Why Running?

Do you run? I do. And I kinda love it.

I’ve been running for, probably, a decade now. I mean, regularly running. As in exercise. I find it quite surprising to be a runner because I sure wasn’t keen on running before. On the contrary, as a young girl I believed running to be a torturous activity which gave me nothing but pain in the abdomen and was grossly uncomfortable all over (a regular reader might remember for I’ve mentioned it before). Back at school, I excelled in short runs (yep, no stamina) and suffered heavily through long ones (mandatory 600m runs in school seemed like 6000m then).

One of the perks of running outdoors: beautiful roses in the local park

But, everyone can run, right? In my opinion, there’s no reason a healthy individual wouldn’t run. It’s simple (no extensive learning the ropes), it’s practical (I’m ready once out the door) and relatively cheap (the basic garments and shoes are all that’s necessary). And, from my experience, it’s really good for me.

While running I can do a whole lot more than only running (this is something for overachievers). It’s very easy to find a reason why go and run:

  • Physical activity (of any kind) is required to stay in shape since we’re all going to live longer than any preceding generation.
  • Keep moving and my mind will follow (brain benefits immensely).
  • I might lose some weight along the way.
  • I will gain muscles and flexibility and good looks.
  • I want some quality time with myself and myself alone.
  • I want to catch up with the world and listen to a program I missed (enter fantastic podcasts) or to my favourite music that I haven’t had the time for.
  • I want to sort my thoughts out (yes, people do that too during a run).

It’s also very easy to find a reason not to run. Whenever I feel like not going out there and run, I try to fabricate all kinds of excuses why not to go. I think it’s only natural to seek to accommodate myself with the immediate comfort. I have to go running first to gain its benefits, whereas, if I sit down on the couch the comfort is there pronto.

It’s also very rewarding to watch the hours of the day outdoors

I remember my first run; it was a killer: I breathed with difficulty, my lungs were burning, my heart was pumping like crazy, I sweated and stank, every muscle ached afterwards. The second run was only a tad bit easier (those shitty muscle pains didn’t help, really). I persisted to my third one and I was on the winning streak. (It was imperative I was taking it slow and progressed gradually, so I avoided the possible injuries. My body needed to adapt to a change.) It was only a matter of my personal endurance after that. Yes, it’s all been up to me. No one has been forcing me to do it. (I sweat and stink after each run; that does not go away ;))

Anyhow, along the way I’ve learned how very precious time dedicated to running has become to me so I’m keeping it precious on purpose. I know how good it’ll make me feel about myself afterwards, so I just do it. I feel better physically and mentally, my food intake is healthier (I don’t want to spoil it all with poor food choices, do I?) and I look good too.

 

I always run outdoors because it’s easiest for me to just open the door and be running on the street, through the park, or whatever my actual environment. I’ve run in the city centres (the morning London run along the Thames was one of the best), I’ve run in the woods, by the sea, through the snow, name it. But one can always run on the machine too. This is too complicated for me personally as it requires a bag, a commute to the gym, change of clothes – for me this is too much of a preparation. But, hey, everybody’s free to do whatever they feel like. I’m just saying running is good for me, I find joy in it, so there’s a chance it might work for someone else too.

Don’t take my word for it. Read more below.

 

Related:

Start running and watch your brain grow, say scientists via The Guardian

Running can transform your body and brain via Business Insider

Running gives your brain a work out, say scientists via The Telegraph

How to get started as a runner via runnersworld.com