I've rambled on and on about the benefits of running... how good it makes me feel, how it relieves stress, how it helps my inner control freak, how it allows me to eat lots of sugar and nachos without feeling TOO guilty...
This morning I had my yearly physical with my doctor. I almost cancelled my appointment, because honestly... I'm feeling about as good as I've felt in YEARS. I haven't been sick in over a year (crossing my toes to ward off jinxes), I'm sleeping great, have plenty of energy, no aches or pains... etc... But, I decided to go ahead and keep the appointment. I like to establish a relationship with my doctor, so in case I get a nasty case of tonsillitius (or two cases), I've got somewhere reliable to go.
We went over how wonderful I feel and how healthy I am (ha ha) and then she decided to review my charts from last year. Last year... my cholesterol was a LITTLE high. But, my LDL (which apparently is some kind of good cholesterol) was very high, which she said made my overall cholesterol level fine.
Now, my genes aren't the best in the world... you name it, it runs in my family... both types of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart problems like congestive heart failure, multiple types of cancer (breast, colon, thyroid, lung, spinal, brain...)... so, I feel like I have to be even more careful to take care of my body.
And that's where running steps in. There are so many health benefits to running... it gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing, it releases endorphins, it burns calories, it creates a routine (for me, at least)... and it makes me aware of my body. When I have a particularly sluggish run... I immediately think to myself... okay, what did I eat? or, how many hours of sleep did I have last night? And just in general, I make healthier choices with my diet because of running. It makes me listen to my body and try to treat it with a little more respect.
So, at my appointment this morning... no lab work was taken, I didn't even have to take off any item of clothing! I was declared healthy and shown the door. Incidentally... I did ask the doctor if I should continue yearly appointments even if all seems well, I mean, I am 28, I should be healthy, right? And she emphatically said, Yes! (And I know, she's a doctor, of course she is going to say that... but, it makes sense).
Ahhhh... I just love being a runner, don't you?