National Running Day - June 6, 2012

Sharon Rekieta, Fitness and Wellness Director - 1st June 2012

To acknowledge the impact of running on the lives of so many, Wednesday, June 6, 2012 has been designated National Running Day - a day of celebration for those who already run and a day to spread encouraging words and an inviting hand to those yet to discover this healthy, beneficial and wonderful activity.

Fun facts about running:

There are more than 75 million runners in the United States.

Over one billion pairs of running shoes are sold worldwide each year.

You can "run on air."  At regular points in the running cycle, both feet are off the ground.

The Bay to Breakers Race in San Francisco is the largest run in the US with over 100,000 participants.

While running, the feet strike the ground with a force of about three to four times the person’s weight.

There are 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments and a network of tendons, nerves and blood vessels in the feet that are all working together while we run

The lower leg bone in a male runner is typically about 15% denser (hence stronger) than a sedentary male.

"Runner’s High" is real—the "level of euphoria" increases after running and lifts our mood.

How to celebrate the day if you are already a runner:

Encourage your coworkers to wear their running shoes to work and lead them on an easy walk/jog at lunch.

Plan a "running hour" after work in place of a "happy hour."

Take an exploratory run through your neighborhood, introduce yourself to any neighbors you happen to see and invite them to join you on your next run.

Take the road "never traveled" today instead of setting out on your usual route.

Donate your old running shoes to an athletic specialty store that will pass them along to the needy or to a company that recycles the materials to construct running tracks

How to be part of the celebration if you are not yet a runner:

Consider June 6 as the start of your "Fitness New Year."  Make a fitness goal to celebrate.

Contact your local running and sporting good stores and ask if there are any special events planned in your area.

Is there a designated park or area in your city where many runners run? If so, go hang out and see how it feels to be part of the recreational pursuit in the great outdoors.

Ask a running buddy if you can accompany him/her on a run.

Take the first step (literally) by going for a walk and basking in the wonder of your body’s possibilities.

One more way for runners and non-runners to celebrate the day and the joy of running:

Read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. An excerpt from the review on Amazon: "Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run."

I've been running for decades and trained hundreds to take up the sport, run their first 5K or complete a marathon.  Here are some "secrets" I’ve learned over the years.

In the meantime: "Train Hard. Get Strong. Have Fun. Power ON!" - Sharon Rekieta, PhD, Fitness Director, Lake Austin Spa Resort