Running and the demanding work life
The busy office desk job has brought about sedentary living among all of us who work nine-to-five (or more) daily. Our jobs have wrapped most of us in our own computer cocoon, leaving us with few opportunities to physically interact and move around while working. I, myself, am guilty of this deskbound living as I manage every aspect of development and operation of my company in the U.S. at daytime and in the Philippines at night time. I literally live in front of the computer.
I am certain that most people can relate to this need for movement and fitness since the verge of the Internet has made life very easy for us all – we shop online, we talk to friends through our social networks, we create service requests online, etc. Though these changes have brought the much-needed change for the rest of the world, one must always remember that these good things of technology and the Internet of things should not be an excuse to be careless of our health or be lazy in being mindful of our body.
I got inspired by my friend Jane, who has been posting her running progress on Facebook. She seemed fit and full of energy. It then dawned to me that the best way to balance my stagnant time at the monitor is to counteract it with action that is free and easy to do, which is running.
Surprisingly, my first attempt racked up a whooping 7.26 km starting from my apartment a block away from Wall Street in downtown Manhattan to South Seaport, over the famous Brooklyn bridge and back. This allowed me to see the different skylines of the financial district and Brooklyn over the bridge that I only see when I seldom go outside. The sights of the magnificent buildings on my right and the beautiful rays of the sunset on the path makes the distance seems shorter and more encouraging to go farther. It excites me to see fellow runners and joggers getting their groove on the road. Everything you see is good distraction when you run around Manhattan, which makes you appreciate the place even more.
One way to know that you are making progress is being able to track your running activities. The mobile app has been very helpful for me. This app is like a personal running coach that monitors your running pace, my personal records, my location, and the distance I have made. It also includes a provision to add my other workouts. At the same time, the RunKeeper allows me to set my goals, whether it is to reach new distances, to lose weight, to be more competitive with races or to achieve a certain distance. RunKeeper also has a scheduling option where the app can help you beat and meet your running goals.
During the first month of running and using RunKeeper to keep me on track, I have felt and seen some noticeable changes with myself. I have shed some pounds, I felt stronger and strangely enough, felt happier. These changes have caused other lifestyle re-orientation such as eating healthier food and being more conscious about my health. Running, jogging and walking has indeed brought these good things for me and I will explain in more detail:
1. Shedding Pounds
I used to weigh 162 lbs. With running and proper diet, I now weigh 152 lbs. For my built, this new weight, according to standards, is just about healthy. This is because, running, as a form of exercise, can help burn calories and shed off unwanted fats. According to Runner’s World, not only would you burn calories during running, but you would also boost your “afterburn” that is the number of calories burnt after exercise. Running also allows me to sweat, which in my perception includes all the unwanted oils and fats in my body away, which is healthy for detoxifying and keeping clear lungs and skin.
2. Developed Strength
Running begets running. I have observed that regular running and jogging has helped me endure running longer distances. Traversing kilometer by kilometer each time I run made me realize that I am stronger than I think! I believe runners, who are starting like myself, also have similar discoveries with themselves as they add miles and reach new distances as they run. Due to the training it gives the muscle, frequent running can strengthen legs and the core. This boosts agility, which provides more strength if you wish to go into more serious work outs.
3. Happiness Hormones
Regular jog and running brings about a different “high.” Whether you are having a stressful day at home or at work, the training can make you feel better. According to Runners World, the good hormone called endocannabinoid is pumped to the body when doing workouts or exercises. Some studies have also shown that physical activity is almost as good as anti-depressants in treating major depressive disorders. Exercising in moderation can also help you get better sleep and improved concentration. I have always believed that being efficient at work result in a happier work environment.
4. Healthy Eating
Healthy eating as an end-result of running is also the reason for running better. From experience, knowing that you burn more calories tells your mind that you can eat what you want and you can go on a diet without starving yourself. At the same time, knowing that you will run in the day also tells your mind to eat healthily and properly in order to perform and pace better. Running balances your eating habits and keeps you motivated to keep that kind of vigorous way of life.
Since I run outdoors, the costs of having to spend free time on the television or Netflix have brought much cost in utilities. Practically, running allows you to get a break from the electronic world to get back to nature. For someone living a sedentary life, I would say that the time I spend outside to run gave my home, office and gadgets a quick break. This type of energy conservation can also help save mother earth, could it? However, I believe that the biggest thing that running can save you from are hospital bills. Keeping fit with regular running as exercise will lessen your chances of getting sick and can give you better protection from the risks of obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes. And money for medicine and other bills that is not spent is savings in itself. Health is indeed wealth.
Furthermore, I know the changes running make in the lives of its enthusiasts is insurmountably valuable. Changes in our lifestyle can bring about better outcomes in the future, like living longer and better. You do not need to pay for membership or be in an organization to make that fitness move. You can start anytime by yourself and with the RunKeeper mobile app which has been my companion when I started. Having proven in a few weeks that it can improve my strength and the quality of my emotional and mental disposition, I encourage everyone to join me in living an active life through running. You can start that change now!