It depends. Too bad people are so misinformed about the benefits of running. Anything that allows movement is going to increase health benefits, and they far out-weight the risks. This post outlines some key health benefits of a regular running program. Fall is a great time to start a run program.
Post by Debbie L. Belair
Some old school doctors, and other health professionals have told people that running is bad for you, and some even have said it "ages" you. I realize some people do things to extreme that they are not fit enough for, and then they blame the activity. Runner's world recently reported a study done between cyclists and runners. They reported that runners displayed a higher level of bone density.
I have been running, and reading runner's world since the 70's. They recently featured some stories about youths with Autism and Asperger's. Runner's world.com has a great source of information.
Grace Ling, 20, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in grade three. One year later and exercise program had her running in a gym. One year later she was running with her high school track team. By senior year, she had qualified for the national cross country team, and earned an athletic scholarship. Running allowed her to embrace her diagnosis, and now she uses her running success to explore other areas of her life. Ling reports: "I used to hate myself because I had Asperger's, but now I love that about myself, It gives me the innate ability, the motivation, to do things."
Running is a lifestyle, not simply an exercise to punish your body everyday.
For me, running has always brought out the inner child, a sense of freedom and play. For some, running is an adventure every time they go out the door. I suffer from depression, and running has always been the one thing that centers me. I guess it's because adrenaline boosts the brain, and lifts moods long after the exercise is completed. It's also about bettering yesterday, and improving mental toughness.
The popular notion used to be, that running long slow distances was best for burning calories. The was the way I used to train. Recent research has determined that short bursts of higher intensity exercise leads to a longer lasting calorie burn.
In the "olden" days runners never dared to walk. It's important to remember that beginning and experienced runners need to walk when your heart rate is getting too high. Walking breaks also prevent injury.
Running is an inclusive Sport
Most running communities are very inclusive. They welcome all levels and ages. Some clubs have "learn to run clinics." You are never too old to start running, as long as you get the green light from a trusted physician. It's best to start with some coaching if you have never run before. If you have done a lot of walking you are likely ready to start running slowly.
Strength and Endurance
Running strengthens leg muscles used in almost everyday activities. You will feel less winded walking stairs and out playing with the kids because your lungs will get stronger too. Most research has shown that bone strength increases with weight bearing exercise.
You don't need any expensive Equipment
Other than a good pair of running shoes, it's cost free. Running club fees tend to be quite low in comparison to other sports.
Fall is a great time to start running, now that the cool weather is coming. Remember to start slow and try to enjoy yourself.