If you consider yourself a runner but have recently stopped to wonder why in the world you choose to dedicate your valuable free time to running around a track or down the street while others you know are either sleeping, eating or just hanging out, here are a few reminders to get you back on the path:
Remember the ENDORPHINS: Many researchers believe strenuous exercise such as running releases endorphins into the blood stream. Endorphins are known to elevate mood and to relieve pain. In fact, their chemical structure is similar to that of morphine. Endorphins are key players in the body’s ability to deal with stress and they can make us feel so good. After your runs, you probably feel mentally clear, alive, and refreshed (after you take your post-run shower).
You’ve heard it above, but here it is again: aerobic activity such as running is probably one of the best overall STRESS-REDUCERs. Whether your stressors come from work, school, family, friends, traffic, or even just the weather, running helps relieve stress. Even more, you can concentrate on your breathing and meditate while running, this will help decrease stress levels even more.
Running is INEXPENSIVE and RELIABLE! If you remain injury-free, running is inexpensive and always available. It does not cost very much to buy a pair of running shoes and the road or a treadmill is easy to find.
Running can be A SOCIAL THING: If you join a running club in your area, you will find at least a few people who run at a similar pace and who share similar values. What a great way to build friendships. If you cannot find a running group, try asking your co-workers to run with you. Having someone to talk to while running can be very enjoyable. Feasting with friends afterwards is even better.
Running BURNS a LOT of CALORIES: an average 140-pound runner who runs seven miles per hour can burn about 731 calories per hour, while someone weighing 195 pounds will burn on average 1018 calories per hour. If you wish to lose weight or maintain your weight while indulging in your favorite treats, running is the best way to go. Even more, as you continue to build muscle with your running, you will burn more calories more easily.
Running KEEPs you IN TOUCH with your body. If you are coming down with something, your body will tell you, especially while you are running. Running also forces you to take good care of yourself – it can be difficult to run when you fail to hydrate, eat nutritiously or get enough sleep.
Finally, it’s an especially WONDERFUL FEELING when you have arrived at a peak level of fitness and you can feel your whole system working efficiently and smoothly.
Also remember to take care of yourself by eating, sleeping, and enjoying the sounds, scenery and people of your runs.