During a long run this past weekend, I had a chance to reflect on my love of running and the joy this activity has brought into my life. As the New York City Marathon is slowly approaching, running has become a hobby that is now a part of my everyday lifestyle. Along with running increasing my fitness level, it has also helped me become a calmer and more focused person. This activity has changed my life for the better and would love to share the amazing benefits that come along with running. Becoming a runner may seem intimidating to a non-runner, however, with time and motivation anyone can make small changes to form these habits and become more physically fit. Below, I included some of my favorite benefits that come from incorporating running into your routine.
You become happier
This is by far my favorite benefit of running and what keeps me motivated to race and train on a regular basis. Running releases endorphins in your brain which makes you naturally a happier person. No matter what kind of day you had, a good run can clear your head of negative thoughts and give you a positive outlook on life. Running is the ultimate escape from your problems and stress that bring added physical and health benefits. Many other outlets people go to include over eating, drinking and shopping which brings temporary fulfillment, however, these habits can cause consequences over time. Switching your outlet to running will help you better manage negative feelings and see your life in a different and brighter perspective.
In addition to mental health, running also offers numerous benefits that makes you a physically healthier person. Some of these benefits include weight loss, disease prevention, strengthening of joints, lower blood pressure, increased lung capacity, strengthened immune system and increased bone density. Running all around makes you a healthier person which naturally improves your lifestyle over all. Aside from the benefits listed, running also gives you more energy which gives you more enthusiasm to live a full life.
Not only does running bring happiness, it also makes you a more focused person. Once you start running, you begin creating an exercise routine to fit into your everyday lifestyle. This naturally leads to more organization and structure in your daily routine. It also gives you more of a direction for your daily life. Running goes hand in hand with goal setting which requires focus to achieve. Most runners overtime start to participate in races that require dedication and discipline to accomplish the race at a desired time. Focus is needed to complete the race and all training leading up until that point.
Running increases confidence which leads to self-fulfillment in life. As you start running, you will see the benefits which will leave you with a strong sense of self accomplishment. This feeling will overlap into other areas in your life leaving you feeling more confident at your workplace and in social environments. Racing also leaves you feeling more accomplished as a person. Once you cross the finish line, you will feel a strong sense of accomplishment from achieving the goal you set out to complete.
Running is considered a very solo activity, however, there is a very big community aspect that comes along with racing and training. Many runners prefer joining run clubs with people who have similar pace times to train alongside with. This community aspect provides motivation and accountability for your training efforts. Becoming part of a running community also allows you to make like-minded friends who share the same interests as you.