Suggest to most people that they would get any kind of benefit from running and this is the response you’re most likely to get.
“You want me to what???”
Yet you can derive so many health benefits from running. You can even get off medication in some cases.
Last week I went to the doctor for a check up and my A1C was so good he told me I don’t need to take Metformin any more. Metformin is a drug I have been on since August 2008 to treat type two diabetes.
All I did different was lose some weight from watching my calories and take up running. Now my heart rate is down, my blood pressure is perfect. 110/70, and my blood sugar is under control.
All because I took up running.
As we get older we seem to develop a serious aversion to running. We only run when we absolutely have to. Yet look at children. Their natural instinct seems to be to run. They must be really impatient to get to where they want to go. And sure, they have more energy since they are young. I know I was the same and I’m willing to bet you were, too. Running is a natural instinct. When you’re young you go out and play. You play sports. You play tag.
Then when you become an adult you put away such ‘childish’ pursuits. You ‘get serious.’ You get a job. You sit behind a desk all day. Then you go home, eat dinner, put your feet up and watch television. For the most part. After a while your fitness drops because you don’t run. So when you end up having to run, to catch a bus, to catch up with someone, because you’re running late, you get out of breath. And you tell yourself you can’t run any more.
Because you’re out of shape. Because you haven’t run for so long.
Your body is a machine. You get out of it what you put into it. If you neglect your car, if you don’t put enough fuel in the tank, your car eventually runs out of gas. The human body is the same. If you don’t exercise enough the body weakens, your fitness level begins to decline. To add to this, the average diet these days is mostly junk. Fast food. Fatty foods. Excess sugar. As you age, health problems begin to plague you. You might put this down to getting older. But aging is only part of the issue. If you work on your body, the way you might work on your car, you will get more mileage out of it. You only get one body. Isn’t it time you looked after it better?
My victory over diabetes didn’t come easy. And it didn’t come at all until I changed my attitude to myself. Until I started to look after myself better. I’m still a work in progress. I could still improve my diet further. But I’m active most days now. I run four or five times a week. I’ve also started working with weights. Because I’ve gotten serious now about my health. Because I’ve come to realize that I only get this one body. It’s time to start looking after it better. I read some running magazines. I read about people running marathons in their 60’s, in their 70’s. Even in their 80’s. Those stories are so inspiring. Those stories happen because those people understand what has finally sunk in to me. Look after your body and you can have a long and healthy life.
So now I’m off Metformin I intend to stay that way. Now that I live a healthier lifestyle I have more energy, more vitality. I get more out of each day.
I’m somebody who couldn’t run half a block to catch a bus without being out of breath and breaking out in a cold sweat. Now I can run three miles. I’m not that fast, but I can work on the speed later. I’m slimmer, fitter, healthier and generally happier. Running is still not easy but is anything worthwhile ever easy?
I run because I can.
I run to be fit.
I run to keep the weight off.
I run to stay drug free and keep my blood sugar levels under control.
What about you?