Run Today, Benefit Tomorrow

You can certainly learn a lot about a person by the décor (aka bumper stickers) they put on their car – anything from I love my dog to political views to I run marathons. I’m usually pretty in awe of those 26.2 stickers, mostly because I can’t imagine running 26.2 miles. However, sometimes those stickers make me wonder if I actually could.

Lacing up a pair running shoes and pounding the pavement may not really be your thing, but it’s been proven – the health benefits of running are immense. Although it may not be the easiest or most comfortable form of exercise, adding running to your regular workout routine can reduce stress, eliminate extra calories and fight off chronic disease.

Fight Stress: Running manages stress by allowing your body to exert extra energy and eliminate bad side effects such as disrupted sleep cycles or changes in appetite. Choosing a scenic outdoor route can also ease and calm your mind.

Burn Extra Calories: Boosting a high number of calories burned per minute, running is one of the most efficient forms of exercise when trying to lose weight. So go ahead, have dessert with dinner.

Combat Chronic Disease: According to the CDC, in 2005, almost 1 out of every 2 adults had at least one chronic illness. Running has been shown to lower the risk of diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure.

Training for a 5K race is a great way to motivate yourself to try running and with proper preparation, it becomes a doable distance. Choose a training program like this one from Jeff Galloway, he creates running programs for Disney, and get started. If he’s good enough for Disney, he’s good enough for you.

If you’re looking for a race to run, stop by the Chicago Area Running Association (CARA) website. They have a helpful search tool.

I once read the phrase, if you went running when you started thinking about it, you’d be done by now – and that’s usually true. Next time you are thinking about putting those gym shoes on, remember the sooner you get started, the sooner it can be over.

References:
Active.com: http://www.active.com/running/Articles/6-Benefits-of-Running.htm
CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm
Jeff Galloway: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/5k.html#5k
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