Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle once said, “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference”. Indeed, during the stage of adolescence, our bodies and minds are developing and changing as we explore different ways of life, which ultimately shapes the future lifestyle we would lead. As such, the habit, passion and culture of running should all the more be incorporated and inculcated during the precious stages of our youth. Regardless of running from young or running to be young, it is never too early or late to do what we were born to do – Run.

Lesser life commitments as a youth

Being the young one, we tend to have relatively lesser life commitments at that point of our lives in terms of having to balance and manage family matters, work and other social involvements. Our sphere of control and involvement mainly revolves around managing school work, participating in campus activities and possibly part-time jobs to earn extra pocket money.

Evidently, the excuse of “having no time to run” is invalid for most youths because of the simpler and more manageable schedules. Making time for regular runs or jogs would be an easy arrangement as compared to working adults who have long working hours and irregular work schedules.

Peak stamina and health

With muscle strength, cardiovascular activity, bone development and metabolism at its prime, youths often find themselves running fast, light and efficient. At this stage, it would be the best time for youths to challenge their physical limits and potential by trying out risky yet rewarding running routes, regimes and methods.

In addition, should there be injuries resulting from sports-related activities, the recovery rate for youths are comparatively faster due to stronger immune system, process of cell renewal, muscle regeneration and bone development. That being said, it is also advisable for youths to monitor acute injuries suffered at this stage because some of the after-effects might worsen as our body system weaken with age.

Building a foundation of fitness and battle against obesity

Running is a physical activity that brings about a multitude of health benefits, of which it includes developing strong cardiovascular strength, build strong bones, strengthening of muscles and of course, burn calories. Obesity is a major health concern especially among youths due to weight fluctuations as a result of puberty, where hormonal changes affect eating habits, physical and psychological development amongst many other aspects.

By incorporating running as a regular lifestyle activity from young, youths are better able to manage obesity problems and set a strong fitness level to cope with the natural health issues that subsequently come with age. Albeit one might encounter challenges from different aspects of life such as social issues of fitting in and so on during years of growing up, these problems would prove much less than a challenge for those with a healthy body and mind.

Value of sports in character development

When youths push themselves to complete goal distances, motivate fellow running buddies by pacing with him/her, beating their personal bests – youths reap life lessons and values that are unattainable from textbooks or passive education. The determination, perseverance and spirit of sportsmanship amongst many other values experienced from sports, are undoubtedly a huge bonus in enriching a youth’s well-being and character development.

You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.

― Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Running during adolescence is not only the best time to stretch one’s physical capacity and builds the basics of a healthy lifestyle, it can become a life-changing passion and make the years of growing up a fulfilling and exciting one to remember.