As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m really lucky to count a huge number of talented, dedicated and sociable runners as my friends. We might have different races and different paces, but once we all gather together at the end, we’re all just runners. (And, generally, happy to be done!)
Recently, Mizuno asked, “What if everybody ran?” Not what if a lot more people took up jogging, but what if every man, woman and child started lacing up their sneakers and hitting the road.
What if Everybody Ran?
The answer wasn’t that the treadmills at the gym would be harder to snag, although I’ll admit that could become an issue. Rather, Mizuno Running had MBA students at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School examine a 2013 Centers for Disease Control study, focusing on things like health, relationships and the economy among 30 million American runners involved in the study. From there, the students determined how making all Americans runners, including the 80 percent of us who don’t get enough exercise, would impact the world.
The results were pretty amazing. We’re talking:
- $130 billion in health care savings
- Increase of more than $47 billion to the national GDP
- Nearly 2 billion pounds of total weight loss
- 48 million fewer cigarettes smoked (!)
- 135 million more victory beers (now they’ve got my attention!)
- 63 million happier dogs
- 20 percent stronger memory
This isn’t just a bunch of data that’s been collected for funsies. No, this analysis goes toward supporting a really cool organization called Back on My Feet, a national organization that helps homeless individuals find transformation through running, which ultimately aims to bring them out of poverty through a new-found discipline and focus, something most runners have in spades.
Those statistics above are pretty impressive, but perhaps the most impressive finding is that, if everybody ran, there could be up to 46 percent fewer homeless individuals. I’d say that’s something to lace up your shoes for.
What’s That You Say? Shoes?!?
Speaking of lacing up shoes, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the nice Mizuno folks also sent me a pair of the new Wave Rider 17 sneakers to test out. Considering I’m kiiind of a big Wave Rider fan already (Remember these? I still can’t get the smell out of my car … ), it’s no surprise that I was downright giddy upon opening the box, and from the that first trial run they’ve been a fave. (And why wouldn’t they be? They’re the new version of my longtime love.
But, for those of you who haven’t run in the Mizuno Wave Rider before (clearly I really, really have), let me give you the skinny on the Wave Rider 17. It’s a neutral shoe with a bit of cushioning (but not anything like these). It’s lightweight at 7.8 ounces, but still offers more support than many other super lightweight kicks.
The 17 features a redesign that Wave Rider fans are somewhat split on. Now, to be fair, I’ve only had mine for a couple of weeks, but I’ve run several times and had zero issues. However, as with any running shoe (including updates to your usual favorite brand and style), I highly recommend going into a running specialty store and trying them out prior to purchase. At $114.99, they’re not the most expensive shoe on the market, but for most of us, that not exactly the kind of money we want to be throwin’ around, either.
Did the statistics above (or the shoe review) inspire you to slip on your sneakers and put in some miles? How do you think your life would change if everybody ran? —Kristen