This morning on my way to my morning run I noticed something interesting: there were A LOT of runners out. They all appeared to be wearing new gear (obviously delivered from Santa) and panting heavily. I reminded myself that this is the season of new runners. I always love this time of the year because people are so hopeful about their fitness and working out (Silver Lining).
Many people ask me why I run. Not in that upbeat, sing-song way, but rather in that “Why the f-bomb would you run? Are you crazy?” So, I thought I’d share my inspirations for running.
10 Reasons to Start (and Continue!) Running:
- One of the biggest benefits of running is that it’s good for your health. Running is an awesome way to strengthen your heart and circulatory system, which promotes cardiac health. It also helps your immune system by assisting your body be more effective and efficient at fighting off germs. I haven’t had a single cold this season (despite bugs flying rampantly around our home) which I attribute to my running. An added Silver Lining is that it increases bone density, which can prevent osteoporosis.
- As one of the most vigorous exercises out there, running is an extremely efficient way to burn calories and lose weight. If you’re already at a healthy weight, running can help you maintain it. Just make sure you don’t think running gives you a license to eat anything you want (ahem, like I happened to do this season!). The basic rule of weight loss — that you must burn (through life functions and exercise) more calories than you take in — still applies to runners.
- Running gives you energy. No longer do I have to answer the call of fatigue with a cup of (caffeinated) tea. Runners who run in the morning (of which I am one) report that they have improved energy levels during the day. Combining running with a healthful diet will help improve your energy levels even more.
- Running makes you look younger (as long as you wear sunscreen!). When I run, I get a glow from exercise that can’t be bought (ok, so it might be an f-bomb hot flash, but I’m going with the running excuse). Running also prevents your body from sagging every which way and internally helps your muscles and bones. During my year of FBC, my muscles atrophied in the most sad, aging way. Not anymore (Silver Lining)!.
- Running can also be a great way to contribute to philanthropy because many races benefit charities, and some charities offer race training in exchange for fundraising. For my first marathon, I raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society through the Team in Training program. It was pretty f-bomb fabulous!
- Running is a great way to explore. The sport provides the opportunity to explore new places, experience new physical sensations and run places not normally seen. I love to vary my routine as much as possible. It really helps me see things differently, which I love to do.
- Running can be goal oriented. Some people dislike to exercise just for the sake of exercising, but with running, you can train for races, from 5Ks to marathons and beyond. Training for a race gives you a specific goal to work toward, which can definitely help improve your motivation to run. I do love a good carrot for motivation! Running my 1/2 Marathon this fall (on the exact date of my diagnosis!) was pretty darn inspirational and incredibly fulfilling.
- Running is inexpensive, versatile and quite green! It requires very little equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere. All you need is a good pair of running shoes (worth the investment!), and you can head out your door to go for a run. If you travel a lot (which I do), it’s easy to pack your running shoes and run while you’re on the road.
- Running is relaxing – after the first 20 minutes. There is something about the first 20 minutes that I must admit I don’t like. My mind says, “Are you INSANE? WHY are you doing this?!?” However, after about 20 minutes of steady running, I ease into it and am TOTALLY happy (Silver Lining). It seems as if the pressure of everyday life gives way to a clearer perspective. Running also releases endorphins, those “feel-good” natural chemicals your body produces that ease pain and elevate mood. That’s where the term runner’s high comes from.
- Running is a way to catch up on my reading. Seriously. I love to listen to books on my iPhone when I do long runs. It gets me into a zen like state with an added Silver Lining of growing my brain a little bit.
Here are some of my favorite running products.
From left to right, top to bottom:
- Flo Evo Pullover by Pearl Izumi is wind and water resistant with high breathablility to keep you dry and protected in windy and wet conditions.
- Oscar de la Renta fur headphones. Ok, a little over the top, but my oh my, they are FUN!
- The Little Red Book of Running is a FABULOUS read and highly inspirational and motivating. A girlfriend thoughtfully gave this to me and I LOVE it!
- The Hybrid Stick is the single best product to help you work the knots and trigger points out of your muscles. It is a (painful!) Silver Lining.
- Lululemon sweat cuffs are pretty fab. They even have a pouch for keys!
- The Nike running chip is a fabulous way to track runs. The app even cheers for you!!! How’s THAT for a Silver Lining?
- I love these Micro-Jacquard Track pants. Super comfy.
- New Balance sneakers are my shoes of choice for running.
Do you like to run? What inspires you? What keeps you going?
Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.
– Steve Prefontaine