10 Reasons Endurance Sports Are Good For You

Like many of you I receive Tweets, Facebook updates and direct email from Active.com.  Like many of you I got into endurance sports for one reason or another and have found out a myriad of other reasons as to why this lifestyle is great for us.  I got into running because my ex-wife asked me to (not the reason she is an ex-wife by the way.)  I started out with running a 1/2 marathon and it was such a great experience in getting to the starting line (the race was horrible for me) that I wanted to continue to do more.  I raced with reckless abandon at first, but it  was much more fun to train. The adrenaline rush on a daily basis was second to none.

After a few years of running I gave triathlon a whirl.  This burst of adrenaline has morphed into a lifestyle.  One of training, watching my food intake, perception of my body as more than a bag of bones to get me from point A to point B.  It has changed my mindset and what I perceive as difficult.  Life is no longer hard when you thin about pushing your body to the level that you push it to on a daily basis to achieve your goals.

In the end I am a triathlete but I was first a runner and with that this email from Active.com forced me to think.  It was a list of 10 reasons why running is good for you.  I have changed running to endurance sports and added my own commentary to it:


10 Reasons Running Is Good for You

Runner’s World

Scientists have discovered the fountain of youth—it’s running. Studies continue to find that hitting the roads improves health and well-being. “The biggest benefits come from vigorous exercise like running,” says JoAnn Manson, M.D., chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Here are the latest reasons to lace up.

Look Ahead

People who run more than 35 miles a week are 54 percent less likely to suffer age-related vision loss than those who cover 10 miles a week.

I wish I had started running in my mother’s womb because I have worn glasses or contact for as long as I can remember.  I will say that I am capable of seeing things today that I know for a fact I would not have seen previously.  I will also add that I believe it is because I am more aware of my surrounding and not 100% sure it has anything to do with vision loss.  Then again I will never know the difference because I plan on carrying out this process throughout my life.

Keep the Beat

Runners who log a weekly run of 10 miles (or more) are 39 percent less likely to use high blood pressure meds and 34 percent less likely to need cholesterol meds compared with those who don’t go farther than 3 miles.

I don’t take medication for anything.  There is no Zyrtec in my system.  I don’t take alleve or advil or tylenol for headaches.  I am against taking medications as my belief is that the human body is quite capable of taking care of itself and doesn’t need a man made prescription for an ailment.  I know that ibuprofen has proven to help in the reduction of swelling, but guess what else does that:  TIME.  If your body is not ready to run again, then taking a pill to reduce the inflammation to go out and run again may cause more damage.  I may be in the minority on this but I don’t take pills and visit (reluctantly) the Doctor once a year for a physical.

Function Well

Men who burn at least 3,000 calories per week (equal to about five hours of running) are 83 percent less likely to have severe erectile dysfunction.

No Comment, but I burn that on a Saturday alone never mind adding up all the other calories on the other 5 days of training.

Build Bone

Running strengthens bones better than other aerobic activities, say University of Missouri researchers who compared the bone density of runners and cyclists. Sixty-three percent of the cyclists had low density in their spine or hips; only 19 percent of runners did.

What about triathletes?  We are runners, cyclists AND swimmers.

Think Fast

British workers were surveyed on a day they worked out and a day they didn’t. People said they made fewer mistakes, concentrated better, and were more productive on the day they were active.

I completely and fully agree with this statement.  Simple fact is that on the off day I am thinking about how I wish I was working out.  My mind is scattered that way, and it is also focused on the next day’s training.  What am I doing tomorrow?  What time frame do I want to do it in?  Everything but thinking about my job.

Stay Sharp

A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported that women who were active as teenagers were less likely to develop dementia later in life.

Can’t really answer this as I am not a woman, but when you meet an elderly person who is a runner or endurance athlete they always seem to have it all together.  They make me want to live an active lifestyle forever, just for the knowledge they have gained by having lived so long.

Sleep Tight

Insomniacs fell asleep in 17 minutes on days they ran, compared to 38 minutes on days they didn’t. They also slept for an extra hour on days they exercised.

My wife can tell you that on a weekday I can be found on the couch around 8:30-9:00p with my mouth wide open and my eyes shut pretending to watch TV.  It usually ends up with a nudge that I need to go to bed and my response ‘I was just watching the game and the score is 3-2 but you’re right.  I will go to bed now and get the score in the morning.’

Sneeze Less

People who exercise for an hour a day are 18 percent less likely to suffer upper-respiratory-tract infections than those who are inactive, according to a study from Sweden. Moderate activity boosts immunity.

Please refer to my comment about Keeping The Beat.

Breathe Easy

Researchers had asthmatics do two cardio workouts and one strength session a week. After three months, they reported less wheezing and shortness of breath.

Runners asthma?  Anybody ever heard of that?  I heard this comment about a year or so ago and have never understood it.  You develop asthma as a runner?  How?  I thought it to be an excuse and this point here supports that.

Live Longer

A review of 22 studies found that people who work out 2.5 hours a week are 19 percent less likely to die prematurely than those who don’t exercise. A separate study found that active people have a 50 percent lower risk of premature death.

My goal is to live forever.  I know I can’t live forever but I want to live as long as possible because I want to experience life.  I want to know what triathletes will be doing in 40 years from today.  How fast will they be then?  How about breaking the 3 minute mile?  Wouldn’t you want to be alive to see that?

Fact of the matter is that at 70.3 IMCA I saw racers with the numbers 65, 69 and 80 on their calves.  An 80 year old racing a 70.3 event…..think about that!  I want to be that guy.  I want to be the guy that shows 85.  I want to be the guy that creates a new age group qualifier for Kona.


Why do you think running or endurance sports is good for you?  What are you looking forward to doing now that you are in better shape or a better state of mind thanks to endurance sports?


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  1. Bob says:

    Read the IM TX Mommy comment. Coming on down to watch snakes falling from the sky?? The woodlands will be a great spectator venue around the woodlands mall. You should have fun.
    Bob recently posted..THE RAPTUREMy Profile

  2. Kovas says:

    To me just feeling better overall is the key, though the lack of erectile dysfunction also ranks up there. :)
    Kovas recently posted..Why We Race Part 7My Profile

  3. MissZippy says:

    The sleep thing couldn’t be more true for me–I am out like a light the minute my head hits the pillow. And I love my stats when I go for an annual physical–the doc loves me!
    MissZippy recently posted..Barefoot perfectionMy Profile

  4. Shutupandrun says:

    It’s good for my body (sometimes), but even better for my soul. I swear I am a much better person b/c I do all of this stuff. More patient, giving, centered, grounded. My bowels are more regular.

    Love that picture!

  5. Matt Oravec says:

    I have horrible, HORRIBLE ADD. Have had it my whole life. When I am focussed on something, I am the greatest and best at it in the world. Unfortunately I am focussed 1 time a week on a project on average.

    That being said. Running has fixed all of this naturally in my life. I do take IB Profins at times but agree with you on pills and what not.

    Triathlon has introduced me to great people and new friends. New life experiences and fun vacations.

    I hope to achieve balance in life from doing endurance sports :)

  6. Robin says:

    There is one simple reason I do sports: to live life fully. Every day, I get to feel truly ALIVE, get to wake up in a body that feels great, get to go outside and experience whatever weather is going on (even if sometimes I grumble about another run in the rain). If I get to live life longer because of my training, so much the better.

  7. Kevin says:

    “I can be found on the couch around 8:30-9:00p with my mouth wide open and my eyes shut pretending to watch TV.” – hahahah. Ditto!

    Just a word of warning though. You are going to have some extra competition for the 85 year old Kona qualifier spot. I’m coming after you! :)

    I once had a runner at the end of a marathon tell me that I was ruining my body by doing tris and that I should go back to just running. It was both hilarious and infuriating at the same time. I was too exhausted after the race to even try agruing with him so I just walked away.
    Kevin recently posted..What You MissedMy Profile

  8. Scott says:

    The problem I have with Active articles is that 75% of them are fluff. Your rebuttals and comments were more interesting then the article itself.
    Scott recently posted..Ten ThingsMy Profile

    • Jason says:

      You couldn’t be more correct and I skim them but this one grabbed me because of the medication point as well as the age point.

  9. katie says:

    I always feel the same way as your last point – I want to be 90 and still doing this stuff. I’m in it for life, not just one race.

    Also, I TOTALLY agree about taking meds – I never take meds for anything and even taking a pill for allergies makes me grumpy.
    katie recently posted..house projects- bathroomMy Profile

  10. Marlene says:

    Love this list!! Always good to have even more reasons to continue doing what I love.
    Marlene recently posted..Week 16My Profile

  11. Logan says:

    Great article Jason. Really makes me want to get back into the triathlon training. I’ve decided to take a couple months off of running and just swim/cycle because I’m really busy with school. Someday I will see you in Kona! I’m hoping to complete a 70.3 before I graduate, but I don’t know how I’m going to train for it in a city like the one I’m living in!
    Logan recently posted..Trailblazer PancakesMy Profile

  12. Angela says:

    There’s an older lady we see running around our neighborhood every few days. Not jogging, mind you – full on running. We call her the running granny, and I always tell my husband, “I want to be her some day.”

    Keeping physically active keeps me sane! Like a lot of triathletes, I love to train perhaps more than race. I love to have a purpose and a plan, and, I am just a much more pleasant and happier person because I train. I didn’t start running until 22, and didn’t do my first event – a half marathon – until 30. The rest is a blur because I’ve been on a constant runner’s high for five years!

    Thanks for a great post.

  13. Jim says:

    I always LOVE your posts – so thought out and informative! I never feel like you just throw something together … my compliments my friend! Since I’ve started endurance sports (marathoning), I’ve never felt better! Sure, there are the occasional aches and pains, but overall I’ve never been this fit or in shape! It has done wonders for my physical and mental well-being! Have a great day!

  14. jon says:

    I like that list Baha….especially the SED prevention..hahaha
    jon recently posted..When Are You HappiestMy Profile

  15. Shutupandrun says:

    One more thing. You are so damn photogenic!!!

  16. I definitely think running does wonders for the human body and mind! After I tweaked my ankle it has been slow going getting back into the groove but I feel so much better when I’m running regularly (and I seriously NEVER thought I’d ever say anything positive about running, lol).
    Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom recently posted..Easter WeekendMy Profile

  17. lindsay says:

    keeping the beat – agreed! although i do take some medicines right now. i am not 100% against them, i just do not think pills heal-all. i have horrible allergies and antihistamines make my life easier. i would be pretty useless with runny/itchy/swollen eyes/nose/etc. but my parents are also against ‘traditional’ medicine so i was always raised with the “your body was designed to heal itself” mindset. sometimes medicine does help, yes, but it does not need to be pumped nearly as many meds as people want to throw at it.

    i’m with you on the eyesight. hopefully all this running will keep me from going totally blind… i’m only 80% blind now ;) (joking, but i am pretty blind)

    as for activity boosting immunity… hmm. either that’s just not true for everyone, or i would be SUPER problematic without the running i do. i just have more than my fair share of immune problems…
    lindsay recently posted..boston and other thingsMy Profile

  18. Colleen says:

    It’s not just about feeling and looking better physically for me… the mental gains I get from a good sweat session keep me sane! :)

  19. Patrick says:

    This is great and I hope all of it applies to me as I too am in to hurry to depart. That said I can still be a flake, exercise hasn’t helped with that.
    Patrick recently posted..Nine Years- Seven Months- Twenty DaysMy Profile

  20. bieber says:

    you guys are stupid
    bieber recently posted..Banish Your BlemishesMy Profile

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