So, you’ve been thinking about taking up running? Awesome! I highly encourage you to do so.
However, there’s a problem – you’ve only been thinking and not actually doing anything so you’re beginning to doubt that you’ll ever even give it a try. Don’t worry my friend, as this is an issue that many have faced (and overcome) before, so you will too.
I’m not sure what’s holding you back, but I know how good our brains are at making excuses, so today, I’d like to inspire you and hopefully give you a little push past those mental hurdles. In this article, I’ll present you with some strong reasons which helped me start running, and that will get you on your feet and out of the house in no time.
1. Mental health benefits
Beginner runners rarely take up this activity due to its impact on mental health, and this is exactly why I decided to start my list with this point. In case you didn’t know, running yields great benefits for one’s mental health which is becoming increasingly important in a world where depression and anxiety levels are going through the roof.
When you run, your brain releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which will bring you into a state known as the “runner’s high”. Your mood will go up, which will instantly change your outlook on life, and this feeling can last for quite some time, especially if you run regularly.
You’ll also release a lot of emotional tension brought up by everyday stress and feel much lighter after every jogging session.
2. Improved physical health
Now, let’s talk about the “boring” old reason to make you run – physical health. It’s no secret that most of us live relatively unhealthy lifestyles (junk food, too much sitting, etc.) and we aren’t to blame because the modern world forces a lot of this on us. With that being said, we can either do nothing and get sick or try to prevent it, and running is a perfect tool for the latter.
This activity has been proven to do a lot of good to the human body, including improvement of the cardiovascular system, higher bone density, building muscles, and burning fat. If you haven’t experienced this for yourself (yet), you can hear and read about millions of others who have, so there’s no doubt that it’s true.
3. Improved looks
Ok, it’s time for the superficial, but still significant, way to persuade you to give running a try. Yes, running will make you leaner and sexier no doubt about it. Depending on your current physical state, it may take more or less time, but you will eventually burn all that extra fat and build some nice-looking muscles.
What many people don’t realize is how much running works your core, so besides stronger legs and butt, you’ll also be able to chisel out a nice six-pack (given that you eat healthy foods as well).
4. It’s not going to destroy your knees
I’ve met a lot of folks who were eager to run but heard that running would trash their knees. This is nonsense guys, and let me tell you why. Your knees can handle a large workload, especially if they’re healthy and were never seriously injured.
Given that you are a beginner, you will probably run at a relatively slow pace and low volume (as you should) which will keep you in the injury-free zone for sure. To be fair, certain folks have suffered some trauma in their knees and have been banned from running by a doctor, so unless you’re one of them, you’ll be fine.
Make sure to wear proper footwear, and know that it’s always better to run on grass and soft surfaces than on concrete.
5. Daily motivation through setting goals
This point ties into the one about mental health, but folks who feel mentally stable and happy can benefit from it too. Once you acquire some experience in running, you’ll not only be able to run longer distances, but you’ll want to do so.
This is the amazing thing about this sport – it always drives you to push your limits. When you conquer your first 10K I bet that you’ll be eager to go beyond that, so running won’t be this annoying errand sitting in the back of your mind, but something that you’ll look forward to and a driving force to do more and become better.
I wouldn’t be going too far by saying that this activity might even give you a sense of purpose that we all need from time to time.
6. Become a part of a community
Whoever said that running has to be a lonely experience?
Quite the contrary, my friend. As you may have noticed, a lot of people like to run, and if you stick with this activity long enough, chances are that you’ll get sucked up (in a good way) by a local club or community.
Running will introduce you to new people, and there is a decent chance that you’ll make some friends and build strong relationships through what you have in common. Also, you’ll feel like a part of a team which is always a good thing, right?
Having a community centered around running will make the activity an end in itself, and not just a means to a goal, which will make you enjoy it more.
7. It’s cheap
I wanted to say that running is free, but then I remembered that you do have to invest in some basic equipment like shoes and proper clothing. Other than that, there are zero other expenses related to it! Sounds fantastic, I know.
Gyms are great, but memberships can cost you a small fortune if you live in a city, so running is your cheapest alternative to that. I bet that you’ll love being outside breathing in the fresh air, and you’re going to enjoy it that much more if you’re stuck in an office most of the day.
8. It doesn’t take much time
Last but not least, I’d like to demolish the age-old “I don’t have time for it” argument. Yes, you do! You can make time for anything you want if you really want it, and you’re super lucky if you choose running because it doesn’t have to take you more than 30 minutes.
I don’t care how busy you are, but if you don’t have half an hour to spare in your day, especially for an activity that’s good for you, then you should really reconsider some of your lifestyle choices.
Do it in the morning before work, or in the evening when you get back home, and I guarantee that you will never regret it!
Do you know what kind of inspiration works best?
The kind that’s based on people’s authentic experiences, and all that I’ve shared with you today is what I’ve personally been through so I know that you will relate to it. I’m not here to tell you that it’s easy or that you must do what I say, but I just want to say that it’s going to be worth it much more than you can realize now.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got my daily 5K to do!
This article was written by my friend Matt. Who is he? – I’m just a regular guy who’s taken up running to achieve some fitness goals, but eventually, it became my lifestyle! Now, I run to live and live to run so join me on my journey as I uncover what I’ve learned about this sport through my blog EmpowerYourRun.com.