What if everybody ran?
Do you want to smile more, have a happier marriage and sleep better? You can have all this and much more if you did one simple thing–run. According to MBA students at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flager Business School, if everyone in America ran, society could be completely changed.
The MBA students were asked by Mizuno Running to answer the question “what if everybody ran?” Using research documenting the positive impact of aerobic exercise and applying it to the 270 million Americans who have the potential to become runners, the students discovered the staggering impact of a run on all areas of life from physical and mental health to the impact on the economy.
A few of these benefits include: $25.3 billion increase in the gross domestic product, 200 million inches of waistline lost, $143 billion in health care costs saved and 5 million fewer hospital visits each year.
While that information illustrates the impact of running in a more traditional fashion, the students also looked at the benefits of running in a more creative way. These included:
- 18.7 percent fewer divorces each year
- 37 percent more smiles
- 27 million more sunrises seen each week
- 23% increase in workplace productivity
- 48.1 million fewer cigarettes smoked daily
- 1.62 billion more birthday cakes
- 20 million more great grandmas
- 135 million more beers poured, bananas consumed and bagels eaten
To learn how these numbers were calculated or to see the new campaign Mizuno has launched based on the research, watch this video: “What if Everybody Ran.”
“Runners who are just starting out need to have patience; it is just important to go at a pace you are comfortable at and to set reasonable expectations,” said Dr. Ketan Mody, a sports medicine physician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill.
“Trying to go from the couch to a half marathon in a week will only leave you frustrated and hurt from new stress on different joints and muscles or tendons. Runners should make sure they understand and do proper stretching before and after jogs or runs. If you are starting to feel pain, you should seek out a sports medicine physician early on to prevent severe injuries.”
Dr. Mody also recommends that new runners:
- Buy a good pair of running shoes
- Gradually increase their distance and speed
- Set a goal and track progress (this could include signing up for a race)
- Seek help from a sports medicine physician if you start to feel pain.
So hit the trail, track or pavement this spring and experience the benefits of running that millions of others have already found.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.