There are plenty of reasons why you should run even if you think you can’t
Your alarm goes off, you put on your sneakers and head out for a run or a walk to get your daily dose of exercise and endorphins. Whether you are moving to keep fit and healthy or training for an event, going for a jog is ‘normal’. It might even be something you complain about, especially in NSW’s wettest summer in a decade.
What if you couldn’t run at all?
In Australia, 1 in 6 people live with a disability (that’s about 4.4 million people). Of these people, 32 per cent have a profound disability and 20,800 Australians are living with a spinal cord injury.
According to the spinal cord research foundation Wings for Life, in most cases, paralysis is caused by acute damage to the spinal cord following a traumatic injury. Nerve fibres are disrupted and nerve cells at, and around, the site of injury are destroyed.
A lesion of the spinal cord not only impacts the ability to move your limbs, the injury also causes a large number of health-related complications and limitations.
So, how do you feel about your morning run now? Suddenly, it’s a privilege and not an inconvenience!
This is why Wings for Life has created the Wings for Life World Run — a huge global ‘chase’ for a good cause, which can be run anywhere over any distance. Now in its 9th year, this year the race starts at May 8th, 9pm AEST. Runners can join a real-life flagship event (find a location here ) or download the app and join in virtually.
At the Wings for Life World Run, everyone starts at the same time, worldwide. Professional athletes, fun runners and total beginners are all in it together against the ‘Catcher Car’ — a real or virtual car, which you’re challenged to stay ahead of.
The best bit is, 100 per cent of all entry fees and donations go directly to spinal cord research to find a cure for spinal cord injury.
Need more convincing? Here’s why you should run for those who think they can’t.
- Running for Charity Makes you Faster!
Aiming for a Personal Best? Running for a good cause could shave off those seconds. It all comes down to the ‘intrinsic motivation’ behind an activity — doing something because of how it makes us feel, rather than an accolade or a trophy. In this case, you’re getting a sense of meaning from helping other people. Research has showed, intrinsic motivation increases exercise commitment.
- It’s a Feel-Good, Mood Booster
New research suggests that volunteers aren’t just helping the communities they serve. People who volunteer actually experience a boost in their mental health — good news when over 2 million Australians a year experience anxiety. There’s also potential physical benefits. Giving social support — time, effort, or goods — is associated with better overall health in adults.
- Enjoy the People Power!
We’ve all spent enough time alone in the pandemic. Now, this event is an excuse to bring people together. At Wings for Life’s Munich Flagship Run, German racing driver, Sophia Flörsch is driving the Chaser Car. “You don‘t have to be a professional runner, you don’t even have to like running,” says Sophia. “You can do it with your friends or siblings and have a good time.”
4. The Thrill of the Chase
Who doesn’t run faster, when they’ve got someone (or something) to compete against?
Champion hurdler, Colin Jackson is the International Sports Director for the Wings for Life World Run. “With the App, your experience will be identical to the Flagship Runs,” he says. “Either way, you will have a Catcher Car chasing you and that is what makes it exciting.”
5. Because, you can!
Ironman Hawaii wheelchair winner, Marc Herremans is the Wheelchair Sports direction for the Wings for Life World Run. “When you see a person in a wheelchair, the wheelchair is the easiest part,” says Marc. “You don’t see the pressure wounds, the nerve pain, the sexual dysfunction, the infections.”
Think of that, when you’re too tired to tie up your sneakers. Any day we can run is a victory. Why not run for someone else?
To register for the Wings for Life World Run, visit www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com