To All My Readers
In the interest of keeping all my posts together and in sequence, I have been putting these exclusively on my main page: Fitness and Health: The Fashioning of Wellbeing, rather than on my blog page where my posts would have been separated over time, by those of guest bloggers.Â However, since a topical trend has now beenÂ established and the previous posts firmly linked on my main page, I am now starting to put this material on my blog page.
This I will do in “chunks” and these will be interspersed with posts from other bloggers as well. While this material will be familiar to previous visitors to this site (it can serve as a timely reminder however!), new visitors can begin to get some benefit directly from my blog and if they are just starting an exercise routine such as running, it might a useful guide for their endeavors. Even for some of those already familiar with the material, it might help them more quickly recover from the gastronomic “indiscretions” in which we all tend to indulge ourselves over the holiday season and as well provide support for the New Year’s resolution to shed the added avoirdupois!
As soon as my blog has been brought up to date, it will also begin to be updated with new posts/material simultaneously with putting these on the main page. In the meantime, the main page will continue to be updated as usual with fresh material.
The attainment of WELLBEING is perhaps man’s ultimate goal. The fundamental building blocks of wellbeing are contained in what we refer to as “worlds”, which are nevertheless contained within man. Elements of this overall wellbeing are variously identified withinÂ three “worlds” which are the: physical world; mental world; and, spiritual world. We speak of attaining overall “fitness and health” through”states” of social wellbeing, physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, etc., but all of these are contained in our overall wellbeing centre.
Within each world, the measurement tool is “health” and we variously describe these as consisting of levels of physical health, mental health and spiritual health. WELLBEING consists of maximizing all of these three “healths” and creating a perfect balance within man. It is the first of these worlds which we will now begin to explore.
THE ATTAINMENT OF FITNESS AND HEALTH
Within the physical world the aim is to achieve its level of wellbeing as part of the overall WELLBEING. This second tier of wellbeing is deemed to be an intimate (symbiotic) mixture of physical (body) fitness and medical (body) health. The building blocks of these two are: exercise; diet; and, rest. For now, we will also deal with the first of these, namely, exercise
RUNNING AS AN EXERCISE ACTIVITY TOWARDS FITNESS AND HEALTH – THE NATURAL WAY
There are many “natural” ways(as distinct from such as lifting weights, mountain biking, etc.) of exercising the body, including such as running, swimming, dancing, etc. For present purposes, however, we will choose running as our “natural” breed of exercise.
Why would you choose running as a fitness activity?
When you run, you are literally and figuratively running for your life, a life that you want to be long and healthy, i.e., one that combines longevity and quality. Running raises your level of fitness because it does the following:
ï‚§ decreases body fat levels and obesity
ï‚§ enhances cardiovascular health and lowers risk of heart disease and stroke
ï‚§ prevents the development of many different forms of cancer
ï‚§ boosts and improves the immune system
ï‚§ significantly reduces the risk of any cause of death, including diseases such as cancer and diabetes
ï‚§ facilitates weight loss
ï‚§ increases bone density and fortifies the bones, thus reducing the risk of bone diseases such osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, etc.
ï‚§ strengthens muscles thus decreasing the risks of degeneration of joints
ï‚§ gives greater mobility, flexibility and co-ordination, especially for older people
ï‚§ ameliorates the risk of muscular aches and pains such as occur in the legs, backs, etc.
ï‚§ decreases the incidence of stress thus lessening depression and anxiety
ï‚§ helps you sleep better if you are an insomniac.
Running also helps to get you in a better positive frame of mind. It leaves you “pumped up” with energy and increases motivation for the rest of the day.
How do we prepare for our fitness running?
Initial steps to be taken are:
â€¢ get clearance from your doctor for that level of physical activity;
â€¢ determine and set aside the specific period (day and time) during which you can, commit and devote to running;
â€¢ choose your running outfit or â€œgearâ€;
â€¢ having the proper hydration equipment, such as water bottles, pouches etc.
Getting a suitable and comfortable pair of running shoes IS ESSENTIAL, as a bad choice can determine your longevity in running. Remember that oneâ€™s foot hits with a force somewhere between three and four times oneâ€™s body weight, when it strikes the ground â€“ and that really jars you!
Is there a best time to take up running?
No, there is no universally best time for everybody. Obviously, the earlier in life that you start to run, the better it is, because you will sooner – and more quickly! – reach your desired fitness level. For you, the best time to start is now! So just don your running gear and start out today.
What will happen when I first start to run?
The first thing, you observe, are the embarrassingÂ indicators of being in a poor condition – but I won’t follow up on these here – you well know the signs of a body lacking in “fitness”! When you first attempt to become fit and healthy by running, the going will not be easy. You will be challenged to sustain it, particularly if you are an older person, you have not been maintaining any sort of physical fitness program, nor, are you the â€œathleticâ€ type. When you perform any type of exercise which you donâ€™t normally do, like running, your body will be performing actions that it wouldn’t normally do when you are at rest. Your muscles will therefore at first, become sore and stiff. For this pain and soreness, you might get some temporary relief with these tips which also deal with running injuries.Â However, the discomfort, with time, will gradually go away if you are not overdoing it, but instead, achieving some degree of fitness.
The key to sustainability and future success, is that you control your impulse to rocket out onto the track, and that instead, you make a leisurely and unhurried start. One of the most common ways of doing this is, to use what is known as a run/walk program. This involves breaking up your running/exercise routine with walking. This has the great advantage that it protects you from early exhaustion – from injury even! – and you are thus able to do much more in any one session.
If I have never run before, what is the best way to start?
The best way to start up a running program is not to run at all – at least not continuously! -Â but to include walk breaks. In fact, if you have a low level of fitness, this last statement should read the other way around – your walks should include run breaks! Beginning running for fitness is best accomplished by a mixture of walking and running with the running being added after you have been first walking for a “breaking in” period. The starting off later with very short runs (1-5 minutes) alternated with 1-2 minute walks repeated for 30 -40 minutes will have you up to more regular running in a very short amount of time – as your fitness level will start to go up the “learning” curve.
Running for health and fitness is an achievable goal and you just need to make a start with it. â€Keeping fit and Healthy â€“ The early Stagesâ€, provides some insights, advice and tips on approaches as well as information about exercise programs and running outfits. Now we are â€œon the roadâ€, this will take us further along the way. We will share with you your passage through the various stages as your body progresses along the path to wellness and well-being. As dieting is also an essential element, we are inviting you to begin to eat healthy diets. You will soon be getting more tips here more tips for fitness and on fashioning a healthy lifestyle. My next article will develop the subject further and attempt to answer pertinent questions on running to keep fit and healthy in which proper dieting plays an essential part and about which some dieting tips are provided.