Going The Distance: Three Reasons Running Is The Exercise You Should Start Now

It’s just around sunrise as I run to the end of Summer Rest Trail, a paved trail that snakes through the woods and opens to the Intracoastal Waterway, and amazing water views.

My heart is pounding as sweat drips down my forehead, my shoulders. As I emerge from the trail and onto Summer Rest Road, my mind relaxes to a show of bright pinks, yellows, oranges and reds paint-brushed across the sky, reflecting off the water. I smile to myself. This is my ultimate “Good Morning” routine. And it has been this way for the last six months.

Running, or walking, during these unprecedented times has provided many − myself included − with the ability to have a safe, consistent and endorphin-boosting outlet that also provides the community and connection we need.

Here are three reasons to get started running today.

Stress Reduction

Whether it’s burning excess energy, a time of reflection, enjoying nature or connecting with a friend, running provides benefits beyond our cardiovascular health.

Bridget Phillips, a mom of four and full-time nurse, has turned to running throughout the pandemic as a form of much-needed stress relief. “In the midst of all the uncertainty of the past six months, running has been a constant,” she says. “I feel fortunate that I have been able to continue to lace up and get outside.”


No matter how far you go or what pace you run, everyone experiences the same emotions, physical triumphs, challenges and all-around joy that running provides. While it can be hard to take the first step, you’ll be glad you did.

“Running during the pandemic has truly been challenging,” says Robin Allen, a Fleet Feet training program member. “While our [inperson] running group shrank, our sense of community remained strong. We started a private Facebook page, and set up weekly Zoom calls to share our workouts and have accountability. Having [this] strong running community is so essential, and I am blessed to be a part of it.”

As Allen says, even with social-distancing measures in place, you can still feel safe heading out with a small group while keeping your distance on the run. Stay connected with local group happenings by checking in with Fleet Feet Wilmington.

You can also connect virtually with other runners. Download our app for inspirational articles, a smorgasbord of fun workouts and motivation, and local shopping at your fingertips.

Properly-fitted running shoes help make running more enjoyable, and help stave off injury. Find your perfect pair at Fleet Feet Wilmington, located in The Forum on Military Cutoff Rd.

Your Immune Health

And, finally, running might just help you stay well. In an interview for Fleet Feet’s online journal with Dr. David C. Nieman, the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory in Kannapolis, NC, says that regular exercise is excellent for preventing the common cold.

“Sick days for the common cold during a 12-week period in the winter or fall, is reduced by 40- to 50-percent for people who exercise most days of the week,” says Nieman.

Michelle Fogle is the owner and operator of Fleet Feet in Wilmington, NC. She invites you to come and experience the difference Fleet Feet provides when finding the perfect product for your running, walking, or fitness footwear needs, because Fleet Feet Wilmington is more than a running store! It is a starting point for people who want to change their lives. Visit their website at www.fleetfeet.com/s/wilmington

Categories: Insights