Why Running is So Popular for People of All Ages 

As people gear up for Detroit’s biggest marathon, it’s a great time to remember why running is a form of exercise that appeals to a wide range of people.  

“Running has so many benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease to burning calories and strengthening bones. It’s also great for your mental health,” said fitness expert Anne Marie Wakula.  

Wakula is the host of the Fitness Over 40 series, brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The three-minute videos feature tips and mini workouts people can incorporate into their daily lives, even at home.  

Life-changing exercise 

Ellyn Davidson credits running for changing her life after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at 36. 

“I just want to keep my body injury-free and take care of my body, and just keep going,” Davidson said. “At my peak, I was running six days a week, 25 to 30 miles a week.” 

Davidson spoke to Wakula about how running helps her physically and mentally. 

“When I run, it’s all about me. That’s my time. I think that, as we age, taking care of our physical and mental health is just so incredibly important,” she said.  

First marathon 

Davidson ran her first marathon about 18 months after she began running.  

“Being part of those events is just amazing,” she said. “There’s just so much camaraderie and spirit. It’s magical.” 

If you want to start running, Wakula recommends alternating between running and walking as you build up endurance. 

“If you want to start running, the experts say take it slow, run for 10 to 30 seconds, and then walk for one to two minutes and repeat,” Wakula said. “As you improve, shorten your walking time and increase your running time.” 

If you want to try running but don’t know where to start, there are many apps and online resources that can help. Check out the latest Fitness Over 40 video and try this month’s fitness goal, which you can do without leaving home.  

Look for future Fitness Over 40 videos at AHealthierMichigan.org. 


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