Happy National Running Day!
I was going to post my May wrap up today (even though it is wordless Wednesday – this short week is really messing with my mind!) but then I learned that it’s National Running Day and a better post topic popped into mind.
To all of the non-runners out there: Last year, I was one of you. I thought runners were crazy. I had better things to do with my time than running aimlessly (why run if you’re not being chased?) when it was really hot (or really cold). I thought it was too hard to start, to breathe, and too hard on my joints. But, on a whim, I decided to give Couch to 5K a try and was surprised to find myself having fun even though it was hard work. Here are some reasons why I fell in love with running – maybe you will too!
- For most people, running is difficult at first. But if you go at it with a plan(I recommend Couch to 5K big time) it won’t be overwhelming. I was able to see improvement in my running from week to week and it was a huge confidence booster in all areas of my life. Every time I added 30 seconds to my running time I felt like I could take over the world. Remember, running is about you and every achievement you make should be celebrated!
- Contrary to what many think, running isn’t bad for your knees or joints. Running actually bolsters your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins, and by strengthening the ligaments around your joints. Running also helps prevent osteoporosis by strengthening your bones. (Source) Even if you’re clumsy like me, the benefits to your body outweigh the dangers!
- Going out for an “aimless run” reduces stress. I used to think people who just went out for a run were NUTS. Now I’ve realized they are probably working through a lot of their job & home stress while they get their workout on. Running is even used by mental health experts to help treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders (Source).
- With less stress comes better health. Running protects against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and has been shown to lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, and boost immunity to colds and other viruses. (Source) It could be a coincidence that I’ve had less colds in the year that I’ve been running, but I’d like to think otherwise. 🙂
- You can meet new people through running. I know this is true for any hobby but I think that runners are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Every time I get caught up worrying about my speed or distance, someone who has been running longer (and better) than me reminds me that running is an individual sport and I’m doing great. There are so many clubs and training groups in the DC area and I’ve been so lucky to meet some really interesting, smart, positive people through running.
I could go on for days about why I love to run but I’ll leave you with this:
But in the end, I’m always having fun and that is why I run.