The benefits of running: there are just SO many!
Ever been tempted to run but haven’t quite made it out of the door? Read on – you might just get going! But if you are a beginner, make sure you look at the advice in the postcript!
Running makes you happier
Running makes your brain release endorphins – the ‘feel good’ chemicals. I know many people who feel positively ‘high’ after a run (myself included).
It gives you a goal to work towards
Each run is a chance to push yourself, to run further, faster. You will be amazed how great it feels to know you have run a bit further or a bit quicker. That sense of achievement is priceless. It doesn’t matter how far or how fast someone else runs, this is about you.
Running can help with depression
Running with someone else can lift your spirits. We also know that the Vitamin D you get from running outside can help with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Running can provide a community
Join a club, run with others, even contact people on social media who run – running helps you to feel connected.
Running gives you time to think
I run to give me time to think, ‘me time’ to get away from it all.
It’s a healthy way to relieve stress
Pound away the stress, think your way clear, wipe away the troubles of the day. Immerse yourself in the moment of the run.
Running helps you to sleep better
Exercise helps you to get good quality sleep. And sleeping will help you get in a good run! It’s a virtuous circle.
Running can encourage you to get up early
You will soon find that running is a great start to your day. Don’t forget… you can’t fail to do what you have already done!
It keeps your brain sharp
The more you run, the less likely you are to experience mental decline. Exercise can improve cognitive function as you age, including memory.
Running makes you stronger in every way
Running engages your muscles, improves joints and boosts endurance, it reduces risk of disease and increases longevity.
Postscript for those who have never run before…
Please buy your running shoes from somewhere that knows what they are talking about. They will analyse your gait and advise accordingly. Yes, it might cost a bit – but it will be worth every penny.
When you are ready to run, you can use a ‘coach to 5k ‘ app on your phone. Or just make your own plan. To start with, just getting to the end of your road will feel like a marathon. Plan a route (Googlemaps or simply drive it and clock it) which is no more than 2 miles. Walk a bit, then run a bit – it really is that simple. Don’t go mad – it’s not a sprint – just run from one telegraph pole to another, then walk the same distance. Do that for 5 running days, then run two telegraph poles and walk. You will soon feel like stretching the distance a bit further.
Be guided by your body – but stretch yourself. In the beginning do an ‘out and back’ run so you are never too far away from home. (Circular routes come later). Always walk the last bit, don’t come to an abrupt halt just outside your front door. You will find that you will gradually run further and walk less. And don’t forget to stretch your legs when you get back. How long this takes depends on your fitness levels at the start. Any doubts, ask your GP first.