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Reasons to run

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Running is easy, free, and there’s plenty of room in the great outdoors to do it.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Running is easy, free, and there’s plenty of room in the great outdoors to do it. Photo Store Photo Store

We all run for different reasons, but in this instance I am referring to running physically, rather than politically.

We, as a society, are generally less physically active, more sedentary, heavier and less healthy than just a few generations ago.  Recent information from Statistics Canada indicates that one in four Manitobans can be classified as obese. Of course the reasons behind this trend are many, including increased access to cheap, less nutritious food and more office/behind-the-desk type working environments.

A great deal of government effort, and frankly that of parents including myself, is geared towards children. Enhancing their opportunity to engage in physical activity within the school setting or extra curricular. Governments of all levels have gone so far as to introduce tax credits to help offset some of the costs associated with children’s organized sports. But not all physical activity has to be organized, at least in terms of rule books and referees.

The beauty of running, and what got me into it, is the cost of equipment: zero. Other than a pair of good shoes you are pretty much good to go, or if you are like the individual I saw recently at the Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon, go barefoot (not my personal first choice, but it’s definitely an eye-catcher).

Worried about when the gym will be open or if the equipment will be available? Don’t. When your gym is the outdoors, you know it’s always open, free and there’s plenty of room for everyone.

My point is not to lecture, but encourage. With spring finally here, now is a great time for all of us to get outside and go for a run or walk.  

The challenge for many of us is to get and stay motivated. We know it’s good for us but we can’t find the time. Fortunately, we have a few events in the constituency of Morris coming up that will not only get you moving but will motivate you as they all are for a good cause.

On May 24, you can participate in the 14th Annual Headingley Fire Department Run for Wishes, a three-or five-kilometre event to benefit the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre. You can also participate in the 7th Annual Imagine Run in Niverville on Sept. 27. This is a five-kilometre, 10-kilometre or half marathon which benefits Eden Health Care Services.  And of course, in communities throughout the Morris constituency you can find local Terry Fox runs on Sept. 14.

I have over the years taught several running clinics through The Running Room, and I can tell you in all sincerity that you can do it. I have had participants of all ages and sizes, many of whom astounded themselves as to what they achieved.

In my own community of La Salle I see, almost every weekday morning, a group of retired residents gather at the local post office box and begin their loop of the neighbourhood which is equal parts social interaction and physical exertion.

So whether you run or walk for yourself or for a cause, there are plenty of options and plenty of good reasons. I look forward to seeing you out there.

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