Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Running Fit!

Running is a confusing process. It is an archaic action based on simple repetitive motions but somehow in combination, it becomes one of the most complex forms of fitness conditioning available. Anyone can get up and start running but it takes practice and technique to gain efficiency and speed.

I am truly passionate about running when it comes to physical interests and activities. To me, an easy trail run helps to clear my head after a busy day at the office and always helps to reduce my stress level. On other days, running gives me energy as I aggressively attack a fast-paced track workout for increased strength and endurance. It is an activity that I can participate in from my own front door but also brings me across the island for various races and events. Regardless of where I am, running is a constant companion and source of happiness in my life.

I recently asked a patient of mine why he works so hard every week running laps around a track, his answer was simple: "I'm training for life". And certainly running is a sport that can be a part of your life at practically all phases of life: all you need is a pair of shoes! (Although some minimalist enthusiasts don't even wear shoes). You do not have to start out by running miles, but someone that starts with a slow walk interspersed with light jogging is still a runner! To me, running is an independent sport with a social problem. We race against ourselves to improve on our last result and feel healthier. But we are fortunate enough to live in a society and community with networks of runners of all abilities that participate in morning trail runs, evening workouts and regular socials. Running is a great answer for those that are training just to keep in shape, starting a new fitness program, or needing a new competitive or social outlet. 

This past week I took part in an orientation for a 10-week Learn to Run course the Comox Valley, BC. It is led by my new running club: The Comox Valley Road Runners (CVRR). This program was an eye opener to me as it showed how many people are interested to start running (over 120 participants!) and also how many CVRR volunteers were interested in helping people to achieve this goal (over 30 volunteers!).  The groups were broken down into four different pace groups: walking, walk/running, easy running, and experienced running. I saw a lot of excited faces for early in the morning as I led a dynamic stretch and warm-up before each group left for their first 35 min walk or jog.

      It was inspiring to run alongside a lot of these new runners and hear the different motivations and goals that had brought them to sign up for this clinic. Even though I am sure that many people were tired, there was much chatter as we ran the entire distance! This group was quick to realize that running can essentially be a social outing with exercise as the medium. I am sure that many friendships and connections will be formed over the course of the training. I am excited to see each person's progress over the next 2 1/2 months and hope that running brings them as much enjoyment as it has for me over the years. I was proud to be a part of this group and hope to keep people motivated to get past the first initial few days/weeks of tiredness to reap the positive benefits of having a higher level of fitness, a great social outlet and if all goes well... a new favourite activity. 

My new clinic is called Fit, as in Fit Chiropractic. I love helping people achieve their fitness goals and would love for you to stop by for a visit or join me on a run! 

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