Run for Your Health: Start a Running Routine Today!

Posted on May 5th 2012 by Florida Blue

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Florida may be better known for its beaches and golf courses, but it’s also a runners’ paradise. Walt Disney World held the seventh largest marathon in the US in 2011, according to Running USA’s 2011 Annual Marathon Report.  Further, the state was home to two of the world’s biggest half-marathons in the same year. For Floridians year-round warm weather and plenty of sunshine makes running a great exercise option. Running can be the ultimate exercise. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, going for a run boasts a lot of health benefits, from better cardiovascular fitness to a more positive mental outlook. And whether you're training for a half-marathon, marathon, triathlon, or just enjoying a light jogging routine, Florida is the perfect state to run in, with miles of beach, flat roads, or hiking trails to choose from! What better way to find a good route than by using one crowdsourced by other runners? MapMyRun is a snazzy site that lets you enter your current location (city or zip) and the distance you'd like to run. Up pops routes mapped by other runners, including useful data like course elevation and comments on interesting sights along the way. Download their mobile app and bring all the site offers with you. For a simple site to chart your own course, bookmark gMap-Pedometer. These two resources are a good place to start your planning. Another health benefit of running is friendships with like-minded people!  Consider joining a running club to stay active and be social. From Daytona to Jacksonville to Tampa Bay, almost every city in Florida has its own running club. For a complete list of running clubs in your area, check out Running in the USA’s list of clubs in Florida. Many local running stores host their own groups as well. And if you need another motivator, mark your calendar for an upcoming race or marathon in a city near you. Our own Florida Blue 5K on April 5th was a huge success! Check out photos on our Facebook page or the video on our blog and keep an eye out for future Florida Blue events! Also, check out our blog post on a running success story for inspiration to start your routine. Before you start any exercise routine, including a new running regimen, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise. Stop by a Florida Blue Center for a FREE health assessment! We also offer onsite health programs including healthy lifestyle workshops and educational seminars for both members and nonmembers. So get out there and start running! And share your favorite running tips or routes with us here.

Filed under: Mind/Body/Soul  


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Great post! I started running last year and have finished 2 half marathons and will run a marathon in January. Can the Florida Blue health assessment tell me if I'm OK to train for a marathon?

Ashley, our apologies for not responding to you sooner! Given the specific nature of your question, we'd like to check with the nurse on staff at our Florida Blue Center to determine if she can provide that kind of evaluation. We'll have an answer to you on Monday. Thanks!

Hello, Ashley! If you are a member, you can receive your health assessment and work with our care consultants, Mirna Raudez and Dorrett Lindsay, at the Miami Florida Blue Center at any time. Here's the link to their location: http://www.floridabluecenters.com/miami/. If you aren't a Florida Blue member - no worries! Join us for our free health fairs held the 2nd Saturday of every month where you can also receive a health assessment. The next health fair is June 9. Good luck to you and let us know how your marathon training goes!

If you like to run, come on up to Boca Raton! There are great routes everywhere, but running along A1A is absolutely stunning! Start in Downtown Boca and head down Palmetto Park Road to A1A. North to Spanish River is runs next to a nature preserve (not built up at all, but a roomy sidewalk). If you head South toward Camino Real, the view from the bridge next to the Boca Resort's beach club is fantastic! Check out these links for more ideas on running and biking trails in North Broward/South Palm Beach Counties. http://www.walkjogrun.net/running-routes/USA/FL/Boca%20Raton/ http://www.walkjogrun.net/index.cfm?c=Boca%20Raton&lg=-80.1317976415&lat=26.3686710926&zmlevel=4

This is perfect! Thanks to Audra and the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce for weighing in with the best runs in Boca! Bonus points for adding the biking trails, too.

I organize a free run at a different park in Hillsborough County every weekend. We always have some new runners. No pressure to 'stay with the group,' but lots of positive encouragement from people who, themselves, have been running less than a year. I have several people who have been running one year and have already completed half marathons. It all starts with that first step. Lots of info on my blog http://mojoforruning.com and in my Mojo for Running podcast. I am an RRCA certified running coach, and all of the above are free. Also, my Run Tampa Facebook group has over 1,000 members, and the wall is public. Great place to ask questions and meet the local runners of all levels. Debbie Voiles Owner/Founder Run Tampa and Mojo for Running

Debbie, Thanks for the great information! We love to hear about people like you, people that are passionate about health. Thank you for all you do in the community and for making Florida a healthier state! We would love to learn more about your free weekend runs, please send us an email to socialmedia@bcbsfl.com and we can chat about it. Thanks! Katie

Awesome, Weston! Where do you like to run?

We heard from @susanlinning that her favorite spots are Brickell Key, Bayside and around Coconut Grove in Miami. Thanks for sharing, Susan!

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