Get Fit With 6: Running offers several physical and mental benefits

Getting started and ready to run a 5k
Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 5:00 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Studies show running or jogging helps to build strong bones, as it is a weight bearing exercise, helps strengthen muscles, improves cardiovascular fitness, and helps maintain a healthy weight, burning anywhere from 200 to 500 calories.

“I just want to be in good shape and that’s what I feel I get out of running more than anything else.,” said WECT News anchor Jon Evans. “I feel like I get a better sweat when I run and that’s what I want to do. I just want to work up a sweat, burn up some calories, strengthen my heart, that’s the key for what I want to do.”

Evans runs at least three times a week. A ritual he has done for more than twenty years.

“When I was in my mid-thirties I had a doctor tell me once if I didn’t relax the stress a little bit I wasn’t going to be around much longer. So, I had to start doing things like exercising and watching what I eat,” said Evans.

WECT Meteorologist Colin Hackman is also the co-founder of the Without Limits Youth Running program. “Some of the greatest parts about running is that as adults that is me time and you get the most bang for your buck in aerobic conditioning,” said Hackman.

Some people might find the idea of running or jogging intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of programs that start you out walking then working up to running. “You might do one minute walk, thirty second run. One minute walk, thirty second run just until your body is used to the impact from running,” said Hackman.

If you’re already a runner and are challenging yourself to run you faster try running for longer periods of time. “Just running an hour is difficult for most people so getting to where I can run an hour multiple days a week will make me faster without any other work,” said Hackman.

Like other exercise routines, consistency is important. “Getting shoes on and getting out the door consistently whether that’s three days a week or five days a week to start is the most important piece to becoming better at aerobic conditioning and distance running,” said Hackman.

Running is also great for your mental health. A lot of people like to get a run in before work. “That’s my time when I think. If I have an interview that’s the time that I formulate questions. I don’t just run and so oh that’s a nice tree. No I think of other things and it kind of forms my personal mind set for the day,” said Evans.

This time of the year there are 5 or 10 k races just about every weekend. Those are great places to meet people and find some running partners. “It’s just this awesome cross section of our community of people that come together to enjoy this free sport. It’s free. Costs nothing,” said Hackman.

One thing you will want to invest in is a good pair of shoes made specifically for running.

Here are a few online plans for getting started.

Runner’s World 5k training

Couch to 5k

Mayo Clinic training schedule

Health training schedule

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