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I Can't Run!

If you've ever said "I can't run," this column will not only prove you CAN run, but will inspire and motivate you to join one of the upcoming Milford 5Ks.

The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity each week (or 30 minutes-a-day, five days-a-week). "Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories, such as climbing stairs or playing sports. Aerobic exercises benefit your heart, such as walking, jogging, swimming or biking," the AHA states. It is also recommended to do things to strengthen your muscles at least two days a week, working major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms).

Unfortunately, only 47 percent of Americans over 18 meet these requirements for aerobic activity and fewer than 19 percent are meeting the combined aerobic and muscle-strengthening guidelines, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most people know exercise improves the immune and cardiovascular (heart and vessels) systems. However, most don't realize it assists the gastrointestinal and neurological systems as well. Ask anyone who has completed a workout: they will tell you how much better their mood is! It assists with flexibility, strength and endurance for the physical body; but also for anything life throws our way.

It's time to stop working out the springs on your couch and spring into action! Spring is the best time to start a new program. Don't let any of these excuses stop you:

Why people "Can't Exercise"

How Running can help

"Too expensive"

Running is Free (except for good shoes)

"No time"

1. Can run 2-3 miles in less than a TV show

2. Can work it around your busy schedule

3. Don't need to worry about gym hours

"Travel too much" You can run anywhere - check out mapmyrun.com to plot a run wherever your life takes you "Don't like to work out in crowds" Run on private roads, woods, or the new track

Are you rolling your eyes, muttering "I can't run?" Look at a toddler who has barely figured out walking. They are running, tripping and toppling over. No one is telling them they can't run because if you can walk, you CAN run. This column is not asking you to envision yourself as one of the marathon runners has interviewed over the last few weeks, but to motivate you to believe and prove to yourself you CAN run. It takes time — it takes patience — there may be some sore muscles. But barring any grave medical conditions, you CAN run.

If you haven't heard of it yet; the Couch to 5K program is a super simple program moving people from Couch Potato to 5K Finisher in only two months, working out only 20 minutes, three times a week. The program starts out with walking and transforms the participant to completing a 5K in less time than their commute back and forth to work (or waiting for their kids at school or after school events). And lucky for us, Milford has , , the , and the  to start your 5K training.

To prevent injury with new physical programs, the first step is making sure your footwear is appropriate for the activity and not too old. Sneakers should be replaced every year or every 350 miles. If you are someone who often has sore back or knees you would find great benefit in a relationship with one of the many in town to keep your body in alignment. and are wonderful methods to heal the body and Arnica Montana gel will help decrease inflammation.

As you dig out your sneakers and prepare for your transformation from couch to 5K; keep this anonymous quote in mind: "Dead last finish is greater than did not finish, which trumps did not start." Get off the couch and spring into a 5K. Ask a family member or friend to join you in signing up for one of Milford's upcoming 5Ks. Motivate a group at work to support the 5K on May 20, the and Community impact on September 16 or the Milford High School's on Thanksgiving. Keep in mind you don't have to "run" 5Ks. As a patient once told me, "there is a pace to finish every race." We can walk if we get tired? Brilliant!

Erin Mahoney March 29, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Lisa, I loved your article! Your timing is perfect as the weather allows people to move outside and get active! There are no excuses!! Couch to 5K is a great way for novice runners to get started. Hope to see you at a local race soon

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