The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Sophomore runs for recreation

December 9, 2021

One foot after the other, the runner’s legs push up the hill and past the barriers, both physical and mental. The runner takes steady breaths, determined to make it just a little bit further. The runner finally makes it up the hill. There, they wait for a beautiful sunrise.  

Running for sport or for recreation has both helpful physical and mental effects. Running is a cardiovascular activity that falls under the category of aerobic exercise. This can improve physical health through steadying heart rate, improving cardiovascular fitness and strengthening muscles. Running is an activity that increases the heartrate, benefiting the health of the heart. Physical activity can give an athlete a lower resting heart rate, which means that the heart is pumping more blood and maintaining a steady beat. Steadying the heart rate relates also to cardiovascular health. Running also contributes to cardiovascular health by training the athlete’s heart to take in more oxygen. Lastly, running strengthens specifically the leg and glute muscles. Though running can also be stressful to these muscles, a comfortable amount of easy jogging can show signs of health improvement.  

Running is also a source of meditation and is a stress reliever for many people. In some cases, running is shown to help with things like memory and the ability to learn. Running relieves stress my producing chemicals called endocannabinoids. These naturally made chemicals travel through the bloodstream and into the brain, creating stress relief. Running, as well as other forms of physical exertion, creates a feeling known as “runner’s high”, This feeling is created by endorphins and dopamine. These chemicals, specifically dopamine, are known as feel-good drugs and create a lot of mental clarity and happiness for runners.  

Central student Bobby Winton often partakes in early morning jogs, just to feel a little peace of mind.  

“For me, running is very much a coping mechanism so I feel really free. I know that it sounds cliché, but when I’m running, I get to run away from my problems” said Winton.  

Winton prefers an early morning jog where it can be him and the wind. He likes to jog at 5:00am on chilly summer mornings before the sun is out.  

“I just like running when it’s nice- if feels good. Especially when it’s really beautiful, when I’m running in the parks. It’s just pretty”.  

On runs, Winton tries not to think of anything. Running is a form of escape for Winton. It makes him take time to separate the stress of school or work from the brain. Winton is only thinking about one thing when he is running- if he will make it to the top of the hill by sunrise.

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