Are you are like me and ever wondered if you could run for exercise and actually enjoy it? Before I made the commitment to my first 5k, I seriously had a love hate relationship with running. Memories from my former physical education days of when Coach would mention running the mile, I could immediately feel my body react with the cramp in my side, knots in my stomach and sweat beginning to build on my brow, hands and yes, unfortunately, underarm. On the reverse I would also see those ultra marathoners or hear stories of friends and coworkers training for their first 5k, 10k or even a marathon, and really wondered if I could also complete the task. Well, finally back, actually way back, in 2005, I took the plunge, threw caution to the wind and just simply walked/ran my way right into my first organized race ever “The Red Mule 5K.” Ever since that day I have continued to battle the pavement each year, admitting that it has not always been easy and there are many times that I question “why am I doing this again?” But eventually I lace up those shoes, control my mind and start again. Hate it or love it, and depending on the day, you may feel both emotions when comes to this physical activity, running can be something you may actually start to enjoy just like me. Running outside provides many health benefits that help improve not only our physical health but also our social and mental wellbeing. It provides an opportunity to improve your heart and lung function, and can help to lower blood pressure and decrease risks to several other chronic diseases. Running for 75 minutes weekly is considered vigorous exercise and completes the Center for Disease controls recommendation of weekly physical activity.
It can also be an inexpensive way to achieve your physical activity goals by simply purchasing the right shoes and proper clothing to start you on your journey. If you are new to exercise and plan on beginning running, be sure to obtain consent from your health care provider. Running is a great way to disconnect and disengage with the distractions of work, family and social media and reconnect with just you and all the benefits that nature provides. Vitamin D, especially in the state of Florida, is a great benefit to running outside along with providing fresh air your body needs. Running is also a great way to connect socially with others that share the same passion.
With any physical activity, it is important to provide your body with proper nutrition before and after your workout. Especially with running, the type of foods you eat can provide the necessary fuel needed to complete your task and still feel great after. If you are new to running, remember to set small goals that are specific and attainable. A great way to stay on track and work toward an accomplishment or goal is to sign up for a local 5k in your community. Running a 5k is a great way to keep you engaged and also gives you the opportunity to give back to a cause or organization that interests you. There is no time like the present. Don’t put it off another day. Lace up those shoes and go for that run. Remember, the race is only with one person and that is you! Click the link to sign up for your first 5k. www.milkrun.org.