The Many Benefits Of Running

Good ‘ole Bernal St. overpass.

Yesterday felt much better than the past 3 days post NWM 2011.  I was seriously suffering from the post-marathon soreness but decided to do a little exercise to help ‘work it out’ of my body.  The day after the full marathon, I could only breath and painstakingly get up from my bed to eat food and to use the restroom.  The second day, I was brave enough to leave the house to get some food and was thankful that a co-worker of mine who felt sorry for me and volunteered to drive Ms Daisy me to the store.

Yesterday, I headed out for a slow shuffle up to Bernal Road, cross the hill overpass incline and then back.  Initially, I tried jogging, and gratefully did a mile, but the pain would not allow me go past one mile.  My Spirit felt great, but my fleshly body was tore-up/mashed up!

My Papa’s–dead to the world– sleep

Many people ask me why I run.  When I answer, they the realize they’ve opened a can or two of worms.  I let them have it, yes I do.  I love running.  Running keeps me grounded and detached from stress, in shape, feeling healthy and great, and… keeps me out of trouble (too many to number here).  I am addicted to it.  This addiction started way back in nursing school. Running makes me feel euphoric, and when I am so tired from work that I cannot sleep, running becomes a natural tranquilizer!

I run for many reasons now. I run to BE.  I run to stay fit.  I run to breathe.  I run to keep my heart strong.  I run to be in the flow (same experience I have when I am writing and singing).  I run to dispel good healing vibes for others who are sick.  It’s my addiction.  All these good feelings comes from the beta endorphins (good stuff) secreted from the neurons (nerve cells) that makes one feel exhilarated during a run. They are the cause of that natural high runners romantically talk about.

Let me explain some differences between walking, running,  jogging, and sprinting.  I will do this because many people confuse jogging for running, and are not aware of the difference between these.

Walking:  Defined as moving at a steady pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn.  In other words, you may have one or both feet on the ground, “never having both foot off the ground at once.”

Running:  “Never having both or all feet on the ground at one time.”

Jogging is a slower, steady, gentler pace of running (Even Granny can do this).

Sprinting is the act of running a short distant at a fast pace, usually about 400 meter race. I don’t know what kind of water those Kenyans and Ethiopians drink, but would be nice if they send a few milliliters my way.  They have broken marathon world records time and time again.  They are great sprinters.  Those Kenyans…. I think my niece Alina may have inherited a few of their genes or maybe she found the well where they dip for water.  She has beat me on many challenges, and at that, BAREFOOT!

Now the benefits of running on a regular basis are many.  Besides making one feel good, running has many health benefits:  lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar, staying in shape, effective in smoking cessation, drug addiction, helps increase good cholesterol level and decreases triglyceride level, good in helping with clinical depression and mood improvement (research shows it may be better results than many anti-depressive medications) , improves bone health, and others good good good benefits.

Running requires a great deal of energy expenditure and so for each mile you run, on average you will burn 100 cal/mile.  A body burns about 2000-2300 cal/day by just being. So running surely will help you burn a lot more calories. When I ran that NWM (Nike Women’s Marathon) in SF this past Sunday, I burned 2600 calories!!!  Yeah, I clearly lost my mind on that one, but I survived.

Looking for Nemo?

So yesterday, I got the courage after listening to that Macy Grey, “Get up, get out, and do something,” song.  So, I got up, out, and taught myself to walk all over again.  This cliche might be overrated and sounding like a scratched record (or more like a profane word), but your health does matter.  Especially if you loose it and are struggling in somebody’s God-aweful ICU!

I felt like a baby, or more like an elderly, but I am glad to say that today I got rid of that Fred Sanford swag– two legs wide apart and walking like a duck (Definitely NOT sexy!), to make it to the kitchen or the pot.  I hope you find time today to pick up a dumbbell or two, jumper rope, take that dusty bike for a ride, get a good one hour brisk walk, or head south for a good short run/walk/run walk.  More later on how best to do this.

OYE!  Calling all you Nurses, Nurses Aids, Doctors, anyone that is has a Mama and is breathing.  Move di body!  Get up!  Brisk walking burns more calories than a slow walk in the same amount of time.  Running burns much more calories than brisk walking in the same amount of time.  You will feel better after popping a good sweat.  I know life is rough and time has a mind of it’s own, but put down that TV remote control (Get the courage, and go out and get Nemo healthier) and take control of your own health.  TIME TO GET THE BODY MOVING!!!  Please feel free to share your experience with us.