When I talk to someone who is not a “runner” they often find my mentality strange. They tend to look at running as boring, mundane or extremely challenging. My reaction is to imagine my life without running and it immediately makes me feel somewhat empty. Running is not just a workout for me, it is so much more. My hope is that you may find inspiration to start running or include it more in your workout routine.
Here are 7 reasons why I love running:
- Mental therapy
If you ask my husband “what is the best way to change my mood for the better?” His answer would be to run. Running clears my mind. It helps me to think, process ideas and come up with new ones. I often come home after a run and can’t wait to spill out my new ideas. If I have missed a few days of running I begin to become overwhelmed with my thoughts, get uptight and also stress about little things. Once I go for a run it’s like my brain is able to organize all those thoughts, put them in the correct files and also come up with new ideas on how to solve any problems. I know the endorphins released while running have a lot to do with this “high” feeling. I love it! Running is my drug.
- Low cost
Running is pretty close to being free except for my shoes, shirt and shorts. It’s not a sport that requires a lot of equipment, membership or specialized training center. It would be easy to add on a few gadgets like a heart rate monitor, speed pedometer or parachute for resistance training but these can easily be avoided if needed. I just need to put on my shoes, open my door and go!
I’m lucky to live in a town with ample trails and pathways. I have also lived in cities in the past that weren’t necessarily the easiest places to run (Dubai, UAE) but I have always been able to run. As a former flight attendant running was my favorite way to explore a new city. I would simply grab a map, run around aimlessly, enjoy the sights and then try to find my way back to the hotel. It was always an adventure and the map was a good backup for my navigation skills. I love that I do not have to search for a gym or specialized club to continue to run while away from home. I have also joined local running groups in other cities which has been a great way to get a local’s view versus the typical tourist information.
- Lean and Strong
Running is one of the easiest ways to burn calories and keep my body fat down. I almost feel like I’m cheating sometimes. With combining long runs with short intervals and hill workouts I am keeping my body healthy and doing my best to avoid any over training injuries. I’m frying calories every time I run and fueling my body with healthy, whole foods.
If you haven’t noticed, my mind can easily wonder. I will start one thing and before I complete it I’m off on another idea. Running keeps me focused. Not only with the combination of mental therapy I talked about earlier with daily tasks but also with staying focused on training. I need a goal. A lot of my goals consist of particular races through out the year. I will sign up for a race so that I plan my training around this goal. It gives me another reason to get out there and run!
I love all my friends. I especially love to run with them. Having someone to chat with while running is so much fun. It makes the run feel easier because I’m not thinking about my time, how steep a hill is or how heavy the stroller is to push. Ending the run at a coffee shop or even a playground so our kids can get out and do their running is a fun reward. I also like to host a local running group. It’s fun to meet other local runners and also spread the message about how much fun running can be for people who are just getting into it.
This last one is simple but also my favorite. Running makes me happy! This is a full circle explanation of my earlier 6 points. It starts with a clear head, I’m not stressing about budget, it can be done anywhere in the world, keeps me healthy and strong, helps with my ADHD and I’m not missing out on being with friends. I think it’s hard not to find a happy runner. I love running so much that I even tattooed a running man on my back in college. He has sunshine rays coming out of his head. Check out my logo….he’s in there. More on that later.
But for now, be happy, be a runner. Join me!