All exercise has general health benefits, so why should you choose running?
If you are reading this I am sure you have been assaulted by the deluge of health claims for which exercise is awarded. Turn on the news, read a blog, talk to your doctor and they pour it in both ears. Have you drowned yet? I am interested in the subject, but even I tune it out most times. After a while it feels like I am being lectured to instead of being convinced.
Not that exercise is not deserving of its high praise. Exercise boasts effects such as: stronger bones, heart, immune system; it wards against insomnia, and a better lean-to-fat ratio. According to this study from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you pair exercise with a handful of simple (and frankly underwhelming) lifestyle choices you can reduce your chances of an early death by 40%-82%. How about this quote from a study by Darren Warburton of The School of Human Kinetics published in 2006:
“We confirm that there is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) and premature death.”
Feel like exercising yet?
Doesn’t that all sound great. Well no, if you are like me, no it does not sound all that exciting.
I think the real question is: What am I getting for all of those years, all of those missed cartons of ice cream and hours of comfort on the couch with Netflix flickering in my eyes?
Yes I know, I could save myself years of failing health, chronic pain, high medical bills, having to burden my family. Yeah yeah. Sure, if I follow all of the experts’ advice my likelihood of an untimely death or chronic disease falls to… well not zero but low enough where Peter Dinklage would need to stoop to get under them.
What I am asking is what do I get NOW! What are my rewards today and next week not in my possible future decades to come.
What carrot can I bait my stick with to get me to exercise every or most days of the week? Remember we are giving up Netflix and ice cream for moving around for no obvious purpose here! This is no small thing, this is the instant gratification our ancient cave dwelling ancestors could only have compared to having fruit all year long (oh wait, we have that too).
What if I told you running could bring you friendship, confidence, a sense of accomplishment, and much more?
I think that is one convincing carrot. More on this in Part two.