Running: Is It Healthy? Essay

1380 words - 6 pages

Human beings have been running since the beginning of mankind. Then, humans ran for survival. Men and women were forced to run in order to catch their food and to move from place-to-place.. But running has since then evolved into something more than survival. Whether it’s to stay physically fit or for the enjoyment, humans have made running into a common activity. Personally, running is a hobby of mine. I run on a daily basis for both the exercise and the euphoria. However, running has become not only a form of exercise for a multitude of people, but it’s also a popular worldwide sport. In 776 B.C.E., the first recorded Olympic Game was held in Greece (Rosenberg). The first event in this game was a footrace of approximately two-hundred and ten yards. Running is still an event in todays Olympic Games, but it’s also a common sport, known as Track and Field, in schools, colleges, and on the professional level. Even if someone is involved with other sports during their lifetime, the likelihood of running is still high, as it’s a major part of most sports. Since running is such a common activity, we often overlook the effects it may have on our body. Is running a physically healthy activity?

An efficient runner is physically fit, but not in the sense of a weightlifter. Runners lack the upper body strength of bodybuilders, but have the lower body strength to run miles on end. Perhaps the most common reason that people run is that they believe it’s an effective weight loss tool. In fact, running has been proven to have effective results on weight management. In a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers conducted a large survey between thirty-thousand runners and fifteen-thousand walkers. Throughout this six year survey, it was found that runners retained their body weight while the walkers did not (Reynolds). Running may also have another effect on the human body that assists in weight management or weight loss. A separate study, published in The Journal of Obesity, was conducted by the University of Wyoming. The University took two groups of people, one of runners and one of walkers, and had them either run or walk on a treadmill for one hour. On the next day, both groups rested for an hour. During both sessions, the participants energy output and appetite hormones were monitored. Both groups were then brought to a room with a buffet. It was found that the runners had a higher blood count of an appetite suppressor known as peptide YY. This caused the group of runners to take in nearly two-hundred calories less than what they had burned on the treadmill. The walkers, however, did not have a blood count increase in peptide YY, causing them to eat fifty calories more than they had burned. These two studies, combined, show that running is an efficient way to lose or management weight.

Although these studies are accurate, my personal experiences with running have me thinking differently. ...

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