By BENJIE OLIVEROS
Every year, it has been customary to come up with New Year’s resolutions. It’s as if the turn of the year would bring about a new person. But this has become a standing joke as most New Year’s resolutions are hardly complied with. And most New Year’s resolutions are repeated year in, year out.
Perhaps the most universal New Year’s resolution is to lose weight as most have gained during the food-filled, sweetened goodies-rich holidays. And the hectic schedule of Christmas parties and reunions, the late night binges are not conducive to early morning exercises. I, myself, had gained, during the last two months of the year, the weight that I lost due to one year of running and joining half marathons every month in 2011. No thanks to an ACL injury and the development of asthma, I have stopped running for almost three months already. And the most difficult part is going back to the routine of running.
Sure, I haven’t stopped exercising, as I regularly go to the gym and lift weights, but that doesn’t help in losing weight either. Although muscle development is known to speed up one’s metabolism, heavy weight lifting tends to buff and bulk you up. So still, the best weight-losing exercises are cardio, cardio, and cardio! And the most no-frills cardiovascular exercise is running.
In running, you don’t need equipment or fixtures such as bikes, rackets, clubs, CD players, mirrors, mats or a field, pool or a lot of space. You don’t even need to be graceful. It is just you and the road… and good running shoes (a pair for training and a pair for distance running and races, which you don’t use everyday), a pair of Rudy project or Oakley sunglasses and a visor or cap to protect your eyes from the sun, and a nice dri fit singlet and running shorts, and compression sleeves, and a hydration belt, etc. Whatever happened to no-frills running?
Really, running is a joy. The freedom one feels when running; the feeling of literally running away from the worries of everyday life; and the endorphins being produced after hard running gets one addicted to it. The aches and pains of long distance running, especially when you are not that young anymore, are inconsequential; it just adds challenge to it. The PRs (personal records), the exhilaration one feels when crossing the finish line and accomplishing a personal best is indescribable. It makes all the training, all the waking up early in the morning all worth it.