When you can’t run, walk. When you can’t walk, crawl. And when you can’t crawl, sit on the leather sofa with a pumpkin muffin and remote in hand ready to watch the latest (circa 1960) episode of The Big Valley.
Just kidding. Don’t be like me.
But seriously, if you’re considering, (Definition of CONSIDERING: “even slightly thinking-have-a-teeny-tiny-itsy-bitsy-frame-of-mind”) that perhaps you would like to take up running/jogging/walking as a pastime, this one’s for you.
Running/Jogging (yes, I use these terms synonymously) is one of the greatest cardiovascular, challenging, and life-changing exercises you can do. Really, let’s face it: Running is not merely a chore, but can become a way of life if incorporated into one’s schedule.
Not convinced yet? Well, at least let’s go over the pros and cons of running. The good and bad. The benefits and not-so-benefits. Ha.
1. Running increase the average heart rate above 160-170 beats per minute. Because the heart is composed of cardiac muscle, the exercise strengthens the cardiac muscle. [Muscle always follows the principle: ‘Use it, or Lose it’. The more you use your heart, the stronger it becomes.] Long term runners will tell you that their heart rates are much LOWER than the average person. This is because a runner’s heart can pump more blood more efficiently in ONE beat.
Phew,, that was a long #1.
2. Stress relief. If you’re at a place most of the day where you’re not walking around or using the muscles so divinely given to you, chances are your body will undergo physiological stress: headaches, tiredness, restlessness, etc. I believe with all my heart that we as humans were made with 300+ joints in our bodies for a reason: to move around. Running releases hormones from the pituitary gland (a little gland beneath your hypothalamus in your brain): Endorphins. They cause a ‘feel good’/ ‘relaxed mood’ after frequent exercise.
3. Get fit! Need I elaborate? The more you run, the more calories the body burns, and the less adipose tissue (fat) that gets stored. Cool stuff.
1. Running can be painful at first.
2. Running can be painful.
3. Running can cause soreness. Shin splints. Sore thighs. Sore elbows. (Ok, so I’m not so sure about the sore elbows)
In my cross-country training years, I once saw a runner wearing a t-shirt saying, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” LOL. I must’ve had a whole lotta weakness y’all.
But really, sure running can be painful. But like any sport (can you call it it’s own sport?- it’s really a part of every sport. Except golf. If you’re a golfer, please don’t send my unhappy emails. Sorry.) At the end of the day, getting regular, cardiovascular exercise (ideally 3x a week for 30 minutes) can reduce the risk of the following:
Diabetes Type II, Atherosclerosis, High Cholesterol, Chronic/High blood pressure, Myocardial Infarction (heart attack), some cases of Cancer, and more.
Running can be painful. But not as potentially painful as some of the risks associated with no exercise at all.
So put that remote and pumpkin muffin down (it’ll be waiting for you later, trust me), grab a pair of clean sneaks, and Run!