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Episode Info:   Run for your life!  (Literally!) If you aren't already running, your attitude of running is probably like that of many who don't do it:  I HATE RUNNING! While I don't necessarily LOVE running most of the time, my wellness journey would not have been possible if running were not an integral piece of my plan.  At 40lbs overweight when I started, and not enough extra money to join a gym, running was the most cost-effective means of getting myself in better shape. What are the benefits? Weight loss - Roughly 60% of runners start running to manage their weight as running burns more calories per minute that many other forms of exercise. Fight disease - Running can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.  By helping the arteries retain their elasticity and strengthening the heart, your chances of suffering or surviving a heart attack can be significantly reduced. Improve overall health - Research shows that running can raise your levels of good cholesterol, increase lung function, boost your immune system and lower your risk of developing blood clots. Relieve stress - High speed sprints can be great when you need to burn off aggression and anger.  Long runs can help get rid of headaches, temporarily remove you from life's problems and even provide time for reflection allowing you to solve some of those problems. Improve coordination - People who run on trails or uneven surfaces must learn to navigate obstacles.  This leads to developing better control of their bodies which in turn improves balance and coordination. Strengthen your mind - Aerobic activity has been proven to sharpen your intellect and improve memory function. Prevent bone and muscle loss - High intensity exercise like running has been proven to promote natural production of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH).  Running also places demands on our skeletal system required to maintain bone health. Strengthen your mental game - Running is a truly individual sport.  When you hit "the wall" and push through it, you know in your heart that it was YOU, and only YOU, who could have made that happen. When should I start running? Immediately - Which means, as soon as your doctor clears you to do so.  'Nuff said? How do I get started? Get the right shoes!  Go see a local running store and have them "fit" you for shoes that match your style of running.  Everyone has a different stride, and your shoes can make a huge difference in your overall success.  Take it from me, someone
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