Wednesday, 26 September 2012

My Fitness Diary 2: Achieved a milestone! Plus 10 benefits of running

Buying or borrowing a book about your chosen form of excercise can be a useful motivator
It's Saturday morning as I write this, and I've just got back from a morning run. Now this may not seem much to you, but today I -literally- reached a milestone in my fitness journey; I managed to run a mile. Yes, run, not jog! It was a slow-ish run as it took me 13 minutes from start to finish. I had to cross a main road twice, which meaning pausing very briefly, and at the halfway point I stopped (for less than half a minute) to stretch out my calf muscles, but nevertheless, I ran a mile!!! This means so much to me because I thought I could never do it now, as about 5 years ago I started to get arthritis in my knees, hips, ankles and wrists after getting a flu-type virus. Now there has been no sign of arthritis for well over a year now (virally-induced arthritis can go away completely) and I no longer feel resigned to a less active and healthy middle and old age :)
I thought it would be useful to post about the benefits of running along with my good news so here are 10 of them:
  1. Weight loss: Apparently you burn 1 000 calories an hour when you run. You build lean muscle and speed up your metabolism. which result in burning more calories, even when resting. And the slimmer you are, the faster you will be able to run...
  2. Heart health: Running is a great way to excercise your heart muscle and keep it healthy, plus your circulation will improve, cutting down the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  3. Stronger bones: Taxing the bones by running regularly stimulates them to remain stronger, so you are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis.
  4. Mood uplifting: Running can even  alleviate mild depression, such are its mood-uplifting qualities. It can certainly improve your self-esteem about your shape and your sense of achievement (I can vouch for this). Excercise releases endorphins into your system, which give you a sense of wellbeing and even elation.
  5. Less stress and anxiety: Running reduces the activity of the brain's serotonin inhibitors which regulate mood. Stress and anxiety become easier to cope with. 
  6. Better sleep: People who run report that they sleep longer and can get to sleep more easily.
  7. Stronger immune system: Runners have a stronger immune system, making them less susceptible to colds and minor infections. (Although over-excercising can weaken your immune system.)
  8. Brain power: Running boosts blood flow to the brain, thus supplying it with oxygen and nutrients. This potentially means you'll be thinking faster and more clearly.
  9. Glowing complexion: The increased circulation that results from running helps nourish your skin and get rid of toxins.
  10. Hormone regulation resulting in diabetes/ cancer prevention for women: I have found that pre-menstrual breast tenderness and bloating/ potentially perimenopausal symptoms virtually disappeared since I have been running. I have now discovered that a scientific study has found that the oestrogen produced by women who run is less potent than that of non-runners. This apparently halves the risk of breast and uterine cancer.  (Could this also be why my monthly symptoms went away and I've felt so much better? The same study also showed that women can cut their risk of diabetes by two thirds for the same reason.

2 comments:

  1. That's really wonderful...Thanks for sharing such valuable info regarding running.

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  2. Thank you :) Now that I know how good for you running is, I hope I will keep going!It is making a real difference in my life..

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