Get up off that couch. Shut off your computer and go for a run. There are so many reasons to get up and move but so many more excuses that keep us on our couch. We are going to show you how running can improve your life. There are eight main ways that running can help you feel like yourself. Let’s take a look at them. When we are done, we will look at some of the ways you can increase your running so that you will look forward to getting out there and getting some fresh air.
- Releases Endorphins
When you run, your brain releases endorphins. These endorphins give you a natural high feeling. It’s like an addictive drug. You want to feel good; you want to feel like you have the world in the palm of your hand. Running gives you that feeling. Not always while you are running, sometimes you don’t get an amazing feeling until you are cooling down. Even just running once can get you addicted to the amazing feeling that comes from getting the blood pumping.
- Increases Strengths
Do you want to have better body strength? Do you need to engage your core more? Running helps both of those. You can use running as the first step into building muscles. You get stamina, you lose weight, and you gain lean muscles all from running. Not only that, you learn to control your breathing so that when you do decide to branch out your exercise you have already learned the hardest part of any exercise plan.
- Boosts Mental Strength
When you run, you increase your oxygen levels. This increases the blood flow to the brain. That blood flow to the brain increases your ability to think clearly. Your mind is sharper, more focused. So much so that runners have a decrease in strokes, dementia, and other mental disorders. Running improves your ability to deal with stress and lowers anxiety. So, you have a big choice to make? Need to know what your next step in life is? Go for a run. You might be surprised at what you can figure out in twenty minutes.
- Sense of Accomplishment
There are few things in life that bring satisfaction and happiness like a sense of accomplishment. Simply knowing that you can set a goal and then reach it makes you happy to set the next goal. Whether your goal is a mile, a step counts, or even just to reach a landmark, running and getting to that goal will boost your mood as nothing else can. This sense of accomplishment can get you further than just running. It will give you the motivation to make goals in other aspects of your life as well.
- Builds Self-Esteem
Pride and self-esteem go hand in hand. Are you proud of who you are? Are you proud of what you accomplish? There is satisfaction in a job well done. That satisfaction builds your confidence in yourself. It teaches you that you can reach your goals. It gives you the confidence to try new things and to reach beyond your limits. That builds your self-esteem.
Runners are a social group. Very few people like to run by themselves. People like the company of someone simply running beside them. There doesn’t even have to be a conversation. As you are running, you may notice someone else running beside you. There is safety in numbers.
Besides that, running gives you something in common with someone else. You can join the community of runners and begin to make friends with similar interests. You can reach out to the community to build up your support group. That is one way to make sure you don’t get back into a funk.
- Losing Weight
Yes, running burns calories. As long as you are burning more calories than you are eating, you will lose weight. That is one way running helps you to lose weight. However, did you know that running also boosts your metabolism and gives you more energy? That means your body is burning more calories as you go about your daily life. You will also have more energy to do the things you need to do which will lead to more running. So you are creating a positive cycle of running.
- Increases Life Span
One of the most fascinating points that we came across in our research is that, when it came to running, you could increase your life span whether or not you smoked. Smokers could increase their lifespan by 3 years just by running 20 minutes three times a week. However, if you a nonsmoker the same amount of running could increase your life span by five years or more. We recommend you use running as a way to help you stop smoking and reap the benefits of both.
How to Increase Your Running
Now that you know all the ways that running can help you to get out of the funk you are in, let’s look at all the ways you can run more. Just these few simple ways can help you to look forward to running. We all know that the more you look forward to it, the more likely you are to do it.
- Be Comfortable
Don’t worry about how you look. Don’t stress about your form. Just get in some comfortable clothes, good shoes, and get out there. Run where you are comfortable running. If you are comfortable and not fussing with your clothing, you are more likely to run for longer.
- Set Mini-Goals
Is your goal to run a 5k next summer? That’s a great goal to have but it is overwhelming. Don’t expect to get off the couch and just magically be able to do it. Set a smaller goal and increase it each week. Work with small goals in order to reach the larger one.
- Go Somewhere New
Getting bored with the same circle can decrease the amount you run. Go explore a new track or path. Visit a new park. Make a short trip to somewhere new. You will be surprised at how much excitement you can put back into your running just by changing the scenery a little bit.
You know you should warm-up. You know you need to get your body from cold to running at a steady pace. If you want to avoid injury, you should also stretch. Get your muscles ready to work hard. It doesn’t have to be a huge prework out. Just a five minute set of quick stretches can help you prevent injury and increase the amount of time you can run.
Water is so important for your body. You wouldn’t drive your car without the proper fluids in it, so why would you run your body without the proper fluids? Hydrating while you run will keep you from overheating. It will prevent muscle cramps and you can avoid muscle fatigue. Hydration helps your body to run at peak condition. Hydrate before, during, and after a run to ensure you are feeling your best.
- Be Realistic
Do not push yourself too hard. Don’t set goals that you know you will not be able to reach. By realistically setting goals, you build your joy in running. If you make it impossible, you are going to dread it. That isn’t just your goals while you are running, that is also the goal you have to run. For example, your goal is to run three times a week. Then you see the weather, it is supposed to be unseasonably hot for you to run safely, so change your running times. Or you have this big project at work and you won’t have the opportunity to run as you usually do. Don’t see yourself as a failure when you can’t reach these running goals. Simply change your goal to smaller goals for that time period.
- Slow Down
Don’t get in a hurry. Stop and explore the park you are at. Take in a new trial. Enjoy a new path that might bring you to a different location. Use your time to run as a way to get away from the day and clear your head.
- Remember Your Reason
Think about why you run. Are you working towards the same goals? Are you running the stress off your day? What is it about running that makes you want to do it? Remembering the reason you run can make it easier to stick to your running goal.
- Forget the Watch
There may be days where you want to get in a run before work or on your lunch break. That is completely reasonable. However, make it a point to forget the watch and just run until you don’t want to run anymore. Relax, enjoy the view, and enjoy being outside for a little while. Leave your phone behind. Leave the stress of the week and just run to clear your head. Running has many benefits. The biggest benefit of running is that it can get you out of a funk and get you feeling like yourself again.