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DALLAS (CBS11) – The race to the finish line can start with baby steps.

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Kimberly Hemmig, physical therapist with Parkland Health and Hospital System, says before you hit the ground running, you have to start off on the right foot—or shoe.

“It can lead to foot pain, knee pain, hip pain. You may not notice it right away, but over time, if you’re wearing the wrong shoes, it can lead to those issues.”

Hemmig can tell a lot about a person by their stride. She was quick to point out this reporter was wearing shoes with little support.

“Your arches are collapsing. It brings in your knees a little too,” she explained.

Finding the right gear, is all about your foot type. Flat feet need more support. Look for “stability” or “motion control” shoes.

“You want to get something that has a good control for your arch, so when you are running or walking it’s not going to collapse that arch down,” she said.

If you’ve got neutral feet–neither a low or high arch—you should invest in a good “minimalist” shoe.

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A running specialty store can help you decide what’s right for your body.

Before you lace up your sneakers, focus on strengthening your hips and core.

You don’t need a gym. You can pick up a set of resistance bands at most sporting goods stores.

Try tying the band around your ankles tightly as you slowly lift your working leg to the side. You can aim for 3 sets of 10, alternating your legs.

“If you are going to start running and you’ve never run before–start with a walk/jog program,” Hemmig said.

You can begin with a goal of 10 minutes and gradually add more time.

You don’t want to over train or rush your training. That can lead to serious injuries. Hemmig recommends joining a local running club, or finding a good program online.

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“Start with a 5K and work your way up. Give yourself a couple of months to train for that.”