Why start running?
It seems like an odd thing to do, right? We have cars, bikes, taxis, and countless other forms of transportation to get us from point A to point B- and let's be honest, when people go out for a run, they typically end up back at point A and sweaty. So maybe running isn't about transportation. Great, so why do it?
I'm going to share 5 things with you that happen when you start running regularly.
1. You feel better/faster/stronger.
Your initial reaction might be, yeah, no, I ran once and it did NOT feel good. In fact, it felt hard, I was out of breath, and my legs hurt. Not good.
I'm talking about your overall well-being. If you start incorporating running into your lifestyle on a regular basis, you will notice a significant change in how your body feels throughout the day! Each step you take further improves your cardiovascular strength and health. The stairs won't wind you, you'll be more likely to keep up with the kids, and your metabolism will pick up greatly. So when you're hitting the pavement, and you feel like it's hard or uncomfortable, remember that these are growing pains. If you keep with it, you'll start to feel stronger as your abilities grow!
2. You'll be happier :)
Yepp, there are ENDLESS studies that show the positive effect of exercise on mood. Scientifically speaking, we've probably all heard that exercise boosts our endorphins, which act as your body's natural painkillers. This is true of running as well, but some scientists argue that perhaps the famous "runner's high" is more due to the serotonin production in our bodies. Serotonin is utilized in treatments for depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, and when it's activated in our body, we are much less likely to become stuck in negative thought patterns or a bad mood. Other possible contributors to this walking on clouds feeling that comes after a run are growth hormones being released in to the bloodstream, as well as an increase in our bodies' natural production of dopamine, which may have the longest effect, encouraging runners to continue growing in their running practice long after an individual race.
My personal experience is that when I incorporate 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular activity in my day, I am much more positive, energetic, relaxed, and pleasant to be around. It helps boost our self-esteem, and it takes us to our next point...
3. You'll start to see yourself differently.
When you establish a running practice, you start to witness your own inner potential and capability. You realize that you are powerful. Whether you are running your first mile or your first marathon, you are able to look back to where you were when you began and see how much you have grown.
There's something about running that makes you feel alive and unstoppable. Taking this mindset and applying it to any other aspect of your life will be a game-changer. You might find yourself looking at a project deadline that normally would have given you an incredible amount of stress, and feeling a peace about it. Instead of thinking that there's no way you can get it done in time, you can relate back to the first time you ran a particular distance that you never thought had been possible. Or perhaps you are dealing with the prospect of having your first child, and you hear your inner critic telling you that you could never be a good parent, that it's too much responsibility. You can respond by embracing this powerful, unstoppable feeling and acknowledging that you are more than capable of doing whatever you set your mind to. This positive mindset translates to countless scenarios that we find ourselves in every day, regardless of our job, lifestyle, or situation.
4. You'll become a part of a community.
The running community is possibly one of the most diverse groups of people you will find. There are men and women of all ages, body types, races, and capabilities who incorporate running into their lives. Because of this, there are endless ways to build your own personal running community. Of course, many people prefer to keep their running practice solo as it can be a sort of individualized therapy. Whatever your preference, you'll know that you are not alone. One of the coolest, most exciting ways to witness this is to participate in a race. Thousands of people have found that the benefits of running are well worth the effort it takes to get started.
If you are a social runner, there are many ways to use this community for support. Check into local running clubs, or make a running buddy at your local gym or recreation center. Having accountability and support can make a huge difference in your practice!
5. You'll want to keep going.
The funny thing about runners is that they keep lacing up their running shoes and hitting the road. If anything that should be a sign that they're doing something right. Hundreds of thousands of people can't all be wrong about this.
So give it a try! Start small, and be patient with yourself. We ALL started from the beginning. You can even start just by walking/jogging around the block. Slowly but surely, adding on each time you go, and before long you'll be covering distances you never realized you could. Your running practice is yours. Allow it to grow in it's timing, and pour into it at your own rate. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Do it for YOU!
About the Author
Holly has over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry. She has worked as an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer, Pilates and Aerobics instructor, Circle Leader for The Wild Woman Project, Les Mills Body Pump Instructor, run multiple races, and is a proud Wellness Advocate for DoTERRA essential oils. Want to learn more? Click here!