Hats off to Women’s Running, a magazine that published a very beautiful cover girl on their December issue. As much as I’ve enjoyed them throughout my life, magazines are a huge offender of creating an illusion of mega-beauty that only exists after Photoshop has made the appropriate corrections.
But Women’s Running is breaking the trend. By holding the third annual reader’s contest, they chose a real runner to put on their cover. Kiley Lyall, 24, has autism, epilepsy and braces on her teeth, and she’s beautiful! Her enthusiasm for both running and life are evident and eye-catching, perfect for a magazine cover about a practice that has captivated a ridiculous number of people.
Whether you run for therapy, both mental and physical, to fight anxiety, addiction, chronic depression, or just for fun and fitness, you probably have at least one reason no one would ever suspect. Just about every day I see someone I know in their running gear, wearing earbuds, and so deep in the running zone they don’t notice me driving by, waving. I am not an avid runner, but here’s a list of reasons to reconsider joining the club.
- Prevention. The American Heart Association says cardiovascular disease can be prevented if you run for 75 minutes per week. A study by Washington University scientists concluded that Alzheimer’s disease can also be prevented by running. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that running reduces the risk of heart attack by as much as 50%, along with strokes, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases.
- Bone density. If you’re concerned about osteoporosism, put on your running shoes because the University of Michigan says that running between 12 and 20 minutes three times a week means greater bone density.
- Respiratory illness. This one is tricky, but it all comes down to not overdoing it. Running 80 kilometers per week can double your risk of respiratory illness. But keeping it between 20 and 30 kilometers can strengthen your immune system and therefore lessen your chances of getting sick.
- Burning calories. It sounds too good to be true, but the more you weigh, the more calories you burn.
- Transformation. As a woman, you’re likely to experience fast and noticeable changes if you run on a regular basis. Your legs and back tone up fast and our waist slims down at a faster rate than for men.
- Blood pressure. Studies show that one hour of running a few times a week can lower your blood pressure as much as 12 mgs.
- Life expectancy. Researchers at the University of South Carolina discovered that running a maximum of 20 miles per week increases your life span, and lowers your mortality rate by 20%.
- Performance. A study by Rhode Island College found that running can boost your productivity and your creativity.
- Runner’s high. According to the Oxford Journal’s study, runner’s high, which is the burst of endorphins you get while running, is a real phenomenon. That’s likely the main reason people can be seen running just about everywhere you go.
- Problem-solving. If you run with a problem on your mind, you’re more likely to have it figured out at the end of your run than if you don’t run at all.