To Run or Not To Run?

running shoe

 

This sounds like a silly question for this blog. Well I am here to help you improve your quality of life based on research and personal experiences. We all know that running has so many benefits and can be a great staple for cardiovascular fitness. While the benefits can be numerous, there can also be negatives. Not just from running, but keeping the same routine. Let us take a closer look before you lace up and hit the pavement.

Running is not bad. I would like to be clear. The benefits and studies surrounding running outweigh any negative I could present. I love running myself. I never thought to stop and look at how it could affect me negatively. As with any program or exercise, the more you do the same thing the more prone you are to plateaus and increased risk of injury. You can avoid this by simply changing up your program every once in a while. Great runners do not just run to get better times and performance. They know that some strength training and multiple types of cardio will give them the best results.
Other Cardiorespiratory Fitness-boosting exercises:
-Plyometric exercises (power exercises. jumping or explosive movements)
-Dancing (make it a date, take a class or lessons, play dancing games on your game console, etc.)
-Play a game of basketball with some friends
-tennis
-step-aerobic class
-cycling

The more ways you learn to get that heart rate up to cardiovascular levels, the better you can cope with injury. Let us say you get an injury from running and damage your achilles. Having multiple types of exercises in your routine increases the chance that you will find something low-impact enough to continue exercising with your injury. Sometimes when an athlete gets an injury he or she can get withdrawal symptoms of mild depression, anxiety, and even lowered self-esteem (1). By having variety you increase the chance you will be able to cope and modify to find something you can still do.

For some, especially women according to a psychological evaluation, safety was an important factor (2). There is truth to why women would be afraid of running outdoors, because we have all heard of abductions while running. However, there are things you can do to help ensure a safer run according to active.com (3). These are some of their suggestions:
-Do not run alone
-Change up your route
-Carry runner’s pepper spray
-Take a self-defense class
-Run against traffic
-Do not run with earphones.

With all of this said, running has far too many benefits to not be included in any exercise program. Taking steps to prevent the few possible roadblocks make it still an excellent choice. With the right shoes and armed with this information there is no reason to say “No” to running! So get out there with confidence and a better chance for success. Happy running!

References:
1. Psychological Effects of Running Loss on Consistent Runners, Study done by Connie S. Chan of University of Massachusetts and Hildreth Y. Grossman of Harvard University, 1998.
http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pms.1988.66.3.875?journalCode=pms

2.The Benefits and Costs of Serious Running, Wayne F. Major. March 11, 2011.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/04419057.2001.9674226#.Uf-oUpK1GSo

3 .http://beta.active.com/running/articles/6-running-safety-tips?page=1

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