Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Running for Overall Health

Guest post written by Jackie Clark
 If you’ve ever though about taking up running, go for it. Running is a good way to whip your body into shape, improve your existing health and help you maintain your overall well being. Although running may not be for everyone, if you make this activity a regular part of your life, you will reap these rewards.

Reduced Risk for Disease

A sedentary lifestyle can leave you unhealthy and overweight. Lack of exercise has been shown to contribute to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, strokes, and high cholesterol. Running is one of the best ways to get off the couch and ward off these conditions. If you already suffer with weight-related illnesses, running combined with appropriate medical care can help you manage them better.

Weight Loss and Maintenance of a Healthy Body weight

If your goal is to lose weight, running is a great way to accomplish this. Running is a total body workout that gets the heart pumping and helps you burn off the extra calories needed to lose weight. If you are a 37-year-old woman and you run at a high intensity, you could burn more than 500 calories per hour. Once you reach your ideal weight, keeping it off will be a piece of cake because running keeps your body from storing excess fat.

If you are not currently struggling with your weight, now is a good time to start a running routine. This will help keep your metabolism revved up so you stay in shape. Running is also a weight bearing exercise, so it’s a great way to tone the legs and calves and whittle your waist.

Stress Management and Relief from Symptoms of Depression

Chronic stress from jobs, family and other sources can contribute to headaches, muscle tension, high blood pressure, heart attacks, ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain types of cancer such as mesothelioma. Running can strengthen your immune system to prevent diseases and help give you an outlet for stress.

If you feel depressed and go for a run, it will encourage your body to secrete endorphins and other hormones that naturally improve your mood and help relieve symptoms of depression.

If you are looking for an all around good exercise for weight control, maintenance of physical health, stress management and relief from the symptoms of depression, consider running. You won’t be disappointed by the results.

Jackie joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2009 as research assistant after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in fitness and nutrition. Jackie’s experience in technical and medical research has allowed her to assist in the development of medical content and outreach efforts, with specializations in alternative care, cancer support programs, and social media campaigns. As well Jackie has been an avid runner who has seen first hand the benefits of exercise. Jackie has blended her passion for cancer research and running through various marathon charity runs that not only help with her overall health, but benefit patients in financial need.

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