Here’s one big athletic event coronavirus couldn’t cancel: Global Running Day and related activities this week.
In countries around the world, the annual event celebrates and encourages running and physical movement. The focus is online this year, of course – but the point is a good one any day.
“During these challenging times, many people are turning to running as a solution to help release anxiety, gain perspective, cope with cabin fever, and keep up wellbeing,” organizers say on their website.
Here’s one example among the countless: Chuck, a 56-year-old business consultant in London, who has enjoyed gym fitness and swimming over the years.
“Of course, it took a pandemic to get me running,” he says. “My gym closed, and that forced me to realize that the only gym I had was the one I could lace up on my feet.”
Join the Virtual Race This Year
This year’s event will be celebrated digitally because of the health crisis. “It’s important that we all keep active in a safe and responsible way,” organizers say.
Indeed, a new study shows that people who exercised during the early stages of the coronavirus lockdown were less prone to depression and the effects of stress.
We’ve said countless times that exercise is the best medicine for mood, anxiety, poor sleep and countless other wellness issues. But this pandemic is unprecedented, with millions of people staying home and exercising less. This study is one more reason to get off the couch and take care of yourself now (and after the pandemic).
People everywhere can join the free New York Road Runners virtual race now through June 7. Just run or walk a mile anywhere and share the news on social media.
Organizers hope that, after you complete your mile, you will tag a friend on social media with #Run1Tag1 and encourage them to do the same.
“Together we’ll create a worldwide game of virtual tag,” they say. “Although we’re running separate routes, we’re all in this together to stay connected and healthy.”
Staying Active for Mature Adults
In non-pandemic times, the NYRR Striders offers free, coach-led walking sessions every week in senior centers, neighborhoods and parks.
Nowadays, the group offers online workouts and resources: “We believe in the power of fitness to keep adults physically and mentally strong, especially in the wake of COVID-19.”
The group is encouraging mature adults everywhere to enjoy walking or running – both excellent forms of exercise, regardless of age.
Wednesday, June 3 is Global Running Day, but this year more than ever, the date is just a way to raise awareness and encourage people of all ages to be physically active. Around the world, millions over 50 run on a regular basis, with countless more out there walking.
Their numbers have swelled this year with people like Chuck in England, who haven’t been able to go to the gym or studio.
“This has been a very stressful time,” he says. “And at the beginning of London’s lockdown, I was eating myself into a very fat comfort zone.
“Once I started running regularly, my appetite came back under control, I kick-started my metabolism, and I gained a notch back on my belt.”
That’s good motivation to make every day a global running day.