Many years ago, I started running and I haven’t stopped. As I mentioned before, I was running way back when I was a young teenager. I remember running and the feeling I felt. Even as a teenager I loved to run….I loved how it made me feel and that feeling is still with me to this day?.
Things definitely have changed since than. I no longer feel alone! I mentioned this in an earlier post but to be honest, I have learned so much from other runners and I am so glad I no longer feel like an outcast because I love to run…..alot! Wow there are other runners just as obsessed as me about running. There are runners everywhere, every size, and every age!
Growing up I had great access to some pretty incredible running paths (my gravel roads, ha!), so I didn’t have much of a reason not to keep running! When I was 16, my father purchased this awesome place out in the country.
At the time I thought we might as well be moving to Alaska or something. I was mad and convinced I’d never see my friends, or my steady boyfriend. Guess what…..all my friends loved hanging with me at the farm! Better yet, my high-school sweet heart didn’t mind the 7 mile drive out to see me either.
Truth is, I fell in love with living in the country. So much so, our wedding festivities were held on the farm❤️. It was the best day ever, and no, this is it not my high school sweet heart?.
I used to tell myself almost every morning before my run, the results would pay off! “I’d be in better physical fitness and I would eventually get stronger and run faster.” I was right. I kept getting faster, eventually running a 21.oo minute flat 5K and even qualifying for Boston several times. It’s been a great ride! And the good news, I am still running and I thank God every day I still can!
What I didn’t expect was for running to become such a big part of my life in other ways.
I have never had a weight problem but I do know there are weight loss perks to any cardio routine. However, the biggest benefits of hitting the pavement have nothing to do with a dress size. Just like with any other form of exercise, there’s so much more to gain than there is to lose. Here are my top reasons why I LOVE TO RUN!
1. Running makes me happier.
One word: Endorphins. Research has shown that exercise is a proven mood booster. When you’re active, your brain releases feel-good chemicals that perk up your attitude and make you happiest post workout….ask my husband! In other words, it’s a pretty healthy remedy for a bad day. I sometimes keep running until I feel better……”Keep on running until those endorphins start to kick in,” Crawford says.
2. It gives you a goal to work toward.
The only person you’re really competing with when you run is yourself. Each run and each race is an opportunity to push my endurance levels. The reward for hard work won’t come easy, but that feeling I got when I shaved a minute off my mile or I achieved a personal record…truly unmatched. Personal records are much harder to achieve since turning 50. So as I approach my mid fifties, I enter into a new age group. It doesn’t even seem possible but it’s true, double nickels soon. I have another year to achieve some personal bests in my current age bracket, which isn’t quite the same as setting personal records, but it’s equally as rewarding! I thank God nothing hurts, and I am still healthy enough to run.
Look where I am headed in April. Rome, Italy. I am not sure what kind of time I will be shooting for since I also want to enjoy the course, unlike last time. I will be crossing two lines and I will have fun!
3. Running helps you get outside and get more sunshine.
Get moving outside as much as you can. Living in Minnesota makes it more difficult to move outdoors a few months out of the year. Heck, sometimes winter lasts all the way to May. UGH. I try my best to get outdoors and run as much as I can. I just love the feeling of the fresh air, the sunshine on my face, and the sounds of nature. Besides, it’s beats the “dreadmill” any day.
Get some sunshine and take a Vitamin D Supplement! A low storage of vitamin D has been linked to seasonal affective disorder. After all, that so called “RUNNER’S HIGH” you get from running in the sunshine is so much cheaper than therapy! It’s a great way to get out of the FUNK!
4. Running will allow you to meet unlimited number of new friends…
Have you noticed the increase in runners in your neighborhood– participation in races — is only growing in popularity. When I first started running, I didn’t have many friends who enjoyed it like me. But as the running community grew, I met new running friends. (I actually met my husband via running!) Better yet, make them a running partner: Research shows working out with a friend may make you perform better. I love working out with these gals. We push each other every week to do more. To run faster, to do one more burpee, to hold a plank just one more minute, to jump higher and land softer, and we have fun!
5. Running is also a great solo activity….
Sometimes I just need my shoes, and nothing but the trail in front of me. For the most part, I do prefer running alone. It’s my time to reflect, pray, and gather my thoughts for the day ahead.
6. It’s a healthy way to relieve stress.
Check out my top reason for running and doing my other favorite activity, Yoga, here! Seriously, there’s nothing like taking a bad day at work or a fight with a significant other out on a run. Exercise is a scientifically-backed way to lower your stress levels. Run your way to a better state of mind and leave your worries on the pavement (or in this case the treadmill….it was pouring outside).
7. Running helps you sleep better…and turn you into an early bird!
I NEED TO GET 8 or 9 HOURS of SLEEP. Again ask my husband! I Look almost as grumpy without sleep as I do without food….running has definitely helped me sleep better but if you are a light sleeper and have a hubby that snores occasionally, These Ear Plugs ROCK!
So, if counting sheep isn’t cutting it, running 30 minutes five times a week could solve your sleep issues. A study published in the journal Mental Health And Physical Activity found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week improved sleep quality by 65 per cent. Participants were also 65 per cent less likely to feel sleepy during the day.
Running and sleep go hand in hand. Win Win! Early to bed-Early to rise!
Long runs are easy! Crawling out of a warm bed at 6 am on a Saturday or Sunday morning? That can be hard. The more you get into a routine of waking up at the same time, the easier it becomes. Need some tricks to motivate you to get out of bed? Try one of these to jumpstart your run.
Need I say more? Since being married, my husband has taken me to some great Destinations to do what I love to do…..RUN! I am the luckiest gal ever. We have so many more places on our list…….The London Marathon, The Dublin Marathon, The Hong Kong Marathon, Hawaii, and Thailand. Yep….just a few on our bucket list.
9. It gives me more energy!
It never fails, I always feel better after a run. More energetic and motivated!
10. Running makes you stronger in every way. You strengthen muscles!
According to researchers at Boston’s Tufts University, you lose about one per cent of muscle mass each year after the age of 30. Unless you maintain muscle through regular exercise, fat takes over. While you should add resistance training to your weekly regimen, running strengthens your legs, back and abdominal muscles.
I definitely agree with these statements, running, when done properly and consistently, engages your muscles, improves your joints and boosts your endurance. Not to mention, research suggests exercise may reduce your risk of disease and increase longevity.
Honestly, both running and yoga do make me very happy & life a lot less stressful! “Why do you LOVE to run?”