Since I’m 46 today, I decided to run 4.6 miles, to celebrate!Feel free to read this post, to see why I like to run and its health benefits.Why do I run? I LOVE IT, THAT’S WHY!!Health benefits include:-Physical effects
- The reduction of the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and strokes.
- Increase of cartilage production which can safeguard your joints against arthritis.
- Done regularly it can strenghten your bones so they do not easily weaken with age.
- Studies have shown that it even offers some protection from cancer. In one study, the health of 2,560 middle aged men was studied over 12 years. Those who ran or did an exercise of a similar intensity showed a 50% reduction in the risk of dying prematurely from cancer.
- It helps to improve your memory because regular, aerobic exercise increases the size of the area of your brain responsible for memory and learning, known as the hippocampus.
- Mitigates the effects of chronic stress on your hippocampus. The synapses between the neurons are weakened by prolonged stress, causing a negative impact on the processing power. Running helps to keep these connections firing.
Psychological effectsRunners are generally happier, more positive and have higher self esteem.When I was younger, I was hopeless at sports. I hated cross country and I was a slow runner, have a terrible aim and can’t catch.My idea of exercise was a bit of walking (usually around the shops or shuffling into the kitchen to make myself a brew or lifting a pint!)Around 10 or 11 years ago, by chance, I read an article extolling the virtues of running. I felt inspired so I bought myself a pair of running shoes and a sports bra. (Well, I didn’t want my nipples to be eventually scraping my knees!)So, I started off gently by running a bit and walking a bit. Eventually, I built up my distance and found I loved it.Unfortunately, I made lots of rookie errors.
- I ate more because I thought I’d run it off. I weighed more at that time than I’ve ever done.
- I didn’t warm up before running. Therefore, I developed shin splints.
- Then, because I got a little obsessed with how far I could run and ran 8 to 9 miles, I developed a dodgy knee and piriformis syndrome; literally a pain in my ass!
Sadly, I stopped for a while because of my knee and piriformis syndrome. Several attempts at it led me to stop altogether for 2 to 3 years.About 3 years ago, I started for the first time to go to the gym. Something I thought I’d never do. However, the strength training helped my knee and my booty.Tentatively some time last year, I started running again and please to found that I experienced very little pain. So, I keep going to the gym and have gradually increased my mileage. I’m pleased to say that I completed my first half marathon (13.1 miles) in July (see dodgy photo at the top of this post!) and aiming to do a full marathon next year.I feel energised, and more confident, because of my running. I’m not a fast runner; people always overtake me but I seem to be good at keeping going. It’s the pleasure I get from running that’s more important to me than speed.I recommend, if you can, giving it go.Sourcesactive.com, runnersworld.com, coachmag.uk, nhs.uk, telegraph.co.uk