4 Benefits of Running
I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t always like running. And quite honestly, while there was a time I loved it, I can’t say that I love it now either.
After I had Emma, but before I was pregnant with Mattias, I ran regularly and did actually love it. I would get up early in the morning (like 5am…yes I was crazy), and run. I originally I started to lose weight, but after awhile, it was just because I enjoyed it so much! It was great alone, quiet time.
Then I get pregnant and I couldn’t run anymore.
Fast forward to a year later and its been an on/off activity for me. If you have been reading my Gratitude Challenge, you know that I have been struggling with motivation, stress, balance, my weight and just being sad. I thought running would help with all of that. And it has!
Slowly but surely, it is helping.
I still am not at a point where I love running again. But I do know that it has some great benefits.
Here are 4 Benefits of Running…
We know that running can help you build strong bones, strengthen muscles and improve your cardiovascular system (such as preventing blood clots). As we get older, we can all use some help in these areas.
I don’t care what anyone says…running helps you lose weight. That was the sole purpose that I started running after I had Emma. I was at the most weight I had ever been. Once I started running, I started losing. Within a year, I was back to my fighting weight. I went from a solid size 6 to a 0/2. Crazy. It takes more than running to do that, but running most certainly helped significantly. The reality is, when you are running, you drink more water and usually are more motivated to eat more healthy. So get out and start running.
There are new studies that say that its not about the endorphins, but the endocannabinoids (as stated in the article by the Well Blog, NY Times entitled Phys Ed: What Really Causes Runner’s High?). Regardless as to which it might be, there is this Runner’s High that is produced when running. This high makes you feel better…lifts your spirits which helps you feel less stressed. Additionally…when you run…you have time to be by yourself….be alone with your thoughts. If you want to use that time (although I like to try to not think while running), you can think more clearly and without any interruption.
I don’t know that I have been in full depression. But it runs in my family. And I have struggled with being sad all of my life. More times than not, I am happy, but for this particular time of sadness, running has helped. As mentioned above, there is this runner’s high that you get when you run. In a May 2013 study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise researchers concluded that physical activity was an effective alternative to treating depression. Just try it. See what your mood is like after you run.
I am sure there are many more reasons why running is good. If you aren’t a runner, then try jogging, or even just walking. We all know that just a few minutes of exercise a day are good for the body and soul.
3 Things I am Grateful for today are…
- Running. That I am getting back into a regular habit of running in the mornings.
- Happiness. That I am back to my normal self.
- Energy. That I finally have the energy and motivation that I was missing these past few months. While I still got things done, it was a struggle to force.