I often find myself wondering why more people don’t run. The benefits of running far outnumber the difficulty of getting started and maintaining a consistent routine.
I admit that my enthusiasm for running can get a little annoying. I can talk about running for days and not get bored. I love to learn about it and learn ways to help others to enjoy it.
I know not everyone wants to take running to the level I have, but there are some many more benefits to running other than the physical fitness, which is the reason most people begin running. Running is an excellent way to improve physical fitness don’t get me wrong, but it is so much more.
I really believe that this world would be a better place overall and that each individual life would be improved if everyone ran five miles three days a week or even three miles four days a week.
Running increases energy, relieves stress, and stabilizes your mood. It is cheaper than therapy, alcohol, and painkillers and doesn’t have all the negative consequences. You don’t have to have a lot of money to get started just a pair of good shoes. There is no gym membership required and you don’t have to have friends to get started, but you’re likely to gain some the longer you stick to running.
It may seem strange that expending energy would increase it on the back end, but it does. You may be tired when you first start, but your body will adjust the way it burns the food you eat and begin supplying you with more energy.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve stress. It increases the feel good endorphins in your body. It is meditation in motion, your mind lets go of whatever was stressing you out and you can just focus on the physical movement of your body and really be present. Often you will have an “aha” moment during a run as the solution to a problem reveals itself as you put one foot in front of another.
Exercise also reduces depression and anxiety thereby stabilizing your mood and allowing your body to sleep better, and better sleep is always a good thing especially if you are dealing with stressful situations on a daily basis.
You will increase your support system through running as well. Although running is an individual sport for the most part, runners are social just like any other group. They love to hang out, get to know other people, and support one another through encouragement and advice. There is always room for one more on the road or the trail. Even if you start running, as I did alone and not knowing any other runners, if you run enough races or do a relay you will meet other runners.
Many people say they are too busy and too stressed to take thirty to forty-five minutes three to four days a week to get in a run, but if you make time for it, the world becomes a better place for you and those around you.