10 reasons to run today

Even as someone who loves running and enjoys the benefits of a good run each time, it takes motivation to get going. Do you need some motivation, too? Then here is a list of 10 good reasons why you should get your shoes out now!

1. Running is good for your mood

Runners often talk about the great experience that runner’s high is to them. But actually, this happens rather rarely (at least to me). Still, running can improve your mood majorly: The burning muscles after a finished run release a feeling of accomplishment. And for me, especially running fast for a little while is a big mood booster: It reminds me of being a kid and feeling the air flying past my ears. It makes me smile like an idiot even if it’s hard and hurts eventually. It just feels free, motivating, engaging… Fantastic!

And if you are having a bad day and just feel like hiding under the covers, try running first: It will help much more to overcome the bad feelings!

2. Running helps to relief and prevent stress

Our lives are full of stress, not only but especially now during this pandemic. With all that on our minds, it is no surprise that we have trouble sleeping or relaxing. Running can help with that: It gives you a moment for yourself, time to think and reevaluate your situation while you are exercising. Often, it helps me to better figure out what is bothering me and what I can do about it. Especially on easy recovery runs when your body moves on auto pilot, you can use this time to work on pressing issues in your head.

And running outside can be extra powerful to lower the hormonal stress level after just as little as 20 minutes [1]! Furthermore, regular exercise can help to build up resilience and make you less susceptible to daily stress, too!

3. You can eat more today if you went for a run

Running does burn a lot of calories. So it is very effective for those trying to lose some weight – judging by the calorie loss per active minute, running is much more effective than other cardio exercises such as biking or walking! And for those who don’t want to lose weight, it provides the perfect excuse for more snacks and comfort food afterwards to make up for the calories lost. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

4. Running improves your overall health

Running is a great sport for many reasons: Its so easy to start and learn, really cheap and can be integrated into your day with high flexibility. Regular running will help you to build up muscle, improve your overall fitness and train your cardiovascular system. For those struggling with high blood pressure it can be a great way to improve their health. And same for those wanting to lose weight!

Running surely is not the right sport for anyone, as it is somewhat hard on the joints. If you are unsure whether or not you should run, consider talking to a doctor before you start a new exercise regime. And if you start running, remember to start slow and with short distances to give your muscles and joints time to adjust to the new strains!

5. Regular exercise helps to build up resilience

Resilience is important to better withstand the daily stress affecting our lives. It can prevent you from getting overwhelmed by changes, fear and depression. It can improve not only your work performance, but also your overall life!

And the great part is, resilience can be trained like a muscle: By focusing more on the positive aspects of life, you can improve your resilience. And running can be an important tool to work on this, too:

Running is hard. Starting it already is a struggle because it takes effort. Overcoming this is a good training exercise to overcome barriers also in other aspects of life. But to keep going even when you are getting tired, when your legs are getting heavy, when it starts to rain… Running provides you with so much opportunities to overcome barriers and train your resilience. Interval training in addition is designed to especially practice this: By new and harder intervals every few minutes, you keep pushing yourself harder. You keep getting closer to your breaking point. And you train not to break. This is physical training, but also and maybe more importantly it is mental training. And it can be beneficial for your whole life. Same applies to long distance running, too. By training these mental aspects in your exercise regime, it makes you more resilient also for all other aspects of life!

Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash

6. It might rain tomorrow

If you are thinking about running, consider this: What is the weather like today? What might it be like tomorrow? Chances are that right now it looks quite okay and it might be worse tomorrow. So right now might be a good opportunity to have a nicer run when tomorrow it might be hotter, colder, rainier than today!

7. You haven’t exercised in forever

When times are stressful, exercise is the one thing many of us tend to skip first. But these times especially should be those when we take care of the body as well: Because it is so beneficial to release stress. And not running for a while also affects your body, your running performance and your overall fitness. The positive affects of running only last so long and will eventually fade. To keep benefiting from the positive effects of running, you need to do it on a regular basis. So if it has been a while, today might be a good time to start again!

8. You need that little win today

I know, finding motivation to go for a run is hard. Well, that is because running is hard! But guess what: If you make it and you go out, you do accomplish something. And even if it turns out to be one of those dreadful runs that never stop being hard, that really suck the whole time… still, if you finish it, you did indeed accomplish something. This is something to be proud of, because you overcame the forces trying to keep you from finishing it. This could be that little win that you need to turn around your day right now!

9. You have so much to do, but can’t find motivation

Running gets you going in the most literal sense of the word. This not only means that you move, but it can also improve your motivation to tackle other challenges. On these days when I feel like doing nothing, when I overcame the initial barrier to go out for a run it feels much easier to then also start working on other tasks. Once you started running, motivation comes naturally. This is what makes running so powerful once you are going towards a depression spiral: Running can help to quit this and get a grip on what’s happening again!

10. It helps you to relax and sleep better

Running works magic in terms of improving relaxation and sleep quality: The exhaustion of a good run not only promotes your mental relaxation, it will also help you to better find peace and quiet in your head. And the physical activity promotes better sleep to recharge the spend energy. Your mind is clearer after a run which already can help with sleep, too. Just make sure not to run directly before you want to go to sleep, because the activity will keep you awake for quite a while.

What are your tricks to get going when you don’t really want to run? Do you have habits to help you exercise regularly? Please share in the comments!

[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/a-20-minute-nature-break-relieves-stress

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