Spring ahead – April is Running Month

Spring ahead - April is Running Month

Let’s face it, the elliptical machine feeds on your will to live. Those things are completely soul destroying. The other day, as I pushed, pulled, and glided in the gym, I realized that was staring at the sun out the window. What was I doing? It’s spring. I should be running outside!


We live in a city which offers beautiful scenery to run in. With the Sun Run fast approaching on April 17th, I thought I would write about the specific health benefits of running to see if I can get more people out onto the seawall. We know running will keep you slim, trim, and heart healthy. But, what are some of the less obvious benefits of running?


Aging Relief – Running is estimated to improve your quality of life by 16 years due to all its health benefits. Running also nourishes the skin and pampers your glow. It will keep you looking and feeling younger.


Prevents Degeneration – Running will prevent muscle and bone loss by maintaining uniformity in your body tissues. It is recommended as a preventative measure for osteoporosis, a disorder which disproportionately affects lesbian women. Running also stimulates the growth of brain cells and delays the onset or progression of some neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.


Healing and Immune benefits – Running helps in improving the process of blood clotting and thus, provides protection against a number of injuries. Also, during moderate exercise such as running, immune cells circulate through the body faster and are better able to kill bacteria and viruses. Consistent, regular exercise makes these immune changes longer lasting.


Lowers Diabetes and Hypertension Risk – Both of these are conditions of balance. In the case of diabetes, running burns the surplus amount of sugar present in blood, keeping the blood clean to lead a healthy life. Running also helps lower blood pressure by balancing a number of factors which are responsible for hypertension.


Meet New People through Running – Having a running buddy or running with a group is a great motivator and a great way to develop a sense of community. There are two groups in our community who are working together to provide safe and social running and walking opportunities;


HIM: Health Initiative for Men have coordinated a gay men’s ‘learn to run’ group which meets every Sunday at noon under the Burrard street bridge to the east of the Aquatic Centre. Call 604 488 1001 ext 224 or see the details at HIM under the ‘Physical Health’ link.

Vancouver Frontrunners: This group of LGBT runners and walkers of all levels meet on Wednesday evenings (6:30pm at the roundhouse) and Saturday mornings (9am at the Brockton oval). Frontrunners emphasize the social aspect of fitness and gather for food and good conversation afterward.


Gain Confidence: Set a Goal or Run for a Cause – Running can be a great way to build confidence and make progress in your life.  I have known people who are grieving to find comfort in simply putting one foot in front of the other to move forward. For others, it is a process of challenging oneself to set meaningful goals and reach new heights. A great way to set a goal is to train and run in an event like the Sun Run. The Sun Run happens April 17th this year. Or, if you like the thought of taking your pants off in public or if you need a while longer to train, run 10k at The Underwear Affair on July 9th – 604.734.CURE [2873]. Both of these events benefit the worthy cause of cancer research.


Courtesy of V-Rag

Written by: Jason Keller