Couch Your Doubt: Get Up & Get Out Part 2
Continuing our exploration of jogging for exercise…
Last time we talked about Team Challenge, a half-marathon training and fund-raising program put on by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. This time we’ll look at another goal that might be a bit more manageable—either on its own, or as a starting point for loftier goals like Team Challenge.
The Couch-to-5k ® program is aimed at helping people get off their butt and onto their feet. In a few short weeks, it prepares you to run a 5k race. It works by alternating various lengths of walking and running for workouts of 20-30 minutes, three times per week. Beginning with mostly walking and just a little jogging, the run/walk ratio increases periodically over a couple months until you’re running for the full 30 minutes (usually about 3 miles). This program is not a fund raiser, but it’s definitely a worthy cause—regardless of whether you’re interested in the 5k part or not, the exercise is good for you and it can help you feel good too.
My wife learned of it from a friend (thanks Maggie!), and had been interested for a while. Last month she finally committed to trying it, and on a whim I decided to start it with her. I have been looking for new ways to exercise, but until this program came along I’d never considered running. I just didn’t imagine my body could handle it… but I’ve been running for three weeks now and I am pleasantly surprised.
The best thing about it is that nearly anyone can do it. It doesn’t require any fancy equipment; just shoes and a watch. You can make your way through the progressions as slowly as needed. And it’s based on times rather than distances, so you can do it anywhere—you could even make laps around the house if you need to stay close.
For the first time since I was a teenager I actually feel like running is viable exercise for me. And strangely, I look forward to it now. Sure, it takes a little discipline, but it feels great. Plus, I’m losing weight too. And I’m even starting to feel like Team Challenge might actually be accessible.
If you’d like to get out and get your blood flowing (and experience the many benefits that come with it), give it a try! You can do it.
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