More Jakartans putting on running shoes to stay fit

28 June, 2012 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Air pollution, unsuitable tracks and the heat may deter people from jogging around Jakarta. But being one of the simplest kinds of exercise with many positive benefits, it seems that more people in the city are choosing running to stay fit.

Yasmina Hasni, 28, believes that it is the easiest mode of exercise, yet has significant results for her body.

“I used to swim as my exercise. But as I have a child now, I need an exercise that matches my routine, and swimming is not that. So I chose jogging,” she said.

Yasmina usually starts her morning run at 5:30 a.m and jogs around her housing complex for 30 minutes before her baby wakes up.

“I always feel so fresh and alive anytime I complete my run. What is more amazing, I don’t need any sports equipment, just my comfortable running shoes and I am good to go,” she said, adding that she often came across her neighbors, whom she rarely met, during her runs.

If Yasmina loves the simplicity of running, Mita Sampaguita Lamiran said that running had helped her overcome her asthma.

She rarely did any heavy exercise when she was younger, but she finally decided to do more outdoor exercises, not just the gym’s treadmill.

“So I decided to start running two years ago and now I’m addicted to it,” she said.

Many studies have found that outdoor exercises, such as walking, running and cycling, have positive effects on general health and on levels of stress and fatigue.

Mita joined running clubs in the city to share her hobby with others while at the same time getting tips and tricks from friends at the clubs about how to control her breathing and work out her muscles better.

“When my clubs arrange a running event, I see more people participating now. For instance, a year ago I only saw the same faces during running events, now I see new faces,” she said.

There are many groups in Jakarta that organize regular running events. Yomi Wardhana from the Indo Runners running group said that twice a week the members of the group gathered to run at some of the city’s tracks.

Every Thursday night, the group runs at the Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta, while every Sunday morning, the group takes a route from the fX shopping mall as a starting point through the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle.

“Most of the participants are working people, especially on Thursday nights,” he said.

He said that by running with the group, runners could have alternatives routes apart from their routine ones.

Besides housing complexes, the closed roads on car-free Day and the stadium, some tracks that are also worth trying in the city are Ragunan Zoo, the Epicentrum complex, city parks, graveyards, canal footpaths and back streets.

 

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