Running Is Good For Your Health
Running improves diabetes, blood pressure, raises your HDL (good) cholesterol, explains Janet Hamilton, C.S.C.S., an exercise physiologist at Running Strong in Atlanta. Running could cut your risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 45 percent, according to recent research published in the Women Health Magazine and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
It Keeps You Healthy
Your eyes are the window to your health—they are affected by conditions including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Luckily, running fights all those conditions, and research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that running can lower your risk for developing vision-clouding cataracts, as well.
It Strengthens Your Joints
Don't let that "running is rough on your joints" mumbo-jumbo to fool you. Granted you run smart (progress gradually, treat muscle imbalances, keep good form, and wear the right shoes), running can help keep joints strong. Running increases the amount of blood that makes its way to your joints, increasing their oxygen delivery and flushing out toxins. Plus, it strengthens your joints' bones as well as the ligaments around your joints, helping to fend off joint pain, says Hamilton.
It Relieves Stress
When it comes to curbing anxiety, exercising for an hour is three times better than spending that time resting, according to research from the University of Georgia Department of Exercise. Running is perfect for getting away from it all and in touch with yourself, says Hamilton.
It Improves Your Follow-Through
If you can power through a long run, you can power through anything. Research from the University of Iowa found that since cardio exercise requires long and consistent effort (think: running), doing it regularly can improve your ability to stick with lengthy and arduous to-dos.
It Strengthens Your Bones
High-impact exercise like running spurs bone growth and promotes healthy bone mineral density; a study this year found that women between 25 and 50 who hopped at least 10 times twice a day significantly increased their hipbone density. And if you haven't noticed, running is basically just hopping from foot to foot in a forward direction, says Hamilton. "Loading your bones stimulates the bones to grow and stay strong," she says.
It Can Fight Cancer
A review of 170 studies in the Journal of Nutrition showed that regular exercise is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. Meanwhile, cancer survivors who run may be better off. Breast cancer survivors who run rather than walk experience significant reductions in breast cancer mortality—even when they’ve spent the same amount of energy on their jaunts, according to the International Journal of Cancer.
It Can Get You Outside
How much time do you spend outside each day? Research suggests that the more, the better. Upping your body's levels of vitamin D, which primarily comes from our time spent outside, helps keep your bones strong, your mood lifted, and even aids in weight loss.
It Boosts Your Confidence
When you run, you are constantly trying to run farther and faster than before. And doing something you couldn't before—whether that's running a mile without stopping or breaking an eight-minute mile—comes with an awesome sense of accomplishment and empowerment, says Hamilton.
It Helps You Live Longer
If you haven't noticed by now, running comes with a ton of mind and body benefits. Bonus: They add up to a longer life. In one long-term study on the influence of running on health from the Stanford University School of Medicine, researchers found that after 21 years, 85 percent of runners were still alive, while only 66 percent of non-runners were.
Make Family Time Active Time
You might think that the goal for children to be moderately physically active for 60 minutes seems like a lot of time. Life does get busy, but it doesn't have to stop you from moving as much as you should to stay healthy.
Make moving more a family project. Encourage everyone to think of fun things to do to get up and moving, get off the sofas, and away from the screens especially by doing things as a family.
There are many ways to enjoy physical activity together as a family:
Bike to the library together
Walk or bike to your children's sports events to cheer for them
Have your children come to your sports events and cheer for you
Celebrate special occasions—birthdays, anniversaries—with something active, such as a hike, a volleyball game, a dance contest, or a Frisbee™ match
Train together for a charity walk or run
Keep a Family Activity Log
Encourage everyone in the family to take part. Make sure you keep up the good work by posting a physical activity log (94 KB) on the refrigerator.
Everyday Ideas to Healthy Fitness
Encourage every member of your family to healthy fitness each day. Think of ways to have fun and be active at the same time.
Workout at your own pace. No pressure, do what works for you - with gentle assistance, encouragement and personalized fitness program you have put into place for yourself.
Reshape Your Body
Cardiovascular exercise will torch calories, but resistance training is a big part of the equation if you want to burn fat. Boosting your muscle mass increases your metabolism, so you burn more calories all the time, even when you're not working out.
If you want to burn calories on a cardio
the machine, the treadmill is the way to go. It one study from the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center, runners who ran at a "hard" exertion level burned 705 to 865 calories in an hour—more than if they exercised on the stair climber, rowing machine, or stationary bike.
Consult with your healthcare provider before starting the fitness program.
Physical Activity & Diabetes
Physical activity is an important part of a diabetic's daily routine because it can help to decrease their blood glucose levels. However, you must begin with caution. Your blood glucose can drop up to 24 hours after physical activity. To understand how your body reacts to exercise, it is important to test your blood glucose before beginning the activity. During the exercise, if you begin to experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, stop what you are doing to test your blood glucose levels. If it below 100 mg/dL, treat and test again 15 minutes later. Repeat this until blood glucose is above 100 mg/dL. If hypoglycemia during exercise becomes a common occurrence, talk with your healthcare provider about adjust medication or consuming a small snack before exercising.
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