I talk all day about the goal of helping runners reach a level of success or consistency that would allow the entire community to be happy healthy runners over the lifespan. I mean let’s face it, have you ever met a grumpy runner? When they report to PT they are grumpy but when they get back out there, the joy is palpable. Who doesn’t like joy? I always take the time to say:
There are NO STUDIES TO SHOW RUNNING IS BAD FOR US.
In fact, more and more evidence arises every day from the research world on why it is important for our skeletons to be working hard. With that here we go with the 10 reasons (and who knows may be there is a hundred and if you want to add please do!).
#10 Cool clothes. You know you love the tech shirts, the colors, the different cuts, and the different types of shoes out there. Runners tend to be more adventurous (see fun races like the Star Wars half marathon but can someone say expensive? lol) and that tends to show on race or training day. I love how “safe” a runner looks in obnoxious neon colors. Come all y’all, lets be safe out there!
#9 More Health and Injury Prevention. In communities around the country where there are more runners per capita then Vegas there are lots and lots of prevention programs. There is more and more popping up here but the average runner is not prepared. Running is a skill that asks the skeleton to handle to most force possible, THAT’S A GOOD THING. Eating to train, would allow for better immune responses and overall better health. They go hand in hand, much more to come on that topic.
#8 Less Medicine. In America our philosophy is “eh someone will fix me later.” As medicine gets more and more technologically advanced we are also losing how awesome nature is. A scientist in some lab trying to change our body chemistry is risky. One drug leads to needing this drug to stop the side effects of the first drug. As we get more and more dependent on chemicals we lose our body chemistry. Take control of your health. What you eat and how you move are much more effective than any drug around. Not to mention the legal and political ramifications of big business pharmaceuticals (don’t get me started, lol.) Choose nature not chemistry.
#7 Decreased Health Care Cost. We are in an all-time high for health care cost in America and all time low is quality care. Why? There are millions of theories but when it boils down to the patient level, the patient requires so much more help. Patients are not informed. They do not invest in themselves and do what ever anyone in a lab coat says. That goes for any profession. (I am not anti-doctor, I am anti-poorly educating patients.) More preventative lifestyle, means the demand is less and therefore less medical bills. Take control of your health.
#6 Better Joint Health. Running or the pounding of running actually causes our connective tissue to harden. YOU WANT HARD THAT. That includes joint surfaces. There are no studies directly correlating running to poor joint health. In fact the factors that influence heart disease (obesity, smoking, diabetes, etc) are more correlated with total knee replacement than running. Not using your joint surface results in softening your connective tissue or joint surface. “Oh I cant do that, I have bad knees” doesn’t fly. Your knee pain has more to do with movement patterns at your back, pelvis, hip, or foot than it does just predisposed to bad knees. Did you ever consider that just because there is arthritis in your knee that may be that is not even the thing that hurts? The joint problem is a sign something else is going on. Get your movement checked, retrain it, and get back out there.
#5 More trails. Las Vegas is new so things are just getting started but how exciting is it that there are more and more trails every year? WE NEED MORE! More users, more options. Trails through the city, trails away from the city, trails that are hard, trails that are easy, trails that are pretty, and trails that are connecting to other trails. How fun would it be to commute via running? Good mornings, good nights, all around. Biking and running trails together.
#4 Better Restaurants. If all the runners in Vegas took a stand and we all did not eat at these cookie cutter, over processed chain restaurants and supported local talented chefs we could see a huge change in the community. (Local music too but may be too much for this discussion, lol.) Your daily nutrition is the base for your health. You are what you eat. Choose nature and not chemists, get more local people involved in food and give them the confidence they can make it work. The big business owners eat up the people that want you to eat right. Support them. You vote with your money, choose more farm to table places and lets get back to the fundamentals of health. Eat real food, stop the chemistry experiments on my body!
#3 Less Obesity. We are the fattest country in the world and we got there when the food pyramid was really pushed. Over processed food is literally killing us. We are a proud nation that is losing who we are. We used to out work the rest of the world and now we are getting lazier by the day. It starts with daily nutrition, then there is movement. Not everyone can run the Boston Marathon but daily movement is key to our body’s health. Running at faster tempos, changing tempos, is better than the long slow drag for losing weight. Compete with yourself, do something you never thought you would do. Find a running coach, learn to train. We are all runners some have just lost their way.
#2 Sunrises and Sunsets. Have you been to Lake Mead at sunrise? Have you been to red rock at dusk? What about McCullough trail at those times? Valley of fire? Gees, we can go on and on. Sunrise, train, and then eating breakfast is one of my favorite weekend routines. Even better is sunrise, RACE, and then eat breakfast. I love eating breakfast w the other racers and exchanging war stories. When runners are exposed to such natural beauty something lights up their face, may be even the soul is charged up. When runners are taken away from running it is this piece that is removed, they lost the soul. Our soul is best expressed with a challenge. How much more gratified are you when you reach your goals? Set a goal and reach it.
#1 SMILES. Lets get right down to it. Runners smile best. Have you been to the finish line of a race? There are no grumpy people at the finish line, spectator or racer. No one has ever regretted a hard run. One of my most favorite things is watching runners succeed. First 5k? First 5 min mile? Everything in between. Happier bodies mean more pleasant interaction on a daily basis. More plugged into their body with healthier diets over good food and fun stories where nature occurs. That sounds like a much happier world. Something happens to us when we interact with nature. Not look at it from the window but touch it, hear it, EXPERIENCE it. Those are the people I like having around. Bottom line: Get out there and experience the world around you. After all runners know how to explore a new city, new food, new drink, and new trails. Get out there and be happy while you train, your community loves you for it!
Feel free to disagree, comment, or share! Help me spread the word!
Ron Gallagher is owner/Physical Therapist at Maximum Velocity Physical Therapy right here in Henderson, NV. He believes that education and performance are key to prevention, rehabilitation, and success in all physical endeavors. Go to website maxvelocityPT.com to read more or even “request an appointment.”