At Home with Chris Jessen 2018 - 134

W

by strengthening the heart and lowering blood
pressure. It maintains the elasticity of arteries,
because as you run your arteries expand and
contract nearly three times as much as usual.
Running also helps raise HDL (or "good")
cholesterol, reduces the risk of blood clots, and
boosts the immune system by creating a higher
concentration of lymphocytes (white blood cells
that fight disease). And as it's a weight bearing

EVEN THE MOST COMMITTED
ATHLETES HAVE DAYS WHEN THEY
DON'T FEEL LIKE TRAINING - SO
YOU NEED A GOAL TO AIM FOR

FEEL THE BENEFITS

You'll burn off approximately
450 calories in 30 minutes (for
a 10st woman). So go running
four times a week and you'll
lose at least 2lb in a month -
and that's without cutting down
on any food!
Running is great for toning
and strengthening your legs and
bum muscles, and for easing the
signs of cellulite.
You'll feel happier.
It will build your confidence

134 | FEBRUARY 2018

and give you a sense of pride
and achievement.
It's free!
You'll feel the benefits
instantly. After going for a
run, you'll feel more energetic,
positive and less stressed.
In the long term, you'll be less
likely to get certain diseases
such as heart disease, stroke
and osteoporosis.
It's a great way to raise money
for a good cause.

exercise it's good for bone strength, too, helping to
reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis in later life.
It is also great value as there's no need for
expensive gym memberships. All you need is a pair
of properly supportive trainers and a sports bra and
you're away. You can do it wherever you are, at any
time - in the morning, during lunch, after work or
even to get you from A to B - so you'll save money
on taxis and public transport, too!

POWER OF PERSUASION
Motivation is one of the most difficult things to
overcome when you start exercising. Millions of us
spend a fortune on gym memberships every year,
then most stop going after a few months - wasting
£558 million in 2016, according to The Mirror.
Sometimes going out for a run, particularly
if it's cold and wet, doesn't seem very appealing
compared with crashing out in front of the TV
with a glass of wine. And even the most committed
athletes will have days when they feel like they
simply can't be bothered to train.
This is where having a goal to aim for comes in.
You know that you need to be able to get around
a 5k course on a certain day and if you don't train,
there's every chance you'll collapse and embarrass
yourself. Not only that, but you would left down all
the family and friends who are supporting you. If
you give up, imagine the faces of all those doubters
who 'knew you couldn't to do it'. And if that's not
enough to have you slipping on your trainers and
heading out the door, then there's the guilt that
your chosen charity really needs your sponsorship
money to spur you on.
And although you should start small with fun
runs of up to 10k, if you find you enjoy running,
in time you'll become fit enough to tackle longer
distances and even take part in marathons.
Look out, Mo Farah!

WORDS: KIA HANSEN, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES

hat did you think as you sat
watching last year's London
Marathon from the safety
and comfort of your sofa?
Disbelief that anyone could
be so crazy? Or admiration
that people would make
such an incredible effort for charity?
While a marathon is probably the ultimate
running goal (let's not think about ultramarathons),
joining in a charity fun run is a great way for the
whole family to improve their health, have fun and
help raise money for a good cause.
And it's not just super-fit people who run in
physically exerting charity events up and down the
country. Anyone can do it - yes, even you! From one
mile to 26 and everything in between, there's a huge
choice of races going on throughout the year that
you can use as an incentive to improve your health.
The trick for any self-confessed slouch to get fit
is to take it slowly. You're not going to be able to go
straight from couch potato to crossing the finishing
line without a lot of effort in between.
Pick a realistic goal - such as a 5k fun run. Then
sign up, pick a charity that you want to support
and start pestering your family and friends for
sponsorship pledges. Chances are you'll get a bit
of stick - particularly if you haven't even run for a
bus before. But although they may take the mickey
at first, colleagues and family will secretly be
impressed and admire your dedication.
Now comes the tough bit - the actual training.
Running does require a certain amount of time
and dedication. But although you put a lot of
effort in, you get a lot of benefits.
Running is one of the best types of exercise
for burning fat, so it's the perfect way to lose
a few lbs fast. It also boosts your mood and
prevents depression by encouraging the release
of endorphins, the body's happy hormones, also
reducing stress, anxiety and tension. Running
also reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks,



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