MGT 550, Fall 1, 2010
Heart disease, an easily preventable ailment, is the number one cause of death in the world. Simple and subtle diet changes and moderate exercise are often all one needs to stay healthy. One such moderate exercise activity is running. It can be done as a sport or just as a way to keep healthy.Jacksonville’s beaches offer one of the best natural resources in which one can run: the sand. It also offers a variety of other resources such as free information and a variety of health clubs. Residents of the beaches area are generally more active and healthier than Jacksonville’s population as a whole, in part due to an image self-conscience, along with several community initiatives to keep thepublic healthy and well-informed.
Advocacy Programs in Running
At first glance, most people wouldn’t think of me as much of a runner. When the question about what sport I played in high school comes up, most automatically assume it is football, and are almost shocked to hear that I not only opted out of playing football, but that I was a cross-country runner, and an all-state one aswell. It is easy to see why people would make such assumptions: I am a physically imposing figure at six feet and one inch tall and weighing 205 lbs., so it’s a bit of a stretch to think of me as a runner.
High school was many years ago--over a decade ago, in fact. I was a bit smaller then and nimbler than I am now. I could easily run a 5km race in around 17 minutes, while now it takes almosttwice as long for the same distance. Running nowadays is painful, slow, and makes me feel like I am about to have a heart attack near the end of a run. So why do I still do it? If you excel at something, common sense says to stick to it. I never even considered cross-country much of a sport, but since I had enlisted in the military, I needed a way to get in better shape for the physical trialsthat were to come. So why do I choose running? Out of all the sports out there, running is the one that is completely free: you can run in parks, roads, or the beach; there is no special equipment to buy or restrictions as to what to wear, and you don’t need to even buy any shoes for it (Sandler, 2010).
Importance of Advocacy Programs
There is no denying that Americans are out of shape. Wehave become a sedentary culture of people who spend our lives sitting down: we sit down to eat, we sit down in the car while on our way to work, we often work sitting down, and then we go home to sit down to watch television at the end of the day. After spending all day sitting down, we go off to bed and the cycle repeats again and again. This trend is especially troubling to the younger generations,who are now at more risk for disease and early death than any other before. Childhood obesity has become such a problem that the First Lady of the United States herself, Michelle Obama, has made it a priority to set up and head a task force to solve this problem within a generation (Hellmich, 2010).
For reasons such as the childhood obesity epidemic, and our increasingly sedentary lifestyles,more advocacy and media exposure to the benefits of running, or being active in general are needed. It has been a personal observation of mine that there are two times a year when the local community rallies and shows a genuine interest and support for running, which is fed constantly by the local media: during the Gate River Run in March, and during the Donna Hicken Foundation’s National Marathonto Finish Breast Cancer, locally known as “26.2 with Donna” held every February. The latter receives much more attention than the former, mainly because it is hosted and sponsored by a local media personality, and because the public shows more concern and support when it comes to breast cancer. While breast cancer is a terrible disease, the leading cause of death in the United States is heart...