“I don’t know why you would want to do that.”
…is the typical reaction I get after stating I just ran 10 miles or more.
Well, hang on.
There may also be quite a bit of disbelief involved too since I’m a solid 30lbs heavier than the average runner my height. *enter emotional eating issues and thyroid imbalances here* Being on the receiving end of a full body up-and-down glance during a conversation like this is always a fun situation to be in. 😉
But the truth is, there’s a plethora of reasons to start a running regime! And the ones I’m about to list are completely unrelated to losing weight. Just take that pressure off yourself completely, will ya? Weight loss comes with time, implementing daily healthy habits and consistency so don’t get yourself all worked up over that. Consider instead to focus on these other benefits.. and then let weight loss be the cherry on top! So here we go…
Running for Beginners: 5 Reasons to Start Running
1.) You will prove to yourself you can do something tough.
This was huge for me since self-confidence was never my strong suit. Proving that I could do what I put my mind to shifted my perspective of myself completely.
Picture YOU passing over the finish line of your first half marathon after enduring just over two hours of intense physical exhaustion, mental anguish, dehydration, hunger and muscle cramping. Let your mind imagine that level of pride and accomplishment.
For me, crossing that finish line proved that I can do tough things and you can prove this to yourself too!
I read somewhere once that we should think of our brain as being a lawyer. It needs evidence. And for some reason, we’re insanely good at finding all the reasons as to why we can’t do something but it’s simply because our actions and words confirm that.
We say things like, “I could never run a half marathon.” And so your brain believes it’s own thoughts because you never actually have.
We’re not so good, however, at finding evidence as to how powerful and capable of change we truly are. So, set a running goal, believe you can achieve it then let your actions confirm it. Doing this opens a crazy new world of possibility!
2.) You will create mental grit.
The more consistently you do things, the easier they become! That’s a pretty simple concept and probably one you’ve heard of before, right? But add in a key word.. the more consistently you do HARD things, the easier they become!
And that is what grit is: the testing of your mental, emotional and physical capacities through intense perseverance, which completes a seemingly impossible long-term goal.
Ever wonder how in the world 5k runners turn in to ultra runners? Because they have a mental strength that not many people have. They consistently complete small goals at a time, which adds up to a huge achievement.
The good news is, mental grit is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes! Now, you may not ever have the desire to become an ultra runner but we all know that to get where you want to be in life, you must be willing to work for it. So really, running is a great way to train yourself mentally as well as physically and it will help you reach your goals in health, business and life!
Start small with your goals but stay consistent at them. Being mentally tough is more about your daily habits than it is your perceived natural talent or ability. What you consistently do wins every time.
3.) You will become more self disciplined.
If your desire to is become more self disciplined in life, you first need to identify what you want to do differently.
But let me clue you in on a major one. A quick Google search reveals the lifestyle routines of disciplined, successful people reflect some sort of daily physical exercise – often running!
So decide on a small running goal and work at it DAILY (with at least one rest day per week). Soon, a desire will surface to carry this self discipline into other areas of your life.
Most runners, including myself, find that morning runs are best but simply find a routine that works then stick with it! After a while, you’ll find there will be less inner complaining and more eager anticipation when it comes to completing your daily runs. And an added benefit will be that your life begins to reflect self discipline in other areas!
4.) Your mental health will improve.
This is my favorite benefit – especially when my runs take place outside (my favorite trail is pictured above)!
Running releases endorphins and just makes you feel good! It clears your mind, fills your body with oxygen and gets your blood pumping. If you’re my husband, this sounds miserable (he does not share my love for running haha), but if you’re like me, this sounds like bliss.
After a while, you’ll find that if you miss a day of running, or if it’s your rest day, you’ll really crave the mental relief it offers. Just let your mind wander! Spend time mentally planning things that excite you, pray, learn something in a podcast or listen to a book. It’s a break from the monotony of life (kids) and will give you the time and excuse to do something for you.. all by yourself.. with no kids around for miles. ♥
Take care of yourself mentally. Running is a fantastic way to ward off depression, anxiety and stress!
5.) Your physical health will improve.
This one is kind of a no-brainer but exercising will improve your physical health! Your muscle tone will change, your heart will be stronger, your lung capacity will increase, your mind will be sharper (especially as you age), joint function will improve, your skin will look better (sweat detox) and you’ll even sleep better.
And these are just to list a few!
(If you’r’e looking for the science behind why running improves your health, give it a quick Google search.)
So what are you waiting for?! Lay out your running clothes, set your alarm then wake up tomorrow and RUN!
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