I JUST couldn’t believe how many people were running in the Great South Run (more than 20,000). It was so inspirational seeing everyone run for such good causes. It set me thinking about the runners’ motivation. I asked a few people why they were running and they all said it was a combination of getting fit and losing weight but what was important was having a purpose to it.
The interesting thing is that lots of people don’t actually lose that much weight running, even though that’s what they do it for! So I set about investigating what happens in the body when you’re running and I asked my friend Nicki Waterman to help me.
She sent me some fascinating research which I thought I’d share with you here. The American College of Sports Medicine has studied 106,000 runners and compared their BMI (body mass index) with how far they were running.
Researcher Paul Williams PhD says: “Generally, BMI and waist circumference increase as a person eats more meat and less fruit. My analysis indicates that this relationship weakens as runners increase their daily mileage.
“It appears that the more miles a person logs each week, the less affected they are by variances in their diet.” The difference was as much as 50 per cent compared to low-mileage runners. There’s some research to show that this also applies to walking.
What’s interesting is how the research highlights that the worst diet for people who don’t exercise much is one that’s high in meat and low in fruit.
Just before the Great South Run started everyone seemed to be eating bananas! That has to be good for their running and their health.