SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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December 20, 2012

On the Run: The simple joys of the 5K

(Continued)

A similar group run takes place on Thursdays in Salem. Runners who do the No Rest for the Wicked “5K-ish” meet at 6:45 p.m. at the Hawthorne Hotel and then start their run at Salem Common. Both these groups run for the sheer fun and camaraderie of it, which is the way it should be.

Whatever your running goals, it’s not a bad idea to throw a few 5Ks into the mix. If you’re training for a long-distance event, doing a shorter-distance one can be a nice change of pace. And if a 5K is your ideal race distance, you can run one pretty much every week if you want.

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Starts and stops: Another week, another running-related study. The Los Angeles Times reported this week on a Duke University study that found that people looking to lose weight are better off running than lifting weights. The researchers compared people who did aerobic exercise such as running, swimming or walking with a group that did resistance training such as weightlifting, and with a group of people that did both kinds of exercise. The 119 participants were overweight or obese adults who were randomly assigned to one of three groups, according to the Times: Resistance training of three days per week or 180 minutes, aerobic training of 12 miles per week or about 133 minutes; or both. The groups assigned to do aerobic training and aerobic plus resistance training lost more weight than the group that just did resistance training; the latter group gained weight from an increase in lean body mass. Ultimately, the results aren’t surprising. If you’re looking to lose a lot of weight, then aerobic exercise is the way to go. But if you want to tone your body, then a mixture of aerobic and resistance training is a sensible approach.

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