MANILA, Philippines - More and more Filipinos are running for fitness.
First-time marathons are celebrated with photos posted on social media. Friends, families, and couples run together as a bonding activity. Some run to relieve stress and to have “alone time” for reflection and meditation.
But what makes running such a great form of exercise and what are its benefits?
At the press conference for the First Vita Plus Power Run held in Bonifacio Global City last January 15, race organizer Jinoe Gavan reminded everyone why we [should] run:
1. Great weight-loss strategy
The weight-conscious are just some of the few who have benefited from running. With regular exercise, say, 30 minutes of jogging 5 kilometers [which Jinoe says is a good target for first-timers], you can keep your weight down and indulge in your favorite food [as long as it’s not junk food] without worry. You’ll burn them again tomorrow!
2. Lessens heart problems
Running is a simple and straightforward way to strengthen your cardiovascular system and prevent heart attack. It exercises large muscles, keeping your cardio system efficient and strong. Regular jogging keeps the arteries open and ensures the smooth flow of blood from the heart through your body. An inactive person’s heart beats 36,000 more times each day than the heart of a runner.
3. Cheap and no-frills
While some forms of exercise and sports require expensive equipment and gear, all you need to run is a pair of rubber shoes and a safe street. Though there is a proper form for running, for most of us, running comes naturally compared to other exercises that make use of complex positions.
4. An energy booster
Those who begin their day with a jog often feel more energized and ready to take on the day’s challenges. Running wakes you up and prepares your system for the day’s more strenuous activities. Plus, it’s a great way to clear your head and shake off the stupor from sleep.
5. Bonding activity
Running is a sport that can be enjoyed in a variety of company. You can run as a pair, with a boyfriend, best friend, parent or child, or enjoy a group run (also called a pack run) with your barkada or office mates.
A manageable pace can allow for conversation; energetic hip-hop music from someone’s portable speakers can motivate everyone to keep up. Few moments are as enjoyable as finishing a race together and enjoying a celebratory feast after.
And as with any exercise or physical activity, the right preparation is crucial. Jinoe shares these tips for future [and present] runners:
1. Prep tip #1: Carbo-load the night before
This means eating a lot of carbohydrate-rich food like pasta, pizza, and bread. Carbs are a source of energy, something you need in vast amounts for a race.
2. Prep tip #2: Take glucosamine
This popular dietary supplement is good for the knees, a body-part that gets a beating every time you go running. You want to keep those knees resilient and happy so they last you the whole race.
3. Prep tip #3: Load up on vitamin C
Our resistance always goes down after exercise. Vitamin C, present in strawberries, guavas, broccoli, and bell peppers, helps boost resistance, keeping you strong even after the race is run.
4. Prep tip #4: Hydration is key
Prepare rehydration salts to replenish your body with fluids and electrolytes lost during exercise. Dehydration is especially dangerous in runs which take place under the glare of the sun.
'Together they run.' Have you heard of the father and son who run together? Watch this video:
With all these tips in mind, you can enjoy and maximize every run you join. The more you enjoy an activity, the more you’ll pursue it. Here’s to healthy pursuits in 2013! - Rappler.com
(Jinoe and the rest of the First Vita Plus gang invite everyone to their first-ever run on February 3 at Bonifacio Global City. The run is open to all ages, with a 500m Kid’s Dash for runners aged 6- to 10-years-old, and distances of 3km, 5km, and 10km for everyone else. For more information, visit the run’s website.)