11. MEDALS ARE COOL
Silverware isnt just for Olympians. Enter a race, finish it, and youll have your own to line up on your mantelpiece as proof of what youve managed to achieve.
12. YOU DONT NEED AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL
If you can walk, you can run. Simple as that.
13. GET TIME BACK ON YOUR SIDE
Whether loosely lodged in your mental schedule or typed into your Blackberry, your daily workout is a focal point of your day. It helps you organise everything else you need to do, often into B.R. (Before Run) and A.R. (After Run) time frames, as well as giving you time to absorb and ponder your daily itinerary.
14. YOU CAN BE AN ALL-ROUNDER
Whether you want to keep in prime shape like F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, or go 12 hard rounds like boxer Ricky Hatton, running is the place to begin.
15. REACH CREATIVE BREAKTHROUGHS
Writers, musicians, artists and all other kinds of creative professionals use running to solve mental blocks and make must-do-it-today decisions. Credit the flow of oxygen to your grey matter when it matters most, sparking your neurons and giving you breathing space away from the muddle of real life.
16. HILLS: THE ULTIMATE KILOJOULE-KILLER
Now you know how to master the slopes, throw some into your runs and youll burn up to 40 percent more kilojoules a 64kg runner will burn 5 400kJ running a 10 percent incline for an hour, compared with 3 800kJ on the flat.
17. THINK FAST
Researchers from Illinois University found that an increase of five percent in cardio-respiratory fitness led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests.
18. MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Millions of runners worldwide turn their determination into fundraising efforts for the less fortunate. The Flora London Marathon is the single largest annual fundraising event in the world, having brought over R7.6-billion into the coff ers of good causes to date. If being part of that global community doesnt give you a warm glow, what will?
19. IMPROVE SEXY TIMES
A study from Cornell University in the US concluded that male runners have the sexual prowess of men two to five years younger, with females delaying the menopause by a similar amount of time. Meanwhile, research carried out at Harvard University found men over 50 who run at least three hours a week have a 30 percent lower risk of impotence than those who do little or no exercise.
20. IT CAN REPLACE A HARMFUL DEPENDENCY
- such as smoking, alcoholism, or overeating, says William Glasser, author of Positive Addiction (HarperPerennial Books). Result: youre a happier, healthier person getting the kind of fix that adds to rather than detracts from the good things in life.