Healthy Habits of Running Friends (Corrida Amiga) by Claudia Cruz

We are delighted to share the experiences and the achievements of Corrida Amiga here in Australia. Corrida Amiga is proud to share the launch of their website in English for Aussie participants.

There are a range of benefits of Corrida Amiga that will hopefully inspire you to get active and share this movement with others:

Health

It is a reality that much of the population of major cities are overweight or in poor health, and that regular physical activity is essential to change these figures. Hours lost in traffic, stressful and exhausting work, leaving people sitting for hours, and the little time available for sport, are the major obstacles for physical activity. A 2004 Canadian Foundation report “The Heart and Stroke” points out that every kilometre of active commuting per day reduces by an average of 5% a person’s chances of becoming obese; while every hour a day wasted in traffic, amounts to a 6% increase in the chances of obesity.

Physical activity contributes to good physical and mental health. The practice of walking and/or running as a means of transport easily becomes a natural part of your routine. No more excuses like “I do not have time to train” or “I am unmotivated.”

So Corrida Amiga may be one of the solutions to the problems of time wasted in traffic and lack of time for physical activity, turning these valuable minutes/hours into active transport.

Traffic

The number of cars circulating daily in most major cities is huge, much higher than the capacity of the city to absorb it. Trying to avoid traffic day-to-day is a useless act – we all know that today there are more peak times. All major cities are filled with cars, and the people within them are stressing and suffering. In reality, the cars themselves are not what cause traffic but the people within them. In walking and/or running you can “BE THE TRANSPORT.”

Cost Saving

Of course, by leaving your car in the garage and using your own legs, your expenses decrease considerably. Costs such as fuel, wear on parts and tires and parking expenses are reduced.

The Environment

In São Paulo, for example, about 4000 people die each year as a result of problems caused by air pollution, mainly due to cardio-respiratory diseases and lung cancer. The “cost” of pollution to health – including hospitalisations, mortality and reduced life expectancy – reach US $ 1.5 billion (Saldiva, 2013). About 95% of air pollution is caused by vehicles powered by fossil fuels. Walking and/or running do not pollute – all we burn is calories!

Know and use your city as your right

How do the citizens relate to the city? Active movement on the streets, rather than motorised, is possible – making for a more pleasurable and healthy way! The street is a space for everyone! It is a place for entertainment and social interaction! We believe, in fact, that there are great opportunities for transformation in the city, mostly related to infrastructure to encourage and stimulate a more active lifestyle for citizens.

It is evident more and more that our public space is poorly designed and used. The more joggers and/or walkers, the better the infrastructure and conditions of our city will become: more harmony, more respect and more citizenship. Thus inspiring others to walk and/or run, everyone wins!

Want to improve your mood?

Those who walk and/or run through the city are the happiest. They deal better with a gruelling work routine! They have more energy and willingness to meet the challenges of daily life. Practising exercise, not polluting, “they are” transport and exercise their full citizenship.

Special Milestones 

Here in Australia, Claudia can see all the improvements since Bernie McFarlane, her Aussie friend, decided to be part of Corrida Amiga’s family in 2015 and together, with the support from the team in Brazil as well, they are proud to share the special milestones in the journey thus far:

  1. Corrida Amiga Facebook page: Created in February 2016.

  2. Corrida Amiga Website: Translated to English. Now we can see the website in a completely new format and designed

  3. Corrida Amiga Instagram: Created November 2016

  4. Manual: translated to English. From this document we have the opportunity to share recommendations from the day-to-day experiences of the Corrida Amiga Network and The Run Commuter and also nutritional and physiotherapist advice to prepare your body for walking and running as a means of transport.

  5. Professionals: We are connected with a physiotherapist (Shonna) and a nutritionist (Tyson) in Australia who are providing advice for the Australian Corrida Amiga community

Where are we now with Corrida Amiga Australia?

Currently, Corrida Amiga Australia sees itself as a support for Corrida Amiga Brazil.  The presence of corridaamiga.au gives an international dimension. Corrida Amiga translated in English, and having a presence in the English-speaking world, is a very influential part of the global community.  This is important for Corrida Amiga Brazil and opens doors internationally.

In January 2017, I’m excited to share that I will travel to Brazil and will have the chance to witness Corrida Amiga there, to be able to discover locally how the initiative has grown. I aim to undertake as much research as possible in order to increase the networking opportunities here in Australia.

Upon my return to Sydney, the plan for Corrida Amiga Australia is to establish a greater network across various cities, to continue its growth, with exciting plans and goals in the coming year.

SO… What are you waiting for? Do you want to Corrida Amiga?

If you would like a ‘Running Friend’ and would like to be a part of this initiative in Australia, visit the website, sign up to be linked to a volunteer runner.

Claudia Cruz, Australian Motivator of Corrida Amiga (Running Friends)

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