, particularly a friend, will prevent you feeling as if you are being singled out, and deflect attention away from yourself. It will also prevent you from focusing on other people whilst running, and effectively give you someone to share the load with. Arranging to run with someone else will also help with motivation, as you will be less likely to skip a day if you have planned to go with a friend.

Plot your route

Planning where you run before you do so may sound simple, but it can be a great way to overcome body insecurities whilst running. It allows you to choose exactly where you jog and essentially how many people you’re likely to pass on the way. You may wish to choose a more scenic route, which will allow you to focus on your surroundings and enjoy the run more, distracting you from getting hung up on body insecurities. Alternatively, you might want to plan a route that is a bit more off the trodden path, in order to avoid crossing the public or other runners, allowing you to enjoy the run on your own and avoid bumping into other people.

Body InsecuritiesFocus on your goal

Why are you doing this? Is it for your health? Yourself? Your partner? Remembering the reason for why you are out on a run is a great way to keep yourself motivated and distract you from any concerns you might have. Keeping your goal at the forefront of your mind gives your run a focal point, and will help you focus solely on this, giving yourself the incentive to carry on and overcome any inhibitions.

Listen to music

This is another great way to keep yourself focused and distract away any unwanted thoughts during your run. Spend some time before your run curating your own unique playlist, selecting songs that will keep you pumped and focused during your session. Listening to music whilst running allows you to focus on the beats and rhythm of the music and can even deceive you into feeling less tired during the run, which can only be a positive!

Wear appropriate clothing

It is important that you choose the right attire when you are preparing to go for a jog. Firstly, choose clothing that is appropriate and comfortable to run in, for example, a proper pair of running shoes. Secondly, wear clothes that you feel comfortable in; if you are confident in what you are wearing, you are less likely to feel self-conscious about yourself.

Remember: everyone has to start somewhere

A great way of dispelling any insecurities you may have whilst jogging is to simply remember that everybody needs to start somewhere. Nobody has put on their running shoes for the first time and run a marathon. It is helpful to bear this in mind when feeling self-conscious on a run because every other runner has been through the same thing. Other runners are also generally very welcoming to anyone else out there giving it a go and will be appreciative of your efforts rather than judging you on how you look.