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Guest Post: Running for Your Health

Posted Dec 20 2011 12:03pm

Soooo… apparently I don’t handle blogging, not sleeping, working, and holidaying very well. (Who knew ‘holidaying’ was an actual word, I was definitely expecting that one to get the little red squiggly line immediately!). Guess which one of those fell by the wayside first? I’ll give you a hint: I’m still running, I’m still not sleeping, I’m still working, and I’m slightly holidaying. Sorry blogging, but you just don’t make the cut sometimes.

That being said, we have a lot of deadline-ish things going on at work and I don’t have the energy to blog once I’m home from work, have worked out, have made dinner, and have half-way decorated the tree (<— true story, it only has lights on it and two strands of garland. It needs 3 strands to complete it and it came pre-lit. #holidayfail).

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Lucky for me, I was contacted recently by Jackie Clark, who is the Community Outreach Coordinator for CancerAlliance , in regards to sharing some educational information about running for your health. Enjoy Smile 

Jackie

Running is a difficult exercise for many people. The impact of the running can cause a lot of pain in the legs in a person who isn’t prepared for the rigors of the exercise. However, there are many benefits to running. Running is one of the best types of exercise for losing weight and staying healthy. Not only that, but it can also help reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as breast cancer and can even be an effective activity to be integrated into other cancer programs, such as mesothelioma cancer .

The “Cool Running” website features an article written by Jennifer Bostwick where she reports that the American Cancer Society found that women who exercise three or more hours a week can reduce their risk of breast cancer by 20 to 40 percent. Increased strenuousness increased the percentage. One of the best ways for them to achieve this exercise is running, as it is one of the most strenuous and cheapest types of exercise to perform.

Running doesn’t only have a positive effect on cancers like mesothelioma and breast cancer, it also has many other benefits that include physical benefits as well as mental benefits that contribute to a healthier body and mind in a way that helps the body fight off many diseases, including cancers.

It also helps get the body into great physical shape. It helps burn fat, helps people lose weight, increases cardiovascular health and strengthens muscles. Losing fat increases your health by eliminating strain on the body and eliminates obesity related health problems. Stronger cardiovascular health gives you more stamina and a stronger heart while stronger muscles will ache less and be less susceptible to strains and cramps.

The reason running is such an effective treatment for addiction is because of the “runner’s high.” Running for an extended period of time (longer than 20 minutes or so, depending on each person) causes the body to release endorphins. These endorphins are released to relieve the strain of running. These endorphins create a “high” that is similar to the high experienced from drugs. Rob Simbeck, a former alcoholic, states that running helped hi “ fill a lot of gaps ” in his life after he quit drinking every day.

Elizabeth McLeod Sadler of Vanderbilt University reports that running has often been used to help patients that are suffering from clinical depression. It has been shown that running helps make them “less tense, less depressed, less fatigued, and less confused.” It gives them something to focus on and helps eliminate the need for pain medicines and has been used as a method of treating addictions, such as alcohol and drug addictions.

I have been a fitness enthusiast ever since my junior year in college. I studied abroad and came back 15 pounds heavier. I had always had a passion for food and fitness, but I didn’t realize the power of running until I was in a position that I had to get healthy. The realization that my body had changed was frightening. People all around me were overweight and I saw the serious health problems they had. I vowed not to be like them. So what did I do? I started a fitness routine. I began alternating running and walking until I was able to just run. I loved running! I felt great, and after a 30 pound weight loss I have never felt better. The power of physical fitness cannot truly be understood until it is experienced. Get up and Run if not for you for someone else who can’t do it.

Thanks Jackie!

Why do you run?

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