Run for your health, run for the planet

By Carlos Roa

Regular physical activity can significantly improve physical and mental health, self-confidence, healthy aging and quality of life.

Running or jogging is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do.

If you want to start running but don’t know how to begin, you can motivate yourself by planning achievable goals. Doing so will help you stay committed. Be sure to set realistic, specific and measurable goals.

Creating a routine that you can stick to is key to staying on track. Be kind to yourself and start with a combination of running and walking. Running with a friend is also a great idea.

Also, don’t forget to talk to your doctor before making a running plan, especially if you have any ailments or haven’t exercised in a long time.

Six health benefits of running

– Better cardiovascular health. Running at least 10 minutes a day can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Runners cut their chances of dying from heart disease in half.

– Better sleep. Quality sleep is essential for health. Your body repairs itself while you sleep, which is why you wake up feeling refreshed.

– Improved knee and back health. A study conducted with 675 marathon runners revealed that they had a lower arthritis index compared to others. Both the runners’ knees and backs benefited.

– Improves memory. Running improves your brain in the short and long term because it can increase the size of your hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

– Fewer colds. When engaging in aerobic exercises like running for at least 5 days a week, the chances of contracting upper respiratory tract infections decrease by 43%.

– Better mood and energy. Exercise helps improve mood, concentration and overall quality of life.

Six tips to be an eco-friendly runner

What comes to mind when you picture the perfect running scenery?

Perhaps a trail through a green forest, a sandy beach or a long stretch of road along breathtaking mountains.

This means that we often choose an environment vulnerable to pollution for outdoor exercise, which invites us to be sensitive and responsible to this fact.

Since we are already aware of the consequences of human interaction with the planet, we must look at ourselves not only to be harmless but also to contribute to taking care of the environment that hosts our exercise routine.

Runners can take effective measures to reduce their impact on the environment as they go about their activities. Here are some suggestions:

– Avoid relying on single-use plastic bottles for hydration, and switch to reusable bottles.

– Also pay attention to how to properly dispose of energy drink bottles and cereal bar wrappers.

– Be mindful of the appropriate trail running protocol that encompasses “leave no trace” principles for this activity.

– If you go through many pairs of running shoes during your training, consider recycling them. Perhaps you can donate your used pairs to a thrift store or look into a recycling program sponsored by a sports apparel brand.

– Try to make the most out of your running clothes to minimize waste.

– Many races are trying to be more eco-friendly by adopting measures such as a no-cup running policy. We can participate in these races to support such initiatives.

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