Why do we run?

Running, It's painful, time consuming and physically exhausting.

So, why do so many of us run? People run for many reasons. Most often, people run to stay in shape and to reach an ideal body weight. I took up running to reduce stress and to improve my overall health. Studies show that a combination of diet and exercise is the most effective way to lose weight. I read somewhere the average runner burns approximately 100 calories per mile. With more up side than down, I decided to give it a try, before I knew it I had run 13 Marathons, lord knows how many 5 and 10 K races, I decided to join a local running club and found myself addicted to the sport. I've met some really good people and life long friends, it has been so rewarding for me. It's relatively inexpensive, all you need is a decent pair of sneakers, some comfortable running shorts and a little determination, and anyone can do it!

Health Benefits

Some runners view their running as a remedy. I personally view it as a motivation tool and a stress reliever. Whenever I need a boost, all I need to do is put on my running shoes and off I go. The psychological benefits far outweigh the physical. It Probably has something to do with those "endorphins" the brain creates when you run. In fact, some doctors use running as a treatment for depression. However, that may be true for other exercise programs as well.

Running is one of the best aerobic exercises for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs. It helps to maintain good blood flow and oxygen throughout the body; this has been proven to lower your blood pressure and helps to decrease the risk of heart disease.

As I mentioned earlier, many runners enjoy reaching the "runner's high" that peaceful, calm state you feel after a long run. The good news is that you don't have to run marathons to receive the benefits of running. It can be part of an overall fitness program, meaning you only run a few miles a week. You'll sleep better, feel better, be happier, stronger and yes, it could slow down your aging process.

Could it get any better?

Let's review the benefits:

Relieves stress

Effective way to lose weight

Psychological and physical benefits

Good for your heart and lungs

Decrease the risk of heart disease

You can run on your own or with a group

Slows down the aging process

Although running is a healthy activity, you should get medical advice before you start a running program.

I can't imagine living my life without some sort of running program! I guess I'm now what some describe as a casual weekend warrior. Remember to focus on your goals and you should be happy with your results. I hope to see some of you on trail.