Diabetes Week 2020 – Health, Exercise & Running
While Type 1 Diabetes is not necessarily related to an inactive lifestyle, it is undeniable that Type 2 Diabetes is directly linked to your weight and level of activity. Statistically, you are far more likely to become afflicted with type 2 diabetes if you are overweight or obese, with a shocking 30 million overweight people in the USA currently dealing with diabetes on a daily basis. Many of these cases remain undiagnosed due perhaps to a lack of knowledge on the subject. Bur Diabetes Week is here to help change that.
Diabetes Week is our chance to discuss and learn about diabetes as a condition, its symptoms, how to handle it and, perhaps most importantly, how to prevent it where possible.
Running is the perfect sport and hobby for so many reasons: It allows you to explore the great outdoors faster than you would walking, it gives you a sense of control over your direction. But it’s also an incredible workout, and one of the most popular ways to manage your weight. Which, in turn, will help you avoid some ugly conditions like Type 2 Diabetes further down the line.
So this Diabetes Week, here are just a few ways Running can help you stay active & healthy:
Reduces risk of serious conditions
Aside from being a generally all-round positive step for your overall health, running has actually been shown numerous times to reduce the risk of developing some pretty nasty conditions. As we’ve discussed, this includes the focus of this week – Type 2 Diabetes. But did you know running has also been shown to reduce the risk of everything from heart disease to even cancer?
Because running is such a calorie-burning workout which gets your lungs expanding and the blood flowing around your body at a consistent rate to keep everything working as it should be, it has been listed by the NHS (who are doing some truly awe-inspiring work at the moment battling the coronavirus) as one of the sports that can have a significant impact on your mission to avoid things like heart disease and cancer, which are linked to a sedentary lifestyle.
It has even been shown in some studies to improve brain function. In short, if you want to improve your chances of staying healthy for longer, consider taking up running or even begin training for one of our amazing running events!
Encourages Good Sleep
For those of us who struggle consistently to get a good night’s sleep, this can be for a number of reasons. Whether it’s stress, body-clock issues or otherwise, there’s no denying that a good night’s sleep is what we all need to fully recharge our batteries and perform at our very best.
Surprisingly, this is true for diabetics, too. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can have disastrous effects on blood sugar levels for those who suffer from the condition.
But regular and relatively intense forms of exercise like running actually promote a healthy awake/sleep balance and help our bodies regulate our energy levels, making us more naturally tired at the end of a session and, more importantly, before we are due to go to sleep.
So if you love heading out for your daily run and are struggling to get some much-needed shut-eye, make sure you fit a challenging running session into your day.
Builds Muscle & Core Strength
While the legs are undoubtedly the star of the show when it comes to running, it may surprise you to learn that running actually incorporates more individual muscles and muscle groups than most other sports.
Your thighs and your calves power your forward as you run, but much of this momentum is generated through the hips, too. Then, of course, there are your abdominal muscles (and most muscles on the torso) which expand and contract as you breathe, and help maintain your posture.
Speaking of bumpy roads, a lot of your balance is reliant on your shoulders, arms and biceps which also move constantly as you run, as we’re sure you’ll be aware. This movement does not go unnoticed by your body and it all counts towards shedding some unwanted calories.
You see? There’s plenty that running offers our body and it is without question an excellent all-round body workout, without the need to focus large amounts of time on any specific area. As we always say, all you need to do is… run!
This is one benefit of running (or exercise in general) that’s often overlooked, but it’s one of the most important to talk about.
Countless studies have shown that people who engage in regular exercise like running are more likely to be both healthier and happier than those who don’t. This could be for a number of reasons, the most obvious being the sense of self-fulfillment and victory one gains from completing a difficult running route, or beating their previous personal best route time.
But there’s also a chemical element to it – when we exercise, our brains release endorphins which not only promote healing in the body, but also affect our overall mood, shifting it towards a much more positive one.
So if you love getting outside in the fresh air and are looking to improve both your mental and physical health, try heading out for a run. You’ll feel much better for it.
At The Running Bee Foundation, we are dedicated to doing our bit to help eliminate childhood obesity in the communities we serve. Which should. also do a huge part in helping to lower the already high diabetes statistics around the country.
To find out more about our awesome running events which encourage an active, healthy and happy lifestyle, check out our official events page here.