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Running Away

Here I am… Monday afternoon… at my desk feeling swamped and a little overwhelmed. One option – run away.

A second, and perhaps healthier option, is to go for a run.

They sound so similar and yet are so dramatically different – running away vs. going for a run. And really, going for a run has way better long term effects.

I joined the track team when I was 12. My big brother “strongly suggested” that I should focus on track and six years later, my 4 x 100 relay team competed at the state championship and set a school record that held firm for 18 years. Now, at the age of 38, sprinting is what I do to get my kids from one place to another, not what I do for my own health and wellness.

That’s why I started running longer distances. My neighbor and I meet up every morning between the high school bus (6:45 am) and getting our younger kids ready for the elementary bus (7:30 am). During that block of “Mommy Time” we run up to 5 miles, all for our own good.

On some days, it’s about the futile quest to get a few pounds closer to our 20-something selves. Every day, however, is about making me feel good. When I searched online, Women’sHealth.com told me why it makes me feel so good. My early morning cardio affects my brain.

My running:

  • Boosts my productivity
  • Revs my energy
  • Sharpens my memory and problem solving
  • Works out my brain and my heart
  • Lowers my stress
  • Shakes me out of a funk

As a full-time, working mother of two, I need every edge I can get. As a woman, health and wellness needs to be important to me. And, let’s be honest, running away is not a good option. Instead, on those dark and chilly mornings I throw back the covers and remember that Nike told me to “Just Do It.” Then I slip on my New Balance running shoes, put my kid on the school bus, and go for a run.

May 13 – May 19 is National Women’s Health Week. If running’s not your thing, that’s fine. Just do something. Join me in working out and build a community of healthy, smart, unstoppable women!

Ifeoma Aduba, AWP Associate Director

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