I was in seventh grade when I started training athletics. Outdoor exercisings at the stadium were a magical combination of high intensity exercises, new friendships, iron discipline, plenty of motivation and a lot of fun. After the exhausting training, I enjoyed running under the cold droplets of water (from the stadium’s irrigation system) that fell like dew on the grass. With my last resource of power I used to bounce blissfully on the high jump landing mats collecting the sun’s rays over my tired body. These were the summers when mom used to tell me that I look alike a gypsy kissed by the sun – I was so tanned.
Training sessions at the stadium easily turned into passion that led me to numerous national competitions. Sports was now in my blood system and over the years I have been practicing yoga, BOSU, TRX, boxing, kick boxing, spinning, pilates and others. What remained as an invariable was running. Because of it I got a threadmill at home which I exploited heavily even throughout my pregnancy.
These days I love running outdoors in the park, and since recently I have dared to run long and highly intensive routes in the mountain (Holyrood). I put my sports headphones on, I turn the volume to max and I run as hell. I enjoy the beauty of the nature all around, I unify my heartbeat with the music and I forget about all the efforts and pain that occur at certain point of running 7-15 kilometers (depending on what time I have).
I love every single step of the route I made in the Holyrood hill, because it fills me with freshness and loads me with so much energy and positivism. I love the pond with the swans that waggle at me with their tails every time I pass by, I love the purple lavender fields and the magnificent view of the sea from the top. I love the lights at night when I run down the hill and the kiss of raindrops on my hot sweaty body when it rains.
For many, running is a boring activity, and in part I tend to agree if running means tossing feet on a threadmill at the gym. Running outdoors, however, is a pleasure and most importantly an activity that can be shared with friends.
Moreover, running can make you smile and feel satisfied with the care you put in your health and good vibes. So today I will share some interesting facts about running in order to sow the seed of love for this activity in you too 🙂
FACT: To be able to run our body uses 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 tendons and a whole network of nerves and blood vessels simultaneously.
FACT: Due to the large amounts of lactic acid that are formed during an intensive workout, the breast milk’s taste becomes unpleasantly acidic.
FACT: Listening to music while runing increases our performance by up to 15%. Personally, I put on repeat Queen and Michael Jackson – their rhythms splash me with great tone and power that help me run vividly uphill in the mountain.
FACT: As we run we burn an average of 10 calories per minute. If we calculate it in chocolates it means that for 25 minutes we burn half a chocolate bar 🙂
FACT: While running we can get “high” from euphoria – this magical phenomenon is related to the release of endorphins that our brain produces generously while running. These chemicals act also as a painkiller which removes the pain and fatigue while sweating to make every next step.
FACT: Men who run regularly are more likely to have daughters. The scientific explanation is that the testosterone levels decrease with longer mileage (more than 50 km per week).
FACT: The threadmill was originally used as a punishment device in English prisons. If you only know how much I have been punishing myself on the threamill at home in recent years …
FACT: 30 minutes of running daily improves sleep quality, mood and concentration.
FACT: Running stimulates the immune system and helps in dealing with colds.
FACT: If we run 16 km our feet will hit the ground about 15,000 times with a force of three to four times the weight of our body.
FACT: Men run faster than women because they have more muscle mass, higher lung capacity, higher hemoglobin and testosterone.
FACT: Running increases the sexual desire due to hugher testosterone levels in men and increased blood circulation in women.
FACT: Running lowers blood pressure more efficiently than any medication or diet.
Apart from being always loaded with tone and happiness (endorphins are my drug), running keeps me in shape. If you can not believe what a great experience running can be, put your sneakers, play your favorite music and go to the park. The magic will take you in.