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For the Love of Running

April 6, 2011

By Tara Zimliki, CPT

For as long as I can remember I have been a runner. Running gives me inner peace and is my meditation.  There is nothing better than going out for a run and releasing all your stress and energy by pounding the pavement.  As a sport, running is great because it gives you empowerment and a great sense of accomplishment.

I learned how to run competitively; in high school, and in college I learned to work as a team as I ran, studied, and bonded with my fellow runners. Now, as an adult, I find my runs to be the best time to gather my thoughts.  Some days I run on the thoughts of the great love I have for my children and ways to make the world even better.  Other days I run to release the stress of the day.  But every run I feel the love I have for this great sport.

Why Run?

These are the reasons why many of my clients have chosen to become runners:

Studies have shown the health benefits of running to be tremendous, reducing your chances of coming down with everything from the common cold to cancer. Running boosts your immune system.  Also, according to recent studies running is among the best aerobic exercises for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs. It helps ensure the efficient flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, things that are proven to help to decrease the risk of a heart attack.

Running is a great stress reliever.  I feel a “runner’s high,” and this euphoric feeling makes me feel like I can run forever.

Research shows that healthy adults who exercise regularly are generally happier than those who don’t. As a runner, I feel more energy.  It is amazing how much more I can get done in a day on the days that I run compared to the days I do not run.  When people ask how I get so much done, I always attribute my busy but balanced schedule to my running.  Running helps you improve your fitness and stamina.

As a weight-bearing exercise, running also increases bone density, which can ward off osteoporosis.

Running is one of the highest calorie-burning exercises. Based on a 150-pound person, running burns 100 calories per mile.  Because of the high calorie expenditure, running combined with healthy eating will expedite your weight loss goals.

How can I begin?

If you are not a runner and would like to begin, remember to start slow.  I have trained some clients in my weight loss program, Tara’s Bootcamp, to become runners when they had never run prior.  I have each client begin at their own pace by walking, jog/walk, jogging, and then running.  If may be helpful for you to invest in a running coach who will help you with proper form and technique along with assessing your posture, gait, and stride length.  If you unable to run due to a medical condition you can speed walk for a modified aerobic workout.

You can be a runner at any age.  My running friends range in age from 16-85!

Believe in yourself and set attainable goals.  Yes you can have it all and be the very best YOU, it just takes a little bit of work, some sweat, and a good pair of running shoes.

I advise that you consult your physician before beginning running, taking a bootcamp, or engaging in any other fitness program, to make sure you’re not taking on too much.

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