Monday, January 30, 2012

Running for your life!

A Guest Post by: Jackie Clark

The more science studies the benefits of exercise, the clearer it becomes how critical regular exercise is to promoting physical fitness and staving off disease. Even when an ailment does occur, if you've been exercising to maintain good health, you might find yourself better equipped to manage and fight it.
Running is one of the simplest, most effective, and least expensive forms of exercise you can do. Making running a part of your regular health routine can bring you a variety of health benefits.

Running, which is a cardiovascular exercise, helps you regulate your blood pressure. This makes your heart stronger, which makes it pump your blood more efficiently. With your heart and blood operating more productively with less effort, you can lower your risk for heart related diseases and blood clots. 

As an aerobic exercise, running may also help improve your lung capacity and help you breath better. Better lung function and breathing can be a great benefit to people suffering from certain diseases like mesothelioma. If you are living with mesothelioma, it can be useful to confer with your doctor as to the level of intensity that best suits you.

Since running is also a weight bearing exercise, it can also strengthen your bones. While this is helpful for everyone, women in particular might realize the benefit of improving their bone density, which can prevent the onset of osteoporosis. This degenerative disease can be especially debilitating to your ability to move around as you age. In essence, you're running to keep good mobility. It's a bit of a "use it or lose it" proposition.

In addition to these specific health improvements, running has also been shown to strengthen the immune system. This is the system that works to fight off disease and infection generally. So any increase in its ability to work can only help you achieve and maintain better health. Once you have that healthier baseline, you'll likely then find you'll have more energy to do all the other things in life you enjoy.

Not only might you have greater energy, but greater enthusiasm as well. Running has been well documented for its ability to release endorphins in your brain. This makes running a valuable treatment for low spirits and stress. In addition to providing physical benefits, these mental and spiritual benefits complete running's hat trick of improving your health.

Jackie Clark joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2009 as research assistant after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in fitness and nutrition. Personally, Jackie realized the importance of running in college when she lost 30 pounds after living in Italy for 6 months. Her personal experiences and passions opened the door for Jackie as a technical and medical research assistant in the development of medical content and outreach efforts. Today, Jackie specializes in alternative care, fitness regimes for cancer patients, cancer support programs, and social media campaigns.

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Previously on Mainely Running