How to Enjoy Spring

The calendar says March. And with March comes spring. And with spring, comes the lack of excuse of ice, snow, and cold to go outside and exercise. But, wouldn’t it be better if you could help someone else while exercising? Or exercise with other people, maybe for motivation? Luckily, the DMV area has a lot of options for walking, running, and cycling events for all to enjoy.

Running may be too intense for some, but walking is also beneficial. Walking has been shown to help improve heart health, lower risk of obesity by helping maintain body weight, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, certain types of cancer, and diabetes (Benefits of Walking, 2015). It has even been shown that walking for 30 minutes at lunch, 3 days a week can improve work performance (Thøgersen-Ntoumani, et al 2015).

When looking for something more intense than walking, running is always an option. Running has been shown to have both mental and physical health benefits. These benefits include boosting confidence and self-esteem, relieving stress by using excess energy, and improving mood, aiding to treat depression (Active, 2015). Mental test scores have improved with running, as it has improved selective attention, task switch, and working memory (Runner’s World, 2015).  Overall health has been shown to improve with running with lowering risk of certain cancers and stroke. It can increase levels of HDL, or good cholesterol, improve lung function, and help lose weight or at least maintain body weight. (Active, 2015). Collectively, these benefits have been shown to overall add years to your life (Runner’s World, 2015).

If you are looking for lower impact exercise, cycling is always an option. Biking produces less impact on your joints. There is no ‘pounding of the pavement.’ This benefit makes cycling an ideal exercise for those who enjoy the outdoors and have joint pain from osteoarthritis. But, riding a bike still provides health benefits, similar to those of walking and running. Cycling has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, lower risk of diabetes and certain types of cancers, and improve mental health (Cycling, 2015).

Finding and registering for potential events around the area is easy on active.com. But here are a few options to get you started:

Walking & Running

*Help the Hungry 5k 2015. Sunday, April 26, 2015. B-CC High School, 4301 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814.

*Fit 4 ’15 5k and Fun Run. Saturday, May 30, 2015. Druid Park, 2600 Madison Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217.

*Damien’s Run Sunday, June 14, 2015. Copt Building, 6711 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046.

*Spring into Summer 5k & Family Fun Walk Saturday, June 20, 2015. McCullough Field, 8th Street, Laurel MD 20707.

 

Cycling

*Unity in the Community Bike Ride Saturday, April 11, 2015. Oakcrest Community Center. 1300 Capitol Heights Blvd, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

*End Hunger Bike Ride 2015. Saturday, April 25, 2015. Chesapeake Church 6201 Solomons Island Rd, Huntingtown, MD 20639.

If you aren’t sure about registering for an event on your own, ask your family and friends to join. And if you can’t convince them, come join your CBAY family on June 4th as we participate in the Corporate FunRun 5K at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore on Thursday, June 4, 2015. For more details on the event, ask at your next visit.

For Further Information

American Heart Association. The Benefits of Walking. 2015. http://www.startwalkingnow.org/whystart_benefits_walking.jsp.

Thøgersen-Ntoumani C, Loughren EA, Kinnafick FE, Taylor IM, Duda JL, Fox KR. Changes in work affect in respsonse to lunchtime wlaking in previously physically inactive employees: A randomized trial. Scandinavian Jounral of Medicien & Science in Sports. Jan 6, 2015.

Active. 6 Benefits of Running. 2015. http://www.active.com/health/articles/6-benefits-of-running.

Runner’s World. 6 Ways Running Improves Your Health. 2015. http://www.runnersworld.com/health/6-ways-running-improves-your-health?page=single.

State Government of Victoria. Cycling-health benefits. 2015. http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Cycling_health_benefits#.