25 June 2008

Why We Should All Run

If only for the reasons of quitting smoking and lowering daily stress levels, I really think it's a great idea to develop running as a regular activity. But like any busy worker out there, I had hesitations running. I had so many excuses not to run even if I knew it will help me. But one day, I decided to stop the mental nagging for good by doing it.

PREPARATION - Days before: I consulted a fellow doctor to have his opinion on my fitness to run. Yes, I know I am a doctor. But that tells you something, right? If a doctor like me seeks the opinion of another doctor on fitness decisions, I think you should, too.
A few hours before: I load on one serving of any type of carbohydrate (pasta with olive oil, usually) and I drink at least 500ml of water or fresh fruit juice (blood orange or my banana-carrot-apple combination).

WHAT I WEAR - any loose t-shirt, shorts, and my special shoes. The shoes need not be "special," but for me, I prefer to run with very light shoes. The shoes matter a lot in running, I think. I think I should not add more weight to my feet than my body weight. So, I chose very light shoes. They're so light, there's a tendency for me to forget I'm wearing them when I run. Yes. No kidding. But that is a choice. Anyone can run with his/her choice of shoes. If you prefer light shoes like I do, they are available in any sports store. I do not promote any brand. Just buy what suits your budget.

WHEN and WHERE? - I run in the late afternoons during weekdays; once or twice a week usually, if my schedule permits. During weekends, I run in the early morning. As Manila air is classified as very dirty, I run in a place where I am sure that the air that will circulate in my lungs and brain is less contaminated. I run around the soccer field of a nearby university in my place.

IMMEDIATE BENEFITS - Since I am really a non-smoker to begin with, in my case, I count sleeping better and less daily stress levels as the immediate benefits of running. I am also a prediabetic and a hyperlipidemic, and I am happy to see I can keep both my blood sugar and lipid levels to near normal levels without the need to take medications.

To inspire you more on running, here's a very inspiring piece on running. Read it, and I hope you share your experiences here when you begin running:

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