Journey Into The World Of Running: Catching up with Nate
About seven years ago, for a multitude of reasons, I made the decision to get healthy. I began my journey into the world of running. As a child I ran cross country in school, seemed to remember enjoying it, and decided this will be the vehicle to get me back into shape.
Start Where You Are
Pretending I was a kid again, I ran like the wind. The next day when reality caught up with me, I was limping around with overuse injuries and could barely walk. At this point, I made two decisions: one, I need to get healthier and two, I will run again if it’s the last thing I do. As I found out, there are a couple disadvantages to running, but most health experts say the health benefits greatly outweigh the risk when done properly.
The short list of benefits includes:
- improved heart health
- strengthens muscles and bones
- increases metabolism (weight loss)
- improves the immune system
- helps you sleep better
- improves cognitive function and reduces cognitive decline
- lowers blood pressure
- improves mental health
- reduces depression
- increases longevity
Keep Moving Forward
I joined a walking group to assist in my transition to running. For a couple months, I walked twice a week, for three to five miles per day until I felt my muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments were strong enough to try running again. At this time I found a recreational running group.
I highly recommend anyone interested in beginning to run join a running group. A running group
will support you and be your accountability partner to keep you motivated. There is usually a leader or coach who can show you proper technique and best practices, including proper footwear, apparel, diet and hydration to keep you injury free.
Taking Care of Body & Mind
For the first few months of running, I did have to work through a couple very minor injuries as my body grew stronger and acclimated to the added workload. But eventually It became the new normal: I felt great, had more energy during the day and slept well every night, my body started craving healthy food, and I had just a slightly different view of life, maybe a little more optimistic. Oh yeah, and I now catch myself taking two stairs at a time instead of one and am not out of breath when I reach the top of the stairs.
The Lifetime Rewards
Running can be a rewarding journey to well-being. Start slow and get direction from seasoned runners to set you off on your path. Whether your goal is to get healthy, lose weight, be part of a team and meet new people, compete or just to go see new places you otherwise might not see, running is a journey that could last a lifetime…one mile at a time.