On of the things I love about Valencia is the River Turia, the old river, now 10km of parks and gardens and one of the hotspots for playing sport. There are football pitches, an athletics track and gym, baseball grounds, rugby grounds, and you can even find table tennis and mini golf!
I think one of the easiest sports to take part in is running and you will always find people running in the river, and it´s fantastic, with the great weather you get in Valencia, plus no traffic, means no worries about geting run over (well, maybe by the odd bike or two!).
Running is great, because all you need are a pair of trainers, and you´re off! Plus the river is well marked out in terms of distances, you often get running groups running series using the markers as a guide to distance. It´s social, and a great workout at the same time. In half an hour of gentle running you can burn about 500 calories, depending on your weight and speed, great for weight control, plus your heart and lung capacity.
If you´re new to running, most important thing is to make sure that you have a decent pair of trainers, and I mean trainers that are made for running, not for fashion....you wouldn´t believe how many people I see running in shoes that look great, but do not provide any kind of support for the feet. My personal favorite are asics, but this is after trying out hundreds of different brands. Everyone is different so, if you find a brand that you find comfortable and doesn´t give you any problems, stick with that brand. There are other things to think about, and you´l hear about it the more running you do, such as feet that over pronate, etc. Truth is, all of us pronate when we run. This is the term for when our foot strikes the ground the foot rolls inward. It is part of the normal process for running and walking. There may be problems when you over pronate, which is when the foot has to correct the strike position with the ground and rolls inwards more than normal. Most people are born with this, or do this as part of a compensatory action for a different biomechaical problem. Best thing to do, if you are not sure, is talk to a physiotherapist who can do an analysis of your foot and leg biomechanics, and can advise accordingly. It is a big subject to go into, I often have to look at foot biomechanic as part of my work, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
So, now you got your running shoes, how about giving it a go. If you´re in Valencia, check out the river, I may see you there!