Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is the fastest main in the planet as he ran a blistering 9.69 seconds to win the 100-meter gold medal and later, 19.30 seconds to add the 200-meter gold at the Beijing Olympics. Running has traditionally been one of the most popular sports, but more than being a form of competition and training, it is also an effective way of staying healthy.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, founder of Mercola.com, one of the world’s most popular health websites, has been running for 40 years. He started running after he was inspired by Ken Cooper’s book, Aerobics, in 1968. Running has been his passion and form of exercise ever since. Mercola once ran a personal-best 2:50 in the marathon when he was at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and part of the Chicago Track Club.
Running is one of the most efficient and inexpensive ways to get healthy. Just lace up your running shoes and hope for good weather and you’re all set. Scientists believe that the origin of running has molded the human body to its present form, which suggests that we are all designed to run.
Aside from helping you lose weight, a study conducted from 1984 to 1997 showed that aerobic exercise, particularly running, may delay disability and even death in those over 50 years of age. The study compared the health of 619 people aged at least 50, with 370 belonging to a running club. The runners lived longer, had lower cancer rates, heart disease and other ailments, and disabilities occurred to them almost nine years later than the non-runners.
Moreover, the participants of the study who weren’t members of the running club but ran occasionally ran for exercise were also found to be less likely to develop a disability. Additionally, the benefits of running were evident in those who had only recently started the activity, indicating that people who start exercising in middle age can also experience its benefits.
However, Dr. Mercola advises that the first thing to do before running or starting any form of exercise is to listen to your body. Do not run if your body is in no condition for strenuous physical activity because even though you desperately need the exercise to improve your condition, you will only do more harm than good if you go beyond your current limitations. It’s usually best to start with a few minutes per day and then gradually increase your speed and the length of time you spend running.
Running is just one of many natural ways of improving your health. It may provide benefits for a certain person but not for another. As an osteopathic physician, Dr. Mercola believes in designing an individualized program based on a holistic approach based on a patient’s present state of health. Learn more about Dr. Mercola’s practice at Mercola.com.