Yesterday was one of those days where I became easily frustrated. Things just weren’t going in my favor (and by the way… so sorry to those of you who clicked over to the blog when it was down for a couple of hours!) and there came a point where I knew I needed to go for a walk, or better yet a run to let off some steam.
Running has always been a mental release for me. I only started running for distance and time a couple of years ago, and am so thankful to have a passion for it.
I know not everyone does, and also realize that some people actually despise it. You couldn’t pay them to do it. I get that, and totally respect it, as that is how skydiving is for me. Been there, done that, never again.
But, to those of you who haven’t really given the sport of running a fair try, I wanted to at least share my top ten reasons of why I run and what it does for me and my life.
Who knows… maybe this will give you a nudge to pick it up!
Ten Reasons Why (I Think) You Should Start Running
• to stay heatlhy, fit and get in cardio
This answer couldn’t have been more obvious, which is exactly why I kicked things off here.
You are probably already aware that running is an intense athletic activity that involves most of the major muscle groups in your body. It also does wonders for your heart health, oxygen flow, and is great for conditioning.
As much as I enjoy taking a Zumba, spinning, or kickboxing class for a cardiovascular workout, I never feel as accomplished as I do after a long run or even a short sprint. In my opinion, running – no matter the distance – takes the most effort level to get through.
• for a mental release
As I mentioned above, running has always been a huge mental release for me. Some people turn to crafting or taking yoga classes, and my escape from reality has always been to go out for a run.
I can’t even count the amount of times I have laced up my sneakers after getting bad news or arguing with a loved one. As I mentioned back on National Running Day, I run because… it’s cheaper than therapy.
No but really. I choose how rapid or slow of a pace to take and just go for it. I’ll run until I feel better or until I just don’t feel like doing it any more.
There have been times where I go out for a run fuming (without Roadie, since I am unsure of the distance) and come back eight miles later, completely calm. I can’t explain it other than running is ME time and gives me the space I need to gather my thoughts and reflect.
It’s a wonderful thing.
• to explore surroundings
Whenever I travel, I usually plan to get in at least one five or so mile run close to the beginning of the trip to scope out the area. If it feels safe, of course.
It isn’t unusual for me to ask hotel staff for a suggested running loop and I love running the must-see areas of new cities.
• to get outside, see trails and enjoy nature
When we first moved up to Michigan, I absolutely fell in love with running again. Unlike Florida, the weather is tolerable (eh… in the summer, spring and fall at least) and is usually chilly enough to enjoy the activity without feeling overheated.
Plus, there are so many trails and paths through rivers with views like this!
I could ride my bike through the same loop, but there is something extra alluring about exploring these types of areas on foot. Although I could walk them, running gets me at least twice as far, faster. I love it.
• work off sweets and cheat days
Let’s be real here. Half of the time, I run so I can eat all the desserts and feel okay about it. And pizza. And everything having to do with Thanksgiving.
It may sound crazy, but I know I am not alone here. After the week of my birthday (which always includes numerous desserts and drinks to celebrate) or a holiday weekend, I always go for a good two or three runs in the days following, and it takes those runs to start feeling like my normal self again.
On a regular basis, however, I believe in enjoying everything in moderation, which (to me) includes desserts. This also includes exercising and cardio workouts several times a week.
(see the details of this workout!)
Running is always a great buffer to get me motivated and back to my normal eating and workout routine whenever I temporarily hop off of it.
• for a reason (charity)
There are so many charities and organizations to run or even walk for. I am running my second half marathon two months from now with the Hope Water Project, and have a feeling this will be a yearly occurrence as long as we live here.
I would love to participate in more races to fundraise for charities and think it’s such a great outlet to spread the word for a good cause!
• goal setting
The thought of running thirteen or even five miles used to really intimidate me. But, I took my training one week and mile at a time and slowly built my distance up.
Crossing the finish line at my first half over two years ago made me feel on top of the world.
I reached my goals and felt like I could do anything!
• to experience the feeling of a runner’s high
It may sounds silly, but I feel like a total bad*** when I come in from a run with a new distance or pace record.
Some runs are okay, some are horrible, but every once in a while you will have that run that makes you feel incredible. Like you are unstoppable!
A true runner’s high.
(Roadie gets them too!)
• free pass to listen to music and playlists
It’s no secret that I am a bit of a music freak. Every time I share a playlist on the blog, I also mention that music is a huge love of mine and that I almost always have it playing in the background of anything I do.
As soon as I put a new workout playlist together, I can’t wait to go out for a run. I play the same songs when I do workouts at the gym or at home, but when I go for a run, I don’t have to think of anything.
My mind is free to wander wherever my run takes me and usually my mood is set by my playlist selection.
Sometimes it’s a workout playlist, but other times it’s very chill. I put on a full set of cool down tracks and listen to the lyrics. I don’t have to count reps or look at a paper with my workout drawn out, and simply exist in and enjoy the moment.
• YOU time
I mentioned this in a previous reason, but really think it deserves a point all on it’s own. Running time is ME time.
Earbuds in, running shoes on, I am free to go wherever, whenever and have time to myself. For the duration of my run, I think, but I also escape from worries and take in everything you just read above.
I couldn’t imagine functioning in life without that time.
So those are just ten of my reasons. I’m sure there are many more!
But now I would like to know…
Why do you run?
Why don’t you run?