As a recent convert to running, I can reluctantly confirm that I actually do quite like it.
It’s widely known that running is one of the best work outs available. It can be a great calorie burner, gets you in better shape with minimal equipment, all you need to know is how to run. Yet this doesn’t always convince the masses to lace up and pound the pavement.
It certainly didn’t work on me for 25 years. But little did I know there’s so much more to running than how it makes you look. Here’s my top real reasons (aside from losing weight) for why everyone should know how to run.
Money money money
Running is super cheap. It’s so inexpensive compared to a gym membership. Armed with a pair of trainers you are pretty much good to go. You have limitless runs available to you, completely fitting around your life and schedule. Without downing the gym too much, the freedom to nip out for a quick jog is quite liberating, and much more manageable than signing up for a fitness class.
Once you’ve mastered that 5K loop around your house, I admit it may get a little dull. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
You can change up your route every time. Try running on different surfaces (grass, track, pavement, treadmill if that’s your thing), different programs (intervals, hill runs). With a little research and forethought, the options are truly endless and you don’t have to let yourself get bored.
Running can be as social or solitary as you like it. If you’re on the fence about starting up, joining a running group may be the perfect way for you to find your in.
Runners being runners, they love to convert the non-believers and are a great source of support and encouragement. There are countless clubs and groups based on hitting the pavement. The running community is a wonderful combo of motivation, friendly competition, and advice.
You can even attempt to rope in your family and friends. I tried with some success, but even having a group of pals “in the know” felt like I wasn’t alone on my runs. It can be a great way to hold yourself accountable to a work out, and have a laugh about ParkRun.
Like many forms of exercise, jogging is good for stress relief, and even mild depression. We’ve all felt that post-work out high, and those endorphins released by exercise really help to improve your mood and mental health.
Running even aids in lowering blood pressure, promoting relaxation in the body and reducing your risk of heart disease.
Science aside, taking the time out of your week to do something just for yourself is a superb way to clear your mind. The fabled “runner’s high” may sound absurd, but it does really make you happier and healthier in more ways than one. That 30 minutes of “me time” is precious, well-deserved, and a great way to get lost in your thoughts.
It may be one of the best habits I’ve picked up – it makes me feel strong, and pretty proud of my body and all it can do. I’ve now got a new spring in my step, some pretty hardcore racer back T-shirt lines, and it’s all thanks to learning how to run.