Sunday, June 4, 2017

Benefits of Regular Running

I have been in near perfect health conditions for quite sometime, slim/perfect BMI, energetic. One blemish was low HDL (high density lipoprotein) Cholesterol, a.k.a. the good cholesterol,  due to lack of high intensity exercise.

Since started full time job, I sit in front a computer almost all day long daily and quickly my HDL became low. Despite years regular exercise - primarily walking/jogging, my HDL number did not improve because my exercise intensity was not high enough. My doctor suggested me to take medicine to increase my HDL cholesterol. I did not take the suggestion because I knew I could improve my HDL without medicine, and that the medicine has side effect on liver. My HDL turned to normal during the years when I was the coach to Nicholas' youth soccer team - running and playing soccer with kids weekly.  Unfortunately my HDL quickly went back to below normal after I stopped soccer coaching. 

I started running twice a week last October, one during the weekday, one on weekend.

I run when it was really cold - I just put on gloves, hat and heavier sports wear.

I run when it is hot - get up a bit earlier and try to stay in the shade.

I reschedule my run time when it rains, but I run twice a week.

Started recently,  I run when I go on business trip - bring my running shoes and sports wear.
I run when we are on vacation.

There has been no exception unless I am sick.

Running once or twice is easy, running regularly is hard to most people. How to keep running - start slow with easy to reach goal such as running one mile once a week, when comfortable gradually raise the bar; find incentives other than exercise, such as fresh air, beautiful sunrise or sunset ...set a long term goal - mine initially was 5K run, and now it changes to 5 mile run at Colony green dragon 5 miler in October. My 5 mile run will help me to climb Mt Whitney later this year as well!!

In addition to better health, stronger legs, higher energy, two recent events demonstrated the significant benefits of the regular running  - 1) I had no obvious sour muscles after my first full day hiking for 16 miles on Cross Timber Hiking Trail, 2500 ft elevation change; 2) My HDL cholesterol is tested to rise from below minimum requirement to substantially above it. My doctor was amazed and I am very pleased!

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