The least sporty person in my family, I have never been very athletic. Always last to be picked for the netball team, I never once made it over the hurdle. In fact, I would rather face those awkward cold sprints through the communal showers than attempt sports day. But I love to go for a run.
As a child I avoided sport, but as soon I hit my 20s and wanted to look half way decent on the beach, I hit the gym. Going with friends to aerobics, bums ‘n’ tums and step classes became as routine as brushing my teeth and I have always gone three or four times a week up until I settled down and got married.
With less time to commit away from running a home and work, exercise gradually sloped off my ‘daily grind’. That, plus the cost of gym memberships seemed to be forever rising. I think my last membership was around £80 a month. Before I knew it, I had stopped exercising completely.
SP had been a keen runner before I met him and his answer was simply to buy a pair of trainers, chuck on whatever old clothes he had lying around and get out on the road. With trainers costing around the same price as one month’s gym membership it seemed like a solution.
And it was, I’ve been running for around 10 years now and I still absolutely love it. I’ve found that although I’m not the quickest runner (I still wouldn’t get picked for the athletics team) I do have quite a bit of stamina and can keep going for a long time. I have completed the Bristol 10k and nowadays look for hotels with a gym when we go on holiday! There is even video footage of me running near Uluru one early January morning in 2017.
I love running because:
- First and foremost, it helps me control my weight. Running is a great cardio workout. It gets the heart pumping and uses lots of energy (kcals). So, if I have a big night out, like I do tonight, I will go for a run beforehand, knowing I’ll feel less guilty sinking a second cocktail
- It’s free. You only need a simple running kit – I’ve just bought a great selection of kit from Primark with leggings costing around £6-8 per pair. You can spend as much as you want, but it doesn’t have to break the bank
- You can squeeze in a quick run first thing in the morning, lunchtime or last thing at night. It fits into your schedule and you don’t have to go anywhere to do it, just leave the house
- It is great for stress relief. I can let my mind wander, think through any problems, or drown them out with a playlist of good tunes. Either way when I get in the shower I am in a more positive mood, which is probably why I love to start the day with a run. So that I’m on the right footing for a banging day
- I can run solo or join up with people. Most of the time I run on my own, but that’s because I work from home, so it makes sense to use the time I would normally spend commuting, exercising. However, it is good to get some support or be supportive. I’m a member of the free app Strava and you can see how others are doing and give them a thumbs (kudos) up when they beat their PBs
What I’ve learned about running on the net….
According to a review of evidence in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, runners live three years longer than non-runners.
You don’t even have to run fast, or for long, to see a benefit. You can drink, smoke, be overweight and still reduce your risk of dying early by running – by between 25% and 40%.
The authors of the review say that no other exercise has such an impact – an hour of running will, statistically speaking, increase your life expectancy by seven hours.
Even a jog counts as moderately vigorous exercise. If you are time poor, you need run for only half the time to get the same benefits as other sports.
Running may be particularly good at shifting abdominal fat.
The last point is possibly my favourite and my most needed!
Have a great weekend.
Do you like running? Or, if you don’t, what other exercise do you enjoy? Leave thought and comments below…