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Why You Should Run A 5k Road Race…

by:  ellis j. still

By nature, we are inspired by other human beings in our quest to be better. One of my virtual mentors, Michael Hyatt (see blog roll) recently created a post titled “Why You Should Sign Up for a Half Marathon”. A half marathon is not at all in my sights, but when I was diagnosed with diabetes, I set a goal of running a 5k (3.1 miles) run this year. I even got my wife into it, and she is the last person you would see running anywhere  :- ) 5k really isn’t that far to run, and there are many ways to prepare for it. So, it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran… you too can participate in 5k runs this year.  

The weather will be ~26 degrees for another two weeks, so in order to start preparing, I am using the stairs inside my house along with researching aerobic workout shows on my local sports channel on TV. For when the weather breaks, Runners World (www.runnersworld.com) has training programs for beginners specific to the 5k run that I will utilize, which will walk you through how to slowly transition your body. The website really demystifies getting into enough shape so that anyone can participate in runs such as these.

My wife’s personal trainer, Pam Turner (www.turneroundfitness.com or www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=48017106312) makes fitness really fun and interactive. She has fit-camps, weight-loss challenges, and one-on-one sessions available that my wife and I intend to utilize to prepare us for the run. She also gives tips on nutrition, and is my facebook nutrition guardian angel of sorts. Every so often I make the mistake of posting on facebook when I have eaten something totally bad for me (like funnel cakes). Pam is right there to gently but sternly give me a hard time… reminding me of my health goals  :- )  Getting into shape does not have to be boring or mundane. Like anything else, you get out of it whatever you put into it.

Some of the benefits of running a 5k include: 

  • Get your body into shape: It is a known fact that exercising improves your mental capacity, making you more efficient at work. It also boosts your metabolism, providing for higher energy levels. Weight loss is also a byproduct of training in conjunction with a proper diet and adequate rest.
  • Support a cause: There are many 5k runs throughout the year, and most are fundraisers for a cause. You can give back to your community while also using it as a means to get in shape as well.
  • Meet people / fellowship: You get to meet a diversity of people. Some people travel a distance to compete in many 5k runs across the country, and while it may not be that deep for you, in the runs that you do participate in, you will be sure to meet and hang out with new and exciting people from near and far.   

I used Runners World to find races in my area. They have a “race finder” tool, where you can search for races of varying lengths… from 1 mile runs to marathons.

My first run will be April 24, 2010 in Newark, NJ. Will you be joining me?

© 2009, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

My Life With Diabetes

by ellis j. still

edited by tina l. still

Diabetes is one of those things where many people know of it (has heard the name either through a family member or in passing) but do not really know what it’s really about. I have recently been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. Since then, I have saturated myself with information about the disease. In a nutshell, diabetes occurs when the body is no longer able to produce enough insulin in order to balance out body sugar. I have had many family members and friends with diabetes, but I thought that my eating habits were such that there was no reason to suspect that I may be at risk. I used to think that in order to get diabetes, you have to eat lots of foods that contain sugar such as candy bars, juice and the like. I was right, but I was also wrong. Some of the things that I didn’t know before but know now as a result of being diagnosed include:

  • White bread consumption: White breads contains a significant amount of carbohydrates, which is a main source of sugar in the body. Sandwiches, pizza, and wraps contain large amounts of carbs. It is much better to choose non-white bread sources such as wheat and other grains.
  • Fruit: Fruit contain high amounts of carbohydrates. I used to think that since fruit is natural, it was ok to eat as much as I want, and I would sit in front of the computer monitor at work and munch on Tupperware bowls of grapes throughout the day, not knowing that I was contributing to the disease. It’s not to say that you can’t eat fruit, but like all food groups, you have to have the understanding of how much you can eat.
  • Weight gain: I have gained a significant amount of weight over the years, which creates an atmosphere for diabetes. The excess fat slows down the creation of natural insulin in the body and therefore, the body is unable to regulate sugar.
  • Aerobic activity: Working our not only promotes weight loss (along with a balanced diet), but assists the body in burning off excess sugar
  • Fast food: is incredibly bad for you. It is a challenge to find fast food that is nutritious and does not have hidden carbohydrates, so now when possible I bring my breakfast and lunch to work. I even frequented buffets that included vegetables from which to make a salad. However I got food poisoning from two different buffet establishments, which was not good for anybody involved… no more buffets of any kind for me.
  • Visit your doctor regularly: I had a period of time where I did not go to the doctor for regular check ups due to not having health insurance. I did not know about the alternative avenues in which I could have continued to get regular checkups without giving up my entire paycheck via government or hospital-run health clinic. If I had, more preventative steps would have been taken and I may not be battling this disease today.

My current doctor was able to catch it at a place where I did not need medication, but if I had continued to procrastinate, things would have been worse. I have to monitor my numbers everyday and I’ve learned that if you have a bad day, you’re not a bad person you just have to do better tomorrow.  I am, however, happy to say that my numbers stay low because of the choices I make daily.  Through wise choices in eating and exercising, diabetes can be controlled, and does not have to cause major complications within the body’s system. Now I watch what I eat. I splurge once in a while, but as a rule, I am being more conscious of taking better care of my body. I lost 20 pounds and there is a big difference in my energy levels as a result. 

Diabetes is not something to take lightly. If it goes undiagnosed, you can pass out, loose a limb, or even die if left untreated. For more information on diabetes, feel free to visit the American Diabetes Association at <http://www.diabetes.org/> . If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will give you the option of attending diabetes management classes such as this one (<http://www.princetonhcs.org/Default.aspx?p=5251>), which would be provided through a prescription written by your doctor.

© 2009, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Hello world!!! Welcome and thank you for visiting what will become an extension of me… being transparent with my thoughts, my emotions, my growth, and things that I have learned in life that I can pass on to others. I will rely heavily on your input into the various posts, as much of the writing is meant to also create dialog. Please be patient as I continue to learn and build up the site. In the beginning I will start out slow until I can build up momentum, with the goal of posting four to five times per week in the areas of book reviews, entrepreneurship, leadership, marriage life, and communities. Thanks again for visiting, and I look forward to connecting!!!

Ellis

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