In the weeks leading up to the race, I will be writing a series of articles that will focus on the sport of running and the related health benefits that come with it.
The theme for this week will focus on the many excuses that people come up with for not starting a running program, or for that matter, any health and fitness regime.
Having run for over a quarter century, I have been privy to every excuse imaginable. Most of them run the gamut from the almost believable to the rather incredulous.
An old cliché states: “An excuse is simply a lie wrapped with a thin skin of truth.” Truer words were never spoken.
In our fast-paced, modern society, the principle excuse that most people give for not taking up a running program is lack of time. For basic fitness all one needs to do is run (or jog) thirty to forty-five minutes three times a week.
To put it more succinctly, out of the 10,080 minutes that make up one week, a mere 90 to 135 of these minutes will help you maintain a degree of fitness and health that will help strengthen your cardiovascular system, tone several areas of your physique and help control your weight. To use time as an excuse is to admit you don’t have time to look after the most important asset in life, your health.
Another excuse people often use is age. That is, “I am too old.” Presently, there are a number of people on the Burin Peninsula who are living testimony that one is never too old to start/maintain a running program.
Harry Cooze of Marystown is in his seventies and is probably fitter than most people half his age. He runs/bikes every day and can complete a 10km course in 60 minutes or less. Interestingly enough, Harry did not get serious about running until he was in his sixties.
Kevin Pardy of St. John’s is another of our elder statesman who still runs on a regular basis. He has completed the CHCM Road Race on numerous occasions. Reuben Rogers of Marystown, Murdock Hiscock of Fortune and Joe Brown of Grand Bank are all examples of people who did not let age become an excuse and keep them from realizing the health benefits of running and other related fitness activities.
The weather can also be used as an excuse. The winters are too cold and the summers are too hot.
First of all, running in cold weather will not harm you in any way providing you are dressed properly for it. Some people seem to garner the notion that breathing in cold winter air will somehow harm their lungs. Your breathing apparatus is designed in such a way that, by the time cold air reaches your lungs, it has been sufficiently warmed so as not to do damage to any internal organs.
Obviously, running in frigidly cold temperatures is a different situation; however, one does not have to worry about extreme ranges of temperature in Newfoundland so get out and enjoy the winter months.
On the other hand, if there are summer days that are exceedingly warm, run in the early morning or late evening just before dark. Again, it is just a matter of being creative and not letting trivial matters get in your way.
Remember, as we get older our biological clock tends to accelerate the aging process. In some cases (not all), our rapidly deteriorating health is a result of neglect and is not a result of the normal aging process.
Don’t just sit there and let things get worse as you get older. Start now and who knows, you could be one of the runners on the starting line in Marystown May 25 for the Robin’s/Burin Peninsula Health Care Foundation Fun Run fundraiser. You could also be on the starting line in Garnish June 28 for the annual CHCM 10km Road Race.
The choice is yours!
Keep running, stay fit and have fun!
Lyman Keeping is an avid runner and long time member of the Mariners Athletics Running Club.