11 Reasons To Start Running
Fitness

11 Reasons To Go Running And Start Your Fitness Journey Today

The "runner's high" is real, and it feels amazing.

84

We all know the typical benefits of running: cardiovascular health, weight loss, better sleep, et cetera. You know why you should, but you probably aren't convinced. Here are 11 great reasons to start running that you haven't heard before.

1. You were born to run

Christopher McDougall studies the mysterious tribe called the Tarahumara, or "The Running People," in his book "Born to Run." The Tarahumara regularly run races of over 100 miles, including the men, women, children, and the elderly in the hot Copper Canyons of Mexico, and without running sneakers. McDougall explores the human physiology, pointing out that our springy foot structure, ability to sweat and breathe simultaneously, ability to run long distances and much more all prove that humans are perfectly designed to be running machines. If you don't want to listen to me, listen to your own biology telling you to run for your life!

2. There's no barrier to entry

It's free. You don't have to find or join a club or team. You don't need any fancy equipment or sporting goods. You don't have to learn any rules. You don't even need to be "athletic" or like sports. You can do it anywhere, anytime. If you can walk, you can run. Should I keep going?

3. Runner's high is real, and it feels amazing

In fact, the euphoric, elated feeling and a reduced sense of pain many people experience after running is linked to the same neurotransmitters, called endocannabinoids, that are found in cannabis. That basically means a runner's high is your brain actually producing its own cannabis compounds. if you don't believe me, check out the loads of studies that confirm this phenomenon, like this one.

4. You'll enhance your self-discipline

I know this doesn't sound super sexy, especially to college students, but discipline is a really valuable skill. When it's 7 a.m. on a Sunday and you really don't feel like leaving your bed to jog around the block but you do it anyway... that's some immense willpower! Over time, it gets easier to get through the hard part, because your run becomes an intrinsic reward. The inner monologue gets stronger: you know you will never regret going out for a run, but you might regret not going. Learning how to discipline yourself purely for your own sake is a magical thing, and is entirely different from being compelled to do something because you have to.

5. It encourages you to spend more time outside

Running gives you a reason to stop sitting down, staring at a screen in a room with artificial light and stale air. It's time to immerse yourself in the environment around you. No matter where you are, you'll appreciate the fresh air, scenery, and sunlight. Being outside gives our eyes a healthy break from close-up viewing, our skin a dose of Vitamin D, and our lungs a detox. Okay, I think you get the point.

6. It teaches you how to set goals and motivates you to reach them

When you first start running and you have zero experience, you might feel completely overwhelmed. A good strategy is to set small milestones for yourself. For example, your first goal might be to run 5 minutes without stopping. Once you reach that, then move it up to 8 minutes, and so on. You don't have to have a complete training plan, but it can be rewarding to see how you're improving and making those gains.

7. It creates a sense of freedom

It's indescribable, but you'll fall in love with the feeling of flying on the pavement. Do you know what it's like to run past some walkers? Or better yet, people in a car?

8. It's basically a moving meditation

If you've ever wanted to start meditating, but you don't want to just sit down and close your eyes for a chunk of time, you should try running. The repetitive motion, the slight breeze hitting your skin, and the rhythm of your feet tapping the ground under you all come together to create a highly mindful and meditative experience. it's the perfect way to de-stress after a long day or start off the day with a clear mind. And recent research has shown that running fights the negative impacts of stress, such as lower memory retention. Hey, if you're not going to run for your heart, at least do it for your brain.

9. You'll learn that you are capable of much more than you believe

There is nothing quite like the feeling of finally being able to do something you couldn't do before. You will also notice that this confidence in your abilities will start to positively affect other aspects of your life. Think you can't ace that organic chemistry exam next week? Well, two weeks ago you couldn't run a mile under 10 minutes, and now you can. So, yeah, you can do it.

10. You will literally feel the difference

Picture this: you started running a few weeks ago. it was pretty much like torture the first few runs, but now, well, you're flourishing. You have more energy, and you find that your focus is better and your thinking is clear and sharp. After a few weeks, you might realize that the days you start with a morning jog are more productive and organized. You feel happier and more invigorated after running, not exhausted and depleted, like you thought you would be. Yes, you know regular cardio exercise is good for your heart, but the way it makes you feel, all the time, is like living on a higher plane of existence. Isn't that worth a try?

11. No matter how slow you're going, you're still lapping the people on the couch

And there's no going back. You're welcome.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter who you are (an introvert, person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, Scorpio, TikToker, you name it), we want to hear what dating in America is like for you and the thoughts you have while working through the talking stage, first dates, navigating love, working through dating problems, etc.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

30 Black-Owned Skincare Brands Every Beauty-Lover Should Know About In 2020

They're not changing the game — they're making a new one.

Skin is something most beauty-lovers obsess over from our early teens, whether our aim is to be glowier, softer, dewier, or poreless, most of us are consistently tracking a new skincare goal. No matter how many products we try, we'll likely forage on with the goal of IRL Photoshopped skin, no matter how many dollars go to them.

The black-founded skincare brands below are the brainchildren of extreme dedication and resilience within the privileged world of beauty. Born out of resilient entrepreneurs overcoming circumstance in a world that does not favor business people of color, these brands have loyal cult followings, and with good reason.

Keep Reading... Show less

A huge part of being in a relationship is communication and, well, part of communication is listening. So, why not have a little fun with your partner and see just how well they know you?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Ways You Can Safely Attend A Protest In The Middle Of A Pandemic

Wear a mask, but speak up.

It seems like coronavirus (COVID-19) has been around forever now. Life before masks and with public sporting events is a distant memory, hoping to make a comeback sometime this year. We've all had to make some sort of life changes to abide by this pandemic's rules. But that doesn't mean everything has stopped. On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, sparking a cry for justice and racial equality across the nation.

For the last week, protests have taken place in major cities like New York City, LA, DC, Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Dallas, and Floyd's hometown of Minneapolis. Many of the cities experiencing protests have begun phased reopening, while others (specifically New York City and LA) have yet to begin phase one of post-coronavirus reopening.

As COVID-19 is hardly in our rearview mirror, there are extra precautions protestors can take as they advocate for justice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments