Looking for a great activity to bring friends and family together while boosting your health? Look no further than the next fun run in your community. If there isn’t one planned, consider being the driving force behind the next one so you, too, can enjoy the many benefits participation has to offer.
Health Benefits of Fun Runs
You’ve probably heard many times by now that exercise is good for your heart. Running, in particular, can help you reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to a nonrunner, according to a study published in the journal of the American College of Cardiology. In particular, compared to non-runners
- Runners lived three years longer on average.
- Runners had a 30 percent reduced risk of dying from all causes.
One impressive thing about distance runners is that their hearts operate more efficiently than those of people who do not run. While this will not eliminate all risks of heart disease or heart attacks, it can go a long way toward strengthening your heart and preventing them.
The heart, though, isn’t the only part of your body to benefit from running for fun. Not only does running provide an outstanding outlet for stress relief, but it can also be instrumental in helping people to overcome depression. Don’t forget, running burns calories, so there is that huge benefit to consider as well!
What’s So Fun about a Fun Run?
While fun is the last word that comes to mind for some people (and perhaps even most people) when it comes to running, it actually can be a great deal of fun. It provides a bonding opportunity for those who participate. Plus, there is the very real possibility of enjoying what is called a runner’s high.
What is a Runners high?
It’s a feeling of euphoria many runners experience that maximizes feelings of exhilaration, while minimizing pain in the joints and other parts of the body while running.
Some fun runs include themes that can be a great deal of fun too. For instance, some groups host zombie runs, there’s an underwear run, and even the Color Run where participants get colorful before the day is over.
One of the best reasons to participate in a fun run, though, is to do so for a cause. People participate in fun runs for a variety of reasons, including to raise awareness and/or money for the following types of causes:
- Cancer Research (pick your cancer here and be sure to share your story with the friends you make along the way)
- Relay for Life
- March of Dimes
Honestly, any cause will do as long as it is one that speaks to your heart and that you are passionate about sharing with others.
Also, don’t overlook the potential value of a fun run as a family-activity you can do that will teach your children the value of running for fun as well as for fitness from early ages.
Obviously, you might not want to take small children on a zombie run or, most definitely the underwear run, but there are plenty of venues that are friendly for children, like the Color Run or a Disney run. You can even come up with a theme and start a run of your own. The sky is the limit.
How to Sign Up for a Fun Run
Different runs will have different requirements for donations, fitness levels, and participant age. Check community listings and social media for fun runs in your area and ask around about what it takes to sign up. Some are more like mob scenes and you just show up to participate. Others are highly organized with sign-ups available months ahead of time.
Before you join a fun run, make sure you have access to a few essential tools for your run:
- A water bottle.
- A good pair of running shoes.
- A positive attitude.
- The will to have fun no running no matter where you finish.
And always check with your doctor before beginning a new running exercise plan.
With these things, there is nothing you can’t accomplish during your fun run!