Friday, May 2, 2014

Everything in moderation - including running

I started running to get exercise and live a longer life. But now, it turns out that running too much may actually shorten my lifespan, and that I didn't take it up soon enough.

Is everyone good and confused now?

Let's start over.

I run. I don't like it, but I do it. I am not the person that gets that "runner's high" or wants to do marathons. I am the person who runs because she hasn't found another form of exercise that she can squeeze into her busy day. (Oh, wait...I'm not busy. I keep forgetting that.)

I run because I have the time for it, it requires no specialized equipment and it is supposed to be really good for my heart and overall health.

But I've recently read that too much running may actually shorten my life. Evidently, when you overdo running - like those people who run more than 20 miles a week - put too much wear and tear and strain on their bodies, although further research is actually needed to support these claims.

To this, I say, "Twenty miles a week! ACK! That's a lot!"

So, clearly, I am not really in any danger.

And then I recently read that I should have taken up running sooner. As it turns out, people who take up running in their 20s have a better chance of warding off dementia when they are older

For me, all this research is just another one of those life examples in moderation - which is a theme I'm currently trying to teach my son. So far, he understands that moderation is the reason we don't eat all the Easter candy, but he still doesn't like it. So, we take baby steps to show how moderation works:

  • Divide things (like candy) into proportions so he doesn't get too much (or too little)
  • Talk about spending our time on both work and play
  • Break up our activities: We can't play cars all the time - let's take a break to take a bike ride or color
In the meantime, I'll stick with running. I'll do it to maintain a healthy heart and brain, but not enough to wear my body down too much. 

What in your life do you need to apply the idea of moderation to?

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