Crow Wing Energized: Running offers multiple health benefits
Men’s health is not just physical health, but mental health also. For me, running can supply me with multiple ways to mentally cope. There are times when I go for a short run to get rid of stress.
My name is Dominic and I’m a pharmacist at Essentia Health.
June is Men’s Health month and while I could go through a bunch of numbers like blood pressure and cholesterol, I want to focus on how I chose to become healthier with running and the overall effects.
Around the beginning of 2015, a coworker challenged me to “Running the Year” (run the number of miles equivalent to the calendar year), which meant I had to run 2015 miles. After a few laughs and thinking, “I could never do that,” I created a team of three people and we set out to run a total of 2015 miles. We, as a team, hit our goal within the year!
I continued this challenge over the next few years and included many different friends and family. I have run with my wife, son, dad, sister, and a cousin. By having teammates, it offered accountability to get out and run. Another bonus to all these challenge runs was that I was losing a few pounds and sleeping better.
As the years progressed, I needed a new challenge; I started running in the local 5K (3.1 miles) races. Most of these are fundraisers, which means I benefited by working out and the sponsoring organizations benefited monetarily.
I love to involve my family and try to be an inspiration to them to be healthy. As a family, we all participated in the Baxter Elementary Color Run. My oldest son, my sister and I have participated in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day many times. One year, my daughter and I ran the 5K Warrior Homecoming run in matching tutus. As I continued to grow in my running lifestyle, I started to sign up for longer distance races such as half (13.1 miles) and full (26.2 miles) marathons or triathlons.
My favorite place to run is on the Paul Bunyan State Trail, it is wonderful. On weekends, I can be found between the Northland Arboretum and Merrifield or Merrifield to Nisswa. I found this was a great way to end the week and dump the stress from the prior week. Most of my weekday runs are early in the morning before work. Running around on a cool crisp morning as the sun is coming up gives me a calm feeling. It helps me start out the day on a positive vibe.
Men’s health is not just physical health, but mental health also. For me, running can supply me with multiple ways to mentally cope. There are times when I go for a short run to get rid of stress. I run a couple miles at a faster pace, get a good sweat going and just feel like, ‘YEAH, all’s good now.’
There have been times that I have not been able to run for three or four days. Life gets busy. My wife usually can sense these times and sends me out for a run. I think she usually uses the word crabby to describe me, and I come back feeling much better once I get done running.
Other times it is just a nice time to reset my thoughts. The weather plays into the emotion you feel while running. I have been out running with a light snow falling and feel like I’m in a snow globe or after a nice rain, running with a rainbow in the sky ahead of you is a great mood booster.
I know that physically and mentally I have improved my health with running. Running keeps me healthy, mentally ready, and gives me the ability to enjoy life!