health

7 reasons to give running another try.

Nat, going for a run.
Nat, going for a run.

 

By NATALIA HAWK

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You’re in a bit of a rut – feeling a bit frumpy, a bit unhealthy, and you want to get fit for summer – so you decide to start running.

You dig out your running shoes, you download a new running playlist and you put together a running schedule. You promise yourself that you will run three times per week, every single week.

Maybe by the end of the year you’ll be able to run a marathon! (Or, at the very least, a half-marathon…)

And then you miss a day of running and it all gets a bit hard. It’s dark and cold and you just don’t feel like moving your legs. Ever again.

Just as quickly as you fell onto the runner’s bandwagon, you fall off, and your runners are forgotten once again.

I have done the above approximately 127834290 times. I have promised myself that I will become a runner and then promptly given up on it all.

But I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just so sick of being my own worst enemy. This time, I plan to give it another go – and I plan to stick with it.

If you’re anything like me, here are the reasons why you should give running another try:

1. It’s AWESOME for your fitness.

Running is painful for a reason – it is literally the best kind of cardiovascular workout that you can do. Better Health Victoria explains that running can:

– Help to build strong bones, as it is a weight bearing exercise
– Strengthen muscles
– Improve cardiovascular fitness
– Burn plenty of kilojoules
– Help maintain a healthy weight.

And you know what? It’s easy, too. Unlike when you go to the gym, there’s no complicated routine to figure out, and no weird weight machines to try and remember how to use. You just run.

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Make a motivation wall! You know you want to. Image via pinterest
Make a motivation wall! You know you want to. Image via pinterest

2. You’ll be so incredibly proud of yourself.

If you start running when particularly unfit, it’s actually a really good thing – it just means that you’ll be so much prouder of yourself when you finally manage to run five kilometres, non-stop, while hardly feeling puffed. Make sure you track your progress (there are heaps of apps available for this) and reward yourself every time that you manage to achieve another goal. Put together an entire motivation wall for yourself, if you like. YOU ARE INVINCIBLE AND AMAZING.

3. Running bonds people.

Want to meet new people? Running is the way to do it. If you’ve moved to a new city, or you’re just keen to make some more friends, sign up to a running group near you. Everyone there is bound to be friendly – it’s all those exercise endorphins raging around their body – and you’ve got something to talk about, because you all have a common interest. RUNNING!

Parkrun is an awesome option (it’s a free, timed 5km run that happens in parks all over the world, every Saturday morning), as is Can Too, an organisation which trains you in exchange for you raising some money for charity.

4. It gives you an excuse to buy pretty running clothes.

There is some really nice workout gear out there at the moment. Also, you won’t feel guilty about wearing that workout gear out and about, because you’re actually going to be exercising at some point. You won’t be one of those people wearing stretchy leggings just for the sake of wearing stretchy leggings. (I have completely been one of those people.)

5. It’s a form of meditation.

Keen to get into meditation (it has awesome health benefits!) but not terribly keen on sitting still in a room, desperately trying to clear your mind of random thoughts? I have good news for you. Meditation can be WHATEVER you’d like it to be, as long as you focus on the task you’re doing and hold that focus for as long as possible.

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Running is excellent at clearing the mind – particularly if you do it at the beginning or at the end of the day.

6. It will make you want to be healthier.

As you become fitter and more toned, as you start seeing those muscles appear on your arms and legs… you’ll consciously start making better choices. You’ll start being the kind of person that says no to two scoops of Messina ice cream. You’ll go for the salad instead of the fries. You’ll make yourself breakfast smoothies in the morning. And you’ll hardly believe yourself, but you will keep doing it.

Nat at the Color Run
Nat at the Color Run

7. You can take part in some EPIC events.

There’s nothing like turning up to the Nike She Runs The Night 10km run and running the whole way, under disco balls and fairy lights, with thousands of other women. There’s nothing like smashing the City 2 Surf with a record time under your belt. There’s nothing like completing the Blackmores Bridge Run and getting to enjoy a delicious sausage sizzle afterwards.

Running opens up a world of possibilities in terms of fun runs that you can do with your friends – and these events also offer really good motivation to keeping training. Depending on what you like, you might like to try one of the novelty events (The Color Run, The Neon Run, The Mud Run) or one of the more grueling events (Tough Mudder!!!).

Oh, and most of the events give you a free t-shirt that you can then wear everywhere so that everyone knows you were awesome enough to do the event. That’s my favourite part.

Do you run? Why do you do it?       

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