Do you only run if someone is chasing you? Are you wondering what all this couch to 5K talk is about?
Yesterday was Global Running Day. Did you miss it? Or, are you one of the many who recently joined the ranks of runners?
Recreational running became popular in the 1970s, crested, and is now experiencing another boom. Runners World magazine reports that in 1990, there were an estimated 303,000 finishers nationwide in half-marathons (a 13.1 mile distance). In 2013, there were 1.96 million who crossed a half-marathon finish line.
Women over 40 are the fastest-growing demographic of new runners, according to "Culture, Bodies and the Sociology of Health.” And most of those women are mothers. Running allows them to keep an active lifestyle around child care challenges; however, moms are not the only ones who can enjoy these benefits from running. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that even five to 10 minutes a day of low-intensity running is enough to extend life by several years, compared with not running at all. Running can increase levels of good cholesterol while also helping to increase lung function and use. Running can also boost your immune system and lower your risk of developing blood clots.
The Couch to 5k plans are a great way for anyone to ease into running, as they help new runners alternate walking and running until they are able to run an entire 5k (a distance of 3.1 miles).