Just Get Moving: It Doesn’t Take a Lot of Running to Benefit

All you need to do to gain the lion’s share of health benefits from running and exercise is just to start moving, say a pair of news stories that were published recently in the New York Times and ABC News.

The first story, reported on ABC News’s website this weekend, looks at a Danish research study on the benefits of cardiovascular exercise in a study called the Copenhagen City Heart Study, which has tracked the heart health of more than 19,000 participants since 1976. All you need to benefit and live a longer, healthier life — and add as much as six years to your lifespan — is to get out and run for an hour a week, the research suggests:

“We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The good news is that you don’t actually need to do that much to reap the benefits.”

Read the full story on ABCNews.com here.

The ‘First 20 Minutes’ are the most important

The second story I came across this weekend that I found fascinating was an interview with The New York Times’s Gretchen Reynolds, who authors a weekly column in the paper’s Health section as well as writing a popular blog for its website called “PhysEd.” She’s compiled the wisdom she’s learned through a 20-year career of writing and reporting on health, fitness and exercise for the paper, and learned that it’s possible we need to exercise less, and not more, to stay healthy and fit.

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Introducing Megan Cox

Megan Cox at the Baltimore Marathon

We’re going to be doing things a little differently with the blog section of HalfMarathons.Net. Though posts have admittedly been few here, we’re going to be introducing some new writers to tell their stories of training, running, racing and achieving their goals.

The first of these writers is Megan Cox, someone whom I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know recently. She’s a novelist from the Oklahoma City area, and has quite a story to tell about having a baby and getting back in shape to run a half marathon, which she’ll do later this year.

Here’s Megan in her own words, on where she’s been and what she’ll write about:

“I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Megan Cox, and I’m a new blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. For the next few months, I’ll be telling you about my journey from being super pregnant and having a baby just two weeks ago to running my first race in four years this December, the Dallas White Rock Half Marathon.

I promise to chat about other stuff as well—things that affect runners at all different stages, such as getting back in shape after taking time off from running, fitting running schedules into work schedules (because a paying job is still necessary, right?), and trying awesome workouts that I find in a variety of places—the web, magazines, etc. In addition, I’ll be sharing tips from experts, including personal trainers, competitive runners, and even psychologists, on how we can all overcome the challenges in our lives to train for the ultimate racing experience—the half marathon.
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