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Health benefits of running cited

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Getting physically fit is perhaps one of the most-picked new year's resolutions you've heard even long before we welcomed 2011.

After all the merry get-togethers and celebrations, a number of people feel the urge to tame the bulge and shed some pounds they've gained during the holidays.

If you want to take your walking routine to the next level, running can be a good starter for a healthier year. It seems to be one of trendiest ways to get a break from having sedentary lifestyle.

In Metro Manila, the running group called "Running Pinoy" has named the top five places to run -- Roxas Boulevard, Manila; SM Mall of Asia Compound, Pasay City; Marikina Riverbanks, Marikina City; University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City; and Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

For people who are in good condition to run in a more intense way than just running around the village and parks, joining marathons is more challenging and gratifying.

Marathon is a distance-based running and jogging race which measures one's endurance. It is considered a road race, usually participated in by a larger group.

In the country, running groups such as "Runnex," "Running Pinoy" and "Bull Runners" make up the Filipino running community. They promote this activity as their sport by taking part in organizing marathon and running events.

There are already lined-up marathon events in the country for 2011 organized by running communities and sponsored by private companies and local government units (LGUs). In January alone, there are at least four marathon events that novice and expert runners can join in.

Last year, a lot of people responded to several running and marathon events with enthusiasm.

In fact, the 10-10-10 Run for Pasig River, joined by 116,084 runners, made it to world record as the biggest foot race in the world.

Even the sought-after actor Piolo Pascual has been into running since he joined the Timex Run in 2009. You may have seen the billboard of the Timex Run with Piolo and running coach Rio dela Cruz.

In an interview posted on his website, Piolo was asked about the changes that running brought in his life. He said, "It has made me more focused, more disciplined. When you know that you are really maxing out your potential, you are facing your limits, and then you still just finish. That’s what’s important, you have to finish. And then you carry that with you into all the other parts of your life."

Running does not require too much technical skills but it provides a vast array of health benefits, especially when done on a regular basis and with proper precautions.

Other benefits of running include weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, bone health, mood and better coordination.

The psychological effects of running gives a person a less-stressed feeling. It is also a mood-boosting activity as it makes the body feel lighter.

Along with these numerous benefits, joining a marathon or just engaging in running activities requires considerable planning and training in order to get the best of running. (PNA)




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