"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Medicinal Power of Running

Qualifier: In previous posts regarding the benefits of running, I have cited the results of several clinical studies and provided extensive historical data (knee health, heart health, mental health). In today’s post, it is one man’s opinion - mine. Proceed with caution, but I think I might just be on to something.

I have often heard that when under the weather, and deciding to run or not, the rule of thumb is:

If the illness is above the shoulders - run
If the illness is below the shoulders - don’t run

Today I tested that rule out.  Over the last 24 hours, a head cold / allergy / sinus condition began to roar it’s ugly head. All the usual symptoms were present; runny nose, congestion, sore throat, sneezing.  It got worse through the morning.  But today is long run Sunday, and the show must go on.  

Long story short, two and half hours after first climbing aboard the treadmill, I feel really great.  No more sore throat, I’m breathing freely and concerns about facing a long week of sleepless nights are gone. Did I sweat it out? Is the combination of Powerade and Cliff Shots equal to that of NyQuil and Advil? Are the shoes magic? Whatever it is, it worked.  

Actually, over the past few years, since I started running high mileage and through all sorts of weather, I have been sick less than any other time of my life.  Traditional wisdom would try to tell you that running in sub-freezing weather, in rain, snow and wind, and by going in and out of the summer heat, one would catch all sorts of sickness.  At least that’s what mom use to say.  But in fact, it’s the opposite.  Staying inside through all these seasons, with all the other germs and viruses, is the sure fire way of catching something.  You are far more likely to avoid the spread of ______ (fill in the blank) by keeping the running shoes on and diluting the air particles in the great outdoors, than by sharing the indoor space with a crowd. Just one more reason to lace them up.  

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