- Category: Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)
- Published: 03 December 2014
It’s an adrenaline rush that brings about a natural high, and for a moment in time it allows you to forget all of your worries and stress. No, I’m not talking about marijuana or molly; I’m talking about running. If you haven’t experienced the joys of running, you are not only missing out on the numerous health benefits, but a feeling of ecstasy that is incomparable.
Running is much more than putting on a pair of Nike’s and heading over to the treadmill or outside around your neighborhood. Running begins even before track shorts and sneakers.
You can’t just expect to run effortlessly without drinking water or eating a well balanced meal beforehand. Granted, everyone has his or her own preferences about whether to eat or not before a run. However, it is most beneficial to eat a small, carb-loaded meal an hour before-hand.
In other cases, eating the night before is equally as important as the morning of a long run. Running actually encourages increased carbohydrate consumption because it allows for better running performance and also a happier mood.
According to fitness magazine, Runner’s World, eating carbohydrates the night before or the morning of a race is beneficial because they are stored as glycogen in your muscles. When you run, your body burns off the fats stored. Therefore, the more carbs you eat, the more energy you have to prolong a run.
Enough about the food, what about the mood that running creates? It’s an unexplainable feeling, but if you ever experienced it, I’m sure you understand.
At a certain point in time, it’s like you are completely in control of your body, but at the same time have no control at all.
After running five miles, you may find your legs beginning to shake, your arms tiring, and your feet going numb.
On the other hand, your mind is telling you to keep going. It is a conflict between the body and the mind. At this point you tell yourself, “Don’t give up.”
Suddenly you find yourself increasing your speed, dismissing the conflict between body and mind and having complete control over the situation. Your mind is now only concentrated on the motion of your legs moving back and forth as they are pushing angrily against gravity, and the release of endorphins create a feeling of euphoria- otherwise known as “runner’s high.”
For us college kids, any thoughts about mid-semester college breakdowns are now erased. In fact, running clears the head from any anxieties, sorrows, or any emotion at all. For a moment in time, you are alone and at peace. You keep looking forward taking long strides, sweat pours down your face, but you feel capable to take on anything.
“Running is completely rewarding. You cannot replace the feeling after a run.” said Rachel Fox, a senior education major with a concentration in English.
Not everyone experiences the ecstasy that comes along with running. Often times people are quick to judge and make jokes about running: “If you see me running you should run too, because something is probably chasing me.” This famous e-card meme has captured the attention of many anti-runners. If people are able to endure a little bit of pain and struggle, however, they would finally see the benefits, rewards, and complete and utter bliss that running offers.
Running assists in weight loss, prevents bone loss, improves your mood, and has an effect on your life expectancy. In fact, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that even running a minimum of five to ten minutes a day assists in a longer life expectancy; runners are anticipated to live three years longer than non-runners.
Running actually shows your heart a little love too. According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, runners are expected to have 30 percent and 45 percent lower adjusted risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Having a constant running routine reduces the chances of heart disease, heart attack, and strokes.
The online fitness forum, The Runners Guide, states that running aids in lowering blood pressure and assists in maintaining the elasticity of the arteries- which means that you are improving your body’s functionality.
Amanda Enright, an adjunct nutrition professor, recommends interval training when running with a purpose of weight loss. “Increasing your intensity during a run will keep your heart rate up to give an added challenge to your workout.” she said.
Running is not only good for weight loss, but it is essential to our health and improves mood benefits. The American Psychological Association states that running increases serotonin, relieving chronic depression and anxiety.
In a study comparing people suffering depression, those who followed a daily running routine not only were relieved from depression symptoms, but also were less likely to relapse.
“Running is a great way to relieve stress. It is also a chance to give yourself some time to enjoy the outdoors.” said Jackie Leming, a senior health studies major.
Imagine yourself ten years from now. What do you want to look like? How do you want to feel? Now think back to a time where you felt the most confident in your own skin. Getting daily exercise through running can optimize our body image, improving health and self-confidence.
We owe it to our bodies, we owe it to our health, we owe it to our future-self, and we owe it to our happiness to get outside, tie up those sneakers and go for a run.
Whether its five minutes or five miles, running regularly can go a very long way by providing a better future for our well-being.
IMAGE TAKEN from bbc.com