Some of us from the 1Dental.com team participated in a 5K Run/Walk here in Fort Worth, Texas, last Saturday. We received a plaque for having the largest team in the race (see photo above)! It was a beautiful day and a great way to spend time together outside the office. Some ran, some walked, and some did both (“woggers” or “jalkers,” according to one of the stroller-pushing, “wogging” super-moms). And 3.1 miles later, even the 4-year-old crossed the finish line. You can see more 5K photos by visiting our 1Dental Facebook page.
A Women’s Health article by Amy Van Deusen lists 6 health benefits of running (or brisk walking, if you need a lower-impact activity).
- It’s a great workout. You can do the stair-stepper or elliptical machine all you want, but running is what will leave you exhausted (and burn the most calories by far!). It also strengthens your heart with all the blood pumping back and forth.
- It’s so easy! Fancy gear might help if you want to take running more seriously, but all you really need is a good pair of running shoes. Unlike many other exercises, you don’t need equipment, you don’t have to learn how to do it, and it sure doesn’t require a gym membership. If you plan run regularly, you may want to look into some tips on keeping your joints healthy or learning how to breathe properly, but that’s just icing on the cake.
- It reduces stress. Studies have shown that exercise is up to 3 times more effective at lowering anxiety than resting. In fact, running is often used to help treat depression and some addictions.
- It’s not as hard on your knees as you might think. If you keep your shoes in good condition and pay attention to your form when you run, it can actually boost your cartilage by increasing blood flow. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, body weight is actually a bigger risk factor for osteoarthritis than running (which, incidentally, helps manage your body weight).
- It helps prevent disease. A study by the British Journal of Cancer found that people who walked briskly or participated in some other vigorous activity for 5-6 hours/week were 24% less likely to develop colon cancer than those who walked briskly for only 30 minutes/week. Similar results have been found to show that regular exercise also helps prevent breast cancer, lung cancer, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. It kind of makes you want to hit the treadmill on your lunch break, huh?
- You could live longer and reduce your chance for developing a disability. The article says this:
In perhaps the most surprising study done on the health benefits of running, a team at the Stanford University School of Medicine studied 538 runners and 423 healthy non-runners from 1984 until 2005. All of the subjects were over 50 and were asked to take a disability questionnaire each year measuring simple tasks like cutting meat, shampooing hair, and opening a milk carton.
Every year, the disability levels were significantly lower in the group of runners than in the non-runners, and they became more different as both groups aged.
Regular, vigorous exercise has so many benefits. We at 1Dental.com think that’s a great excuse to get outside and run/walk together!
What do you do for exercise?