In a recent post titled “Exercise is medicine,” I outlined some of the incredible benefits of physical activity. It has the power to prevent and treat many diseases, and just may be the fountain of youth.
While all exercise offers health benefits, even just short periods, I took up running several years ago and have never looked back. Running, like other forms of physical activity, can help prevent obesity, heart diseases, some forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and improve our mental health. Research suggests it can also help our minds stay sharp as we age and help us live longer.
Here’s what running can do for you:
- Running can help you lose weight, but more importantly, can help you maintain a healthy weight. Whether you’re fast or slow (I’m on the slower side!), it’s a terrific way to get in shape and stay in shape.
- Running, like other forms of exercise, can help prevent some forms of cancer – breast and colon cancers among others. Many cancer patients find that running increases their quality of life, improves their mental outlook, boosts their confidence, and helps them cope with treatment.
- Running makes us happier. If you haven’t already experienced it, try exercise as a means of lifting stress, anxiety, and depression. Learn more.
- Running strengthens our bodies by increasing bone mass and curbing age-related bone loss. Contrary to what you may have heard, running does not appear to cause damage to our knees – of course common sense when exercising, can also help.
- Running can help adults get the minimum 150 minutes of heart-pumping activity needed weekly for health benefits. A few short runs a week (or even a brisk walk/run combination) is all you need to boost your health and quite possibly, extend your life.
Running has improved my performance in so many other activities – tennis included. While I’m no tennis pro, running has helped me acquire the stamina and agility to enjoy hours of on-court fun with my family.
Ready to give it a try? Try my 5 KM Running Program.
In good health!
Tweet with me @cate_cameron and join us @TennisCanada.