I am linking up with Running On Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday 5 2.0 linkup.
Today I want to talk about the importance of exercise! Everyone benefits from an exercise program, regardless of sex, age, or physical ability. It can be especially beneficial for cancer survivors like myself.
Research has shown that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of many cancers recurring, including breast cancer.
Living an active lifestyle can:
- Promote a healthy weight
- Increase happiness
- Reduce fatigue
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Build strength and endurance
- Improve self-esteem
And my own personal research has shown that it can be an effective way to keep the crazy away!
Although there are many forms of physical activities that can be beneficial, my chosen activity is running.
I have never been a fast runner (well, not since high school), but for most of my adult life, I have considered myself a runner. There have been long periods of time when I would let "life" get in the way of consistent running, but there was always that runner lurking inside, just waiting for a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or even MARATHON to present itself and fill that runner with a longing to participate in the said event!
I thought a lot about running while going through cancer treatments, but unfortunately, I was too sick and weak through most of it to actually get out and run. I did some walking, but even that became difficult. And yet-I never doubted that one day I would become a runner again. A slow, tired, OLD runner, but a runner nonetheless!
Now that I have made it through the treatments being older, wiser and even SLOWER than before-I have no expectations for my running, other than putting one foot in front of the other and moving this old body forward! I'm sure as I progress I will set goals for myself, but for now, I will just keep plodding along. Some days I will only manage a pleasant walk, some days I will run. And I will try to remember that the "inner runner" inside is at this time, a work in progress.
I thought I would share some tips that I hope might be of use to anyone who is trying to get back to running after a long break. Regardless of what made you stop running, whether it was an injury, illness, lack of motivation, or just life in general, getting back into it after a hiatus can be a bit difficult.
6 tips to help you get back to running after a break:
1. Think baby steps.
2. Don't be too hard on yourself.
Even after progressing to running, if at any time you need to take walk breaks, that's okay. If on some days, you only feel like going for a walk, that's also OKAY!
3. Listen to music.
Listening to some of your favorite tunes can make a big difference. Just remember to use safety precautions when using headphones.
4. Find an event to work toward.
Working toward a goal such as a 5k charity run can be a huge motivation. Knowing that what you are doing can help raise money for a cause you believe in can help get you out the door on those days when you might be a bit low in the motivation department.
5. Find a partner.
Having someone to run with can make a big difference. Perhaps you can find someone who is also returning to running after an illness or injury.
Last, but certainly not least-
6. Listen to your body!
If it hurts, stop! Now is not the time to ignore pain. You don't want to hinder this process by ignoring signs that you may be doing too much too soon. Also, if you are just feeling too exhausted to continue, it's okay to end your exercise session earlier than you had planned.
I know it's difficult, but we must all learn to find the balance between challenging ourselves, and just being stupid!
Have you had to start back to running after a long hiatus?
Do you listen to your body when it comes to planning, modifying, or even skipping your daily workout?
Please share any advice or tips you might have that I have not mentioned here.