Running is the best way to stay healthy


Jackson Sorensen, Columnist

Being a competitive runner for over five years has shown me that no other workout satisfies my health needs and goals. I have also seen that I am at my peak health when I run three to four times a week. 

I have found sufficient evidence that running is good for all different aspects of your life. According to a study conducted in 2018 by Ball State University, a group of 75-year-old lifetime runners and bicyclists had biological profiles closer to 25-year-old graduate students than to their non-exercising 75-year-old peers. It has been said that running adds years to your life. 

Another great benefit to running that I notice personally, is that my sleep improves when I run. When I finish my runs, I am usually still very much running on adrenaline. When the adrenaline runs out, I feel a different type of tiredness. I feel as if I have exerted all of my energy into something that is beneficial to my health, as compared to mental tiredness. When I wake up, I feel rejuvenated and energetic. 

Running is also known for immunity boosting. Because your heart rate increases, the productivity of the rest of your organs increases. My high school coach always said at the first practice that by the end of the season, you’ll feel “clean.” 

While it’s a hard sensation to explain, I can only describe it as feeling quite literally, healthy. There were plenty of times where I wasn’t feeling the best, but I’d go for a run and would feel so much better. Because all of your organs are working faster, it’s making all the junk and waste in your body leave faster, leaving you feeling healthy and “clean.” 

Probably the best benefit that running has on my personal well-being is that it greatly improves my mental health. Being in an atmosphere that I am familiar with, doing something that I enjoy and is good for me, makes all the difference when it comes to mental health and clarity. 

Good music, breaking a sweat and the sunshine really advocate for my mental health. A 2016 study conducted by researchers on sports and depression shows that exercise and running can be “an effective treatment for depression and can serve as a form of therapy.” 

I, personally, see it as a form of therapy. Being away from the things that stress me out and clouding my thoughts with music can quite literally turn my entire day around. 

I am a person who cannot run inside on a treadmill. I have to run outside. I need to be able to look at things and actually see myself moving. When I run indoors, I get bored and I’m not able to correctly match my stride pace, which messes with my running times. My music has to be something that will keep my hype levels up and won’t be interrupted by ads. 

For those of you who are skeptical on the idea of running, I encourage you to pace yourself and know your limit. I had to learn the hard way, that having flat feet with no arch support can be costly on my health.

I spent a good bit of time my first year running trying out different forms of shoes and various insoles. I had custom insoles crafted for running and for everyday life because my feet are so flat. I will always have insoles in all of my shoes. Even the shortest amount of walking or standing, can really hurt me. 

While I run, I use a running app/game called Zombies! Run. This app saved my love for running. You are placed in an apocalyptic world with zombies. There is an entire story mode that you can “play.” There are supplies to be gathered and zombies to avoid, while listening to allies back at base talk to you as you go through your mission. There are currently 9 seasons out and I am on season 5. 

By finding the right motivator, the perfect playlists and the perfect shoes, you can begin this journey of improved health.