I was never athletic – I always preferred a good book over a sports field (or rink, or court). I wasn’t terribly out of shape or unhealthy but I wasn’t in great condition either. I worked in an industry where the simple pleasures of life were abundant (great food and better wine) and I was now in my mid-thirties. I found myself wanting to make a change and needing to set a healthy example for my three boys. I also felt compelled to give back. So, I joined a running group that supported a charity I felt passionate about. Together, we ran, shared our life stories and raised money for a fantastic organization. Running changed my life. It transformed both my mind and body. The first steps are always the hardest but the benefits are numerous:
STRESS BUSTER! There’s truth to the old adage “running is cheaper than therapy”. It has been proven that running can even relieve some of the symptoms of clinical depression. If you’re anything like me, the everyday stressors of both family and work responsibilities can be overwhelming. Running is an outlet and provides some very important “me” time than may be hard to come by. I have worked out many problems while out on a run. When I need to clear my mind I put on my running shoes and head out the door!
Running will reduce your cancer risk and risk of stroke; it will improve your cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and prevent diabetes.
Running, even at a slow pace, burns an abundance of calories leading to weight loss.
Overall muscle-tone is improved…look out bathing suit season!
Running outdoors, regularly (yes, even in the winter) will expose you to sunlight and some much-needed Vitamin D.
Being active and healthy sets a precedent for the entire family! I now run with my pre-teen son and his hockey team; my six and four year olds beg to come with us.
As I write this, I am only hours away from running my second half-marathon. Two years ago, I would have laughed out loud if someone would have told me that I would be an athlete. But, I am. Run, it will change your life.
Tip: Find a local running club and join a beginner program that will gradually get your distances up. Too much running, too soon, can result in injury.