The Benefits of Running Outdoors

Video Transcription

I’m Katie Schultes. I’m an emergency medicine physician at Inspira Mullica Hill.

Running has always been a part of my life. I ran in college at school in Lafayette College for both cross-country and track and field, and it’s very analogous to the ER because we’re always running around in the emergency department.

So running has kind of been my outlet, especially now during the pandemic. It’s a good release from the stress and uncertainty of the times that we’re experiencing right now.

ON SCREEN TEXT: What are some of the health benefits of running and walking over other types of exercise?

Running and walking you burn more calories than a lot of the other exercise programs that you can work in. It also helps your joints, and the one thing I think about is let’s make things simple.

You don’t need any workout equipment, you just need a pair of shoes and especially with a lot of gyms closing and difficult trying to make it there during the pandemic, all you need is a pair of running shoes and you just have to get out the door.

It shows that it decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease, I think by about 45% if you do like a running regimen.

It increases your HDL which is one of your good cholesterols.

Obviously it helps burn calories so it helps reduce fat and reduce your risk of getting diabetes.

And then the other thing is it boosts your immunity, so especially during this pandemic what better way to burn calories but also boost your immunity to help prevent getting any types of infection or obviously Covid 19.

So another benefit of running is it increases your serotonin levels, which helps increase your overall mood and running outside you’re exposing yourself to Vitamin D and sunlight, and help combat against depression.

So I say there’s no reason to not try to run, and you don’t have to start actually running, you can start by walking.

I kind of live by the 10% rule so if you’re starting an exercise program, you can increase your mileage or increase your time working out by 10% every week, and then as you begin to walk you can start to do a hybrid of walking and running, and then as your body gets used to running and you feel good running, then you can just continue adding mileage to your to your daily routine.

Usually I recommend warming up at home so you work up a little bit of a sweat before you go into the elements.

Because of the cold you do something called vasoconstriction, so your muscles are a little bit more tighter, your joints are a little tighter, so warming up, and then just kind of hitting the pavement.

Obviously you’re going to have some discomfort when you’re starting a workout routine, but if you develop sharp pain, I usually recommend to stop, take a few days off and re-evaluate before you enter back into that exercise regimen. Obviously if pain persists, I recommend following up with your physician.

So I think everyone should escape their Zoom meetings, put on a pair of shoes and get out there and try run.