After 40 years, I still get it.
At a social event, the grocery store, or from a stranger on the street.
"Are you still running?"
Something like, "If I'm still vertical, I'm running."
"You runners are crazy," is often the response.
Well...the latest statistics, as reported last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in two articles published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicate that over forty percent of American women are obese, as compared to thirty five percent of American men.
That's the bad news.
The good news is that more Americans are running and entering races, at distances from 5K to the marathon, than ever.
If you run, contrary to what the naysayers claim, you will not, "Drop over," "Ruin your knees," or, during the winter months, "Freeze your lungs."
What you will do, however, is control your weight, lower your blood sugar, increase your blood flow, and strengthen your heart.
Running increases one's self-esteem, and it actually fortifies joints and ligaments, Running significantly decreases the chances of dying from cardiovascular disease, simply because when you run, you decrease your resting heart rate, so your heart doesn't have to work as hard.
Research has shown that running can raise your level of good cholesterol and increase lung capacity.
Diabetes, blood pressure, and osteoporosis can all be controlled by developing a running regimen. Running reduces the risk of having a stroke, by creating arteries that can become superhighways, and for women, running reduces the risk of breast cancer.
There are few positive ways of relieving stress that are better than running.
A bad day at work, family stress, or grief can all be relieved by going for a run. On the days of the birth of my children, on the day my father died, and on September 11, 2001, I dealt with happiness, sadness, and anger by lacing up my running shoes and taking to the streets.
When you run, you sleep better, and you eat healthier. Sometimes you need a supplement to enhance your protein needs. Checkout www.sprintbar.com.
Running is truly "The people's sport." It is inexpensive. Purchase a good pair of running shoes and you're ready to go. No matter how fast or slow you may be, you may enter a race in which you line up next to an Olympian. And, there is no retirement age. Canada's Ed Whitlock just set the world record for the mile run. He turned in a time of 7:18. Ed Whitlock is 85-years young!
Do not be intimidated. Running is for everybody. Start out by walking, then ease into a run. You don't have to "Look like a runner." If you have the motivation to begin a running program, you ARE a runner.
Running is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. Once you begin to run, the benefits will last a lifetime.