Living Well: For the health of it! — MRH Glow Run slated for Saturday | CraigDailyPress.com

Living Well: For the health of it! — MRH Glow Run slated for Saturday

Memorial Regional Health staff/For Craig Press

Ever notice how after a run or walk, you feel more energized? Exercise has several health benefits. You likely know that it strengthens your heart and helps you maintain a healthy weight, but you may not know it helps you sleep better, reduces food cravings, and reduces your risk for certain kinds of cancer. Why not jumpstart your health by joining Memorial Regional Health for the annual glow run to increase awareness of all cancers and raise funds for MRH Hospice Services.

Sleep better

When people exercise daily, they tend to sleep better and feel more energy. Some studies have found that moderate exercise six hours before bedtime improves sleep quality. Yet, the effect might not be immediate — a study showed better sleep could take up to four months to experience, especially with those who have experienced sleep issues.

It seems a bit counter-intuitive to think that exercising — which takes energy — would give us more energy, but it's true. If you've ever felt too tired to work out but made yourself do it anyway, you know that, somewhere along the way, you start feeling better. By the time you're done, you are always glad you did it.

Experience fewer cravings

Did you know regular morning exercise might lower your food cravings for the rest of the day? A recent study showed that when people exercised and then were presented with food images, their arousal levels to eat were lower than those who didn't exercise.

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If you have a desk job, a morning workout routine might be especially vital. When you sit all day at a desk, you tend to snack, because your brain needs glucose to work. With a lower arousal level for food, you might be more apt to reach for carrots rather than cookies.

Reduce cancer risk

Studies have shown regular exercise reduces the risk of certain kinds of cancer. A large review of cancer studies by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute that included more than 1.4 million people found that exercise does, indeed, reduce your risk for several cancers, including colon, rectum, bladder, breast, lung, kidney, and the blood cancers myeloma and myeloid leukemia. People who exercised the most lowered their risk by 7 percent to 38 percent.

To get the most protection, studies suggest exercising 30 to 60 minutes per day at moderate or high intensity. How does it work? One explanation may be that exercise can lower hormone levels and, therefore, lower the risk for hormone-based cancers. It also improves immunity and lowers insulin levels, which could also lessen cancer risk.

Start on Saturday! There will be prizes for best costumes and a post-event celebration with luminarias.

Who knows, it could be the start of a new, healthy habit that will have you glowing.

MRH 5k Glow Run/Walk

When: Saturday, Oct. 6. Same-day registration is at 5:45 p.m. The run/walk begins at 6:45 p.m. and will be followed by post-event music, food, and fun.

Where: Starts and ends at the north side of CNCC Campus

Information: For a registration form and for more information, visit memorialregionalhealth.com/community. Luminaries will be available for purchase for $10 each as a way to light the sky in memory of friends and family who are fighting cancer, have fought it and survived, or who have lost their courageous battles.