Embracing the 'fun' in Fun Run-A A +A
Sunday, August 10, 2014
‘If you want to run fast, go alone… If you want to run far, go with others” - African Proverb
SOME people run for their health; others run for fitness. There are those who run for recreation, and there are those who run for a cause.
But what makes all these fun? What makes running fun?
If you happen to have asked these questions, then you are probably one of those people who need some convincing about the beauty and fun side of running.
So let's begin with answering the question, "What do people get out of running?"
Running is simply the most cost-effective yet straightforward form of exercise anyone can do.
Way before those gigantic machines and equipment in gyms were invented, there was running. That's because we are meant to run.
The body benefits
Running benefits your body in so many ways, such as:
- Lowers the blood pressure. Ever seen a long distance runner getting high blood pressure? That's rare for them because running enables the arteries to be more elastic, thus facilitating good blood flow.
- Strengthens the heart. As you run you enable the heart to pump blood more effectively around your body. In turn, this ensures that oxygen—a vital element of our existence -- is sufficiently transported around the body.
- Increases lung capacity. Because the body get to absorb more oxygen from the blood due to running, the capillaries also enable to blood to pass into the lungs more easily. The result? A stronger lung and a healthier respiratory function.
- Conditions the muscles. Running tones and shapes the muscles. So say goodbye to excessive wobbly bits in your arms and thighs. The toner your muscle becomes, the more your joints are protected from injury during aerobic activities and even from ho-hum routines.
- Regulates bowel. Although seldom advertised, running does help in regulating the bowel with the better flow of oxygen in the body.
The mind benefits
Not only does running benefit us physically, it also helps our minds in various ways, including:
- Reduces stress. Ever experienced that certain 'high' after running? That's because running triggers the endorphins in your body that induce a sense of euphoria.
When you are feeling elated, it's virtually impossible to feel stressed at the same time because stress receptors in your body are effectively suppressed during this period.
- Encourages focus. With everyone trying to multi-task all the time, getting an 'in the now' moment can be very elusive.
While running, you get too little time to think about the past or worry about your future; what you have is just your body on the go and the present. The mind then becomes more alert while it combats mental fatigue.
- Diminishes depression. Many practitioners of psychotherapy have long been recommending running to alleviate clinical depression.
As it reduces stress and make the mind more focused on the physical activity, the runner is unable to "dwell on the negative thoughts" which is often the start of depression.
- Develops confidence. There is always a sense of achievement after reaching the finish line. This then results to an improved self-esteem and a better self-belief.
Now the next question will be, if you can get all these benefits running on your own, why need to sign up for a fun run? Here’s why:
Fun runs are part social, part fitness, and mostly geared toward supporting a cause. It provides:
- Motivation. Admit it, you easily succumb to laziness. Signing up for a fun run with your friends gets you more motivated to see it through, simply because you will have a company of people to do it with you together.
- Social activity. While they give you the motivation to run, joining fun runs also offer a great opportunity to spend time with your loved ones.
While you encourage and inspire each other, running also serves as a bonding activity. Signing up on fun runs with your kids also instils them the value of social responsibility.
- Fun. It isn't called a 'fun' run for nothing. Running with hundreds of people you do not know yet supporting the same cause or advocacy is always fun.
Now, ready to sign up for a fun run? Start it with the Green Run: A Run for Agriculture and the Environment on August 21, 2014.
Aiming to raise awareness on the role of agriculture in the country and the need for the protection of the environment, this fun run is one of the activities lined-up for the Manresa Days Celebration of Xavier University’s College of Agriculture.
Sign up now! (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 11, 2014.