Are you bent by scoliosis programmer? Do you spend too much time sitting? Maybe you look a bit flabby? Super tired at and after work? High chances are that some of these are true for you. Some certainly are true for me. This year I tried to improve my situation by running. Here are my thoughts and humble recommendations.

Dirty Running Shoes

Running and its impact on your Health

“Being physically active reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases, potentially extending longevity.” – many studies show accordingly to this article. Probably one of the most accessible forms of exercising is running. All you need to start is just pair of shoes. This research paper is a good resource on learning about impact of running and other exercises on chronic diseases and general mortality.

So why running? – Because it is easy to start with and because we are made for it. “Humans can outrun nearly every other animal on the planet over long distances.” – says this article. Funnily enough there is yearly Human vs. Horse marathon competition.

If you ask yourself how you want your last two decades before death look like, most likely you would picture a healthy, mobile, and socially active person. Also you would prefer those two decades better be 80’s and 90’s. Right? Light running for as little as 1 hour a week could add as much as 6 years to your life. This long-term study showed that “the age-adjusted increase in survival with jogging was 6.2 years in men and 5.6 years in women.” (For those who are pedantic and want to know net win: (2 hrs/wk * 52 wks a year * 50 years) / 16 day hours = 325 days lost to running still gives you net 5 years).

Motivation

At my age I do not think about the death that much. My main motivation for running is improvement of my health. I know that for many people extra weight is motivating factor. For me it is not as instead of loosing weight I gained some 2-3 kg. Likely I’m so skinny there is no way to loose fat, though there is room for leg muscles growth. Unfortunately running is often boring and it is very hard to get yourself outside and go for a run on that nasty cold day. Here are few things that helped me running this year:

Run different routes

Always running at same location taking same path is boring. If you travel somewhere, just take your shoes with yourself and have a run at new place. Not only you get to have another run, but you explore the location. I ran in five different countries this year and could tell that those runs are more interesting than usual next to home ones.

Running in Ireland Gap Of Dunloe

Join friends or running club

I was going for runs rather rarely at the beginning of the year, but later as I started running with friends I started to run more frequently. It is always much more pleasant to have a conversation and learn few new things from friends, especially if areas of your interest overlap more than just running.

Running With Friends

Sign up for a challenge

Sports are competitive by nature. You can have friendly competition with your fellow runners, or you can take a virtual challenge. That works great because the clock is ticking and you want to have it done. This September I took it to the next level by signing up to Strava monthly challenges. I have completed all of them. See Trophy Case below:

Strava September Running Challenge

Be careful and avoid injury

You don’t want to walk with a cane when old because you were too stupid and run too much and too hard when young. I’m sick of running because of this September challenge. I completed it, but last two runs I ran through the pain being injured. I’m recovering now using RICE recovery technique. From now on I will take it easier. Suggesting the same for you.

RICE Recovery - Icing an Ankle

You can do it

I’m not a good runner. At the beginning of the year I could barely run 5km, I didn’t know how I will complete my planned 40 runs as it was so hard. Running 40 times was my main year goal. I did not expect that I will ran for around 50 times totaling 320 km. And it is not the end of the year yet. I also ran a Half-Marathon distance running a top Kahlenberg hill next to Vienna. If I can do it – you can!

Conclusion

I completely agree with research and studies that “for majority of people the benefits of running overweight the risks” and at the same time I voluntarily ran through the injury just to complete my challenge. Motivation is an important factor, but runners have to be careful and moderate their exercising. This is especially true if you run for the health reasons. Just try to make your runs more interesting and enjoy your life… longer.

Running under Speed sign

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone