Running Into Health- A Message from the XC Team
To go along with our interview with the Men and Women Cross Country Teams, we asked the teams what they have experienced health-wise with their running. Running is a great, easy way to get in shape; all you need is a pair of running shoes. No heavy equipment or gyms are required to get a good exercise with running. If you’re looking for a way to get in shape and stay healthy that you’ll really enjoy, here’s some advice to help you take those first few steps.
Here’s what you get from running: The group listed many health benefits from their running for Cairn’s cross country team. For instance, you feel energized and more confident in yourself from working so hard. It’s also “a great source of cardio…helps you to stay in shape and get outside…and it’s great therapy for a busy life!” says Sarah Skowronek. You get “an emotional benefit” as well, according to Matt DeFlavis, because while running early in the morning is difficult, it really “makes you feel good about yourself.” Captain Caleb Basile also says that he hasn’t gotten sick since he started running in the Fall semester of 2013. Running helps boost the immune system and keeps you healthy and awake, a fact Captain Basile points out when he mentions that he has “more energy” than a lot of people that he knows. He also has a strong heart, and according to healthyliving.azcentral.com, running can also strengthen your lungs and reduce the risks of diseases like diabetes. It’s also a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Fall weather.
Here’s some advice for running: Jon Snider says that “even if you don’t feel like running, just plan a time.” Almost all of the interviewed team members of the Cross Country team said that starting a schedule of running early in the morning is the best. Matt Benedict states that “6:30 morning practices have forced me to get enough rest and maintain an earlier sleeping schedule.” When you get up early in the morning to run, it helps you be alert and awake for the rest of the day. DeFlavis mentions that “it leaves you with a positive attitude and a great feeling of accomplishment” because you’ve already gotten something done by the time many others are usually just waking up. DeFlavis also gave The Scroll important information regarding the nutrition aspect of running. He says that “70% of your running performance is nutrition. If you want to run well, you have to eat well.” To run well and build up muscle, your body needs carbs and proteins. DeFlavis states that you can eat bananas to get potassium so that your muscles can function, and so you don’t “get cramps or stitches.” He also wisely advocates getting rid of junk food. “Not all junk food,” he says, “you can enjoy some bad food every now and then.” However, and this may be the hardest part for many college students, he says that “soda should be gone. Soda = death.”
Finally, Captain Basile gives some special advice for anyone who wants to start running. It’s important to get running shoes, and to start off slowly. “Start with a low mileage” he reminds, and then you can work up bit by bit. Captain Basile also states that it’s important to “keep a weekly log of miles run per week and try to increase it by 10% per week.” After each run, you should write down how you feel after each run in a journal. He states that it’s also important to write your goals, such as your total miles, weight loss, longest run, or mile time, and to let your friends and family know about your goals so that they can help keep you accountable. To keep up with your goals, be sure to measure them weekly. And, most importantly, Captain Basile gives these words of wisdom: “choose to put one foot in front of the other.” The entire cross country team can advocate running as a fun, enjoyable activity to stay in shape, which leads to our final piece of advice; run with a friend! While running alone can be nice sometimes, the majority of the cross country team says that running with a friend can make the exercise a lot of fun, and give you a chance to have great conversations. If you want to run alone, but need motivation, there are several running apps to help motivate you, like “Zombies Run,” available on the appstore. This app is much like an audiobook, giving you something to listen to while you run. It will play a playlist that you choose, but randomly between songs it does a story about how you are a runner in a zombie apocalypse, where you can build your own base on the app. While you’re running, you can turn on the option to have zombies periodically chase you, where it will warn you that zombies are coming! So if you love the zombie craze and you need some good motivation, this is a great app to use.
As Captain Basile said, you have to choose to put one foot in front of the other when you’re thinking about running. Running is a great source of health, both physically and mentally, and it can help you grow some strong friendships when you run with others. So if you’re looking to stay healthy in a way that doesn’t cost much money, running is the exercise for you!
What’s your favorite way to run? Do you have any really good running advice that wasn’t mentioned in the article? Comment below and let us know!