According to RunningUSA.org, over 15 million Americans participated in a race event in 2012. This number doesn’t even include those who run non-competitively. Each year these numbers increase as more people jump on the running bandwagon.
Spring and summer is when many new runners integrate running into their fitness routines since the weather is warmer and it’s nice to be outside. There is one day in particular that is perfect to kick off this new fitness hobby — National Running Day!
National Running Day is a day to celebrate running for both new and seasoned runners. This year, National Running Day falls on June 4th. All around the nation runners are joining together to celebrate not only their love of running, but to also raise money for charities and have a good time.
National Running Day Events
Races of all sorts are popping up in countless cities to celebrate National Running Day. You can find a group-run event near you by checking this map. If there isn’t one happening near you, you can sign up to host an event for runners in your area.
While no two runs are the same, each runner does have the same option to pledge their miles to a charity of their choice. This year National Running Day has teamed up with the app Charity Miles. This app tracks your distance either running or walking and donates a set amount per mile to the charity of your choice. This allows runners to do what they love and raise funds for an important cause at the same time.
Benefits of Running
There are many benefits to throwing on your running shoes and hitting the pavement. Not only is it good for your health, but it also can be good for you mind.
- Build Strength: This is one of the more popular reasons for running. Building lower body strength is important for all-around fitness. Running builds strength in the lower body’s quadriceps, gluteus, hamstrings and calves. Over time, this build up of strength decreases fatigue.
- Boost Confidence: Running can noticeably improve your confidence and self esteem. By setting and reaching goals, you set yourself up to feel empowered and proud. This gratification leaves you feeling good about yourself and your achievements.
- Heart Health: Any cardio exercise is good to get your blood pumping, but running is especially good at strengthening your heart. Running helps build heart muscles and increases the amount of blood your heart is able to pump. This increase in blood flow causes your arteries to expand and contract as you run, which allows proper blood flow to reach the muscles. All of these things working together increases total heart health and helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
- Joint Strength and Stability: By building strength in your leg muscles while running, you’re also strengthening your tendons and ligaments which hold the muscles and bones in proper alignment. The stronger these ligaments and tendons are, the less likely you are to have ankle, hip or knee injuries.
- Elevate Mood: Often times the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling down in the dumps is go for a run. However, after only a few minutes of running, your brain starts to emit hormones called endorphins. These endorphins are released by your pituitary gland and make you feel exhilarated and happy. So if you’re in a bad mood, a little run might be just what you need to put a smile back on your face.
Don’t Let an Injury Slow You Down
If running is something new to you, starting slowly and working up to running—gradually increasing your distance over time—will help you get the most out of your new fitness habit while reducing your risk for painful injuries. Trying to do too much too soon is the most common reason for many injuries when people begin new exercise routines.
By making your running program gradual, you will be able to let your body get used to the change as well as see your body progress through the changes.
Even with the best preparation, aches and pains are an inevitable result of a new running regimen. If the pain subsides with slow easy exercise, you may continue. But if it gets worse, stop the activity and rest. If it persists, see a specialist. If pain or an injury is keeping you from enjoying the many benefits of running, Airrosti can help. Our providers can assess your injury and develop a custom treatment plan to target and rapidly relieve your pain.