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Friday, March 18, 2011

Are You A Runner

     I will start of by letting you know that I did manage to reach my goal of 13,000 words.  I am really pleased.  I am going to say that I want to have 15,000 by Monday, but seeing as I haven't ever been able to get any writing done over the weekend, it will probably end up being my goal for Wednesday.  I also wanted to mention that, if you have a blog about anything running or writing related, or a book you would like to talk about, I would love to have you do a guest post, so if you are interested, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail at sjhansonwrites@yahoo.com

     So, moving on to running stuff.  I am getting really excited about my race tomorrow, the Shamrock Scramble 5K.  I'm shooting for a PR (personal record) I would be really happy if I could finish in 27:56 or less, that would be at least a 9 minute per mile pace, which is actually really fast for me.  All of my anticipation and excitement about the race has had me thinking about all of the wonderful things running has done for me and I wanted to share some of my knowledge with you. 

     The biggest benefit to running is all of the ways it improves your health.  Running is a great way to strengthen your heart and improve the efficiency of blood and oxygen flow throughout your body, which can greatly reduce your risk of a heart attack.  One of the best ways to naturally reduce your blood pressure is to maintain a healthy weight with the help of exercise (like running).  It can also help keep your cholesterol manageable.  Running also helps to improve your immune system making your body more effective at fighting off germs. One other thing that I though was pretty neat is that running and other weight-bearing exercises can increase bone density, which can help to fend off osteoporosis.  That last one is especially good for women.  A lot of people run to lose weight because it is one of the most intense exercises out there which means it burns the most calories for time spent exercising.  Those are some of the obvious reasons to run.  Let's look at a few that might not be so obvious.

     Running races can help you contribute to charities and your community.  Most races are for a cause.  It might be the Leukemia and Lymphoma society which are the sponsors of the race I'm doing tomorrow or it can be for local stuff like fundraising for school sports.  It can be very fulfilling to know that you are running for someone or something other than yourself. 

     Some people like to run for the alone time, but a lot of people also love the social aspect of running.  At races you are surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of people that share your passion for the sport.  Another amazing thing, is that you could be running in the same race as someone who has run in the Olympics, cross over the very same start and finish line.  Most towns have a local running club that run together every week, so you can meet new people that live in your area that enjoy some of the same things you do.  Running combined with a healthy diet can greatly improve your energy levels.  It is also one of the most inexpensive sports to participate in since all you really need is a good pair of running shoes.

    Running can help your self esteem, and decrease issues related to depression and stress.  Research has proven over and over again that people who exercise regularly are generally happier than those who don't.  If you set a goal, like being able to run a 5K and then do it, you feel really good about accomplishing your goals.  There are so many running related goals you can make too, you can try to run faster or farther or get a better time in a race than you did the year before, each time you accomplish one of these goals it will make you feel good about yourself and give you the confidence to set more goals and try harder.  Running can also be a great coping mechanism for any unhealthy habit like alcoholism, or drug addiction, I used to sit in front of my computer playing video games for at least 8 hours a day, since I starting running I haven't even played video games for 8 hours out of the last month.

     I really, truly believe, that running has made me a better, more well rounded person.  I get some of my best creative ideas when I'm out on a run.  I got the idea for my novel while I was running.  My reason for posting this is that I hope it will give at least one person the motivation to get out there and give it a try.  I started running using the Couch to 5K program which can be found here http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml .  If you have ever thought you might like to try running I want to encourage you to give it a shot, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.  I want to remind you all that when I started running I was 60 pounds heavier and considered obese, so if I can do it anybody can.  That's all I have for you today, I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Until Monday,
SJ Hanson

4 comments:

  1. I'm not a runner but I used to be before I was married a hundred years ago. But whenever I read one of your posts, I wish I still was.

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  2. Running is a huge part of my life right now, I couldn't imagine what I would be doing right now if I hadn't discovered how much I love it :)

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  3. I am a walker, not necessarily a runner, though one day I hope I can be. I didn't get into walking until college, when I took a course on it to get a PE credit. I found that the benefits of briskly walking a couple miles a day were great! I dropped 10 lbs and felt better than I had my whole life. Exercise in general is wonderful. I wonder how many medications people could avoid just by getting out and moving their bodies?

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  4. C.J. Sully- I totally agree with you! Any form of exercise is great. I bet a lot of people would be able to stop taking medications if they would start an exercise regimen.

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