There are so many reasons to run – to be fit, to clear your head, to be able to eat as many cookies as you want – it seems like every runner has a different reason to lace up their trainers and run every day. If you start running, chances are you’ll completely agree with some of these brilliant reasons to run. Which might motivate you to give it a go? Let’s find out.
1. You’ll Be Fitter
For most runners, this is one of the reasons to run that got them to the track, or on the trail, in the first place. In a time when so many of us are battling obesity and its related health issues, the fitness aspect of running can’t be ignored. If you’re on your own weight loss and fitness journey, reap the fitness benefits of running safely, by starting slow, with walking, then gradually building your distance and pace til you’re (literally) off and running. Your body will thank you!
2. It’s Cheap and Easy
Aside from a good pair of running shoes, there’s no special, pricey equipment needed to run; there’s also no big learning curve, since our bodies were designed for this movement, and it’s instinctual. Remember your first Zumba class, or the hundreds of dollars you’ve spent over the years on gym memberships? Running is a far cry from either of these.
3. It Will Clear Your Head
This is one of the benefits of running that doesn’t get much attention, but to me, it’s so important! There’s something about getting lost in the rhythm of your footfalls and breathing, the fresh air, the solitude of the trail, that clears your mind and, oddly enough, helps you relax. I liken it to meditation with movement and cardio.
4. It Makes You Re-think Your Lifestyle Choices
Again, this may sound odd, but once you start reaping the other benefits of running, you’ll want to start making other healthy lifestyle choices. You’ll naturally pay more attention to your diet – it is your running fuel, after all! – and you’ll seriously consider quitting smoking, if you’re a smoker. These changes aren’t necessary to be a runner, but you’ll be surprised how often thoughts of healthier living just pop into your head as you’re lacing up your shoes to head out for a run.
5. You’ll Form New Friendships
Once you’ve found your running groove, and perhaps your own schedule, pace, and place, you’ll notice others along your route, runners and joggers and such. You’ll nod and smile as you pass, and maybe someday even chat as you run down the trail together. These friendships can stay on the track or trail, of course, but some of these casual, unofficial running buddies may become real-life friends, people who will encourage you as you become a runner.
6. You’ll Set a Good Example for Your Kids
If you have children, now is the time to teach them, help them form the healthy lifestyle habits they’ll have for life. What better way to teach them than by example? As they see you evolve along your fitness and healthy lifestyle journey, they’ll see first-hand that diet and exercise go hand-in-hand with health and happiness. As a parent, I can’t think of a better reason to run!
7. You’ll Become an Inspiration
You might not know it, but someday, you may become an inspiration to someone else, someone in your family or circle of friends who’s wanted to make a healthy change, and just needs a little push in the right direction. You might not even have to say a word: merely watching your healthy lifestyle transformation, live or on Facebook, might just be the nudge they need. How do I know this? Because a few of my own friends gave me that inspiration and motivation, and someday, I hope to do the same for someone else.
With so many good reasons to start running, all you need now is a good pair of running shoes and maybe a running buddy to keep you motivated as you find your groove. Remember, as with any other fitness or diet change, it’s important to check with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough to run. But once you have her thumbs-up, hit the track or your favorite local trail. Which of these reasons to run might have inspired you to give it a go? Or, if you’re already a runner, what are your own reasons to run? Please share!