Running – love it or loathe it, it’s good for you and you know it. But aside from being a great cardio workout, it is actually a really great workout for your mental wellbeing. Running can give you the kind of clarity that no other exercise can, it can clear your mind, relieve stress and help your overall mental clarity – which should always be the most important thing.
The feeling of putting on your running shoes, stepping outside and setting foot to the pavement with nothing but you and the fresh air can feel intoxicating. You start running, your breath gets a little heavier, you start to warm up and you can feel the cool air against your warm skin. You feel free, you feel awake and you feel alive. Running can be a sort of meditation. Get into the zone and focus on your breath and the ground beneath you and it’s pretty much the same.
Now, from personal experience I can tell you that running wasn’t something that came naturally to me, I didn’t wake up one day and decide that I could run 10 kilometers. In fact, when I first thought of running I could think of nothing worse, who wants to just run?
Every time I tried, it was hard, every time I began to run the only thing I could think about was how much I hated it. I could feel every footstep as it hit the ground and I just wanted to stop, and to be honest most times I did, I gave up and turned around.
But, what I can also tell you, is that it does get easier, and you can, like everything else learn. Learn to run. It can be the most freeing thing you can ever teach yourself, it can give you mental clarity, it’ll clear your mind, decrease your stresses, help you to sleep better and overall make you feel happier.
Why is clarity important?
Have you ever woken up and felt foggy? You can’t think clearly, you haven’t been sleeping and things just seem a little off. Clarity is that feeling where your mind is clear, your thoughts are more positive and overall things just seem to go your way a little more. It’s because thinking clearly pushes aside negative thoughts, it will boost your self-esteem and we all know that when we feel good, we look good, and we make better choices.
Okay, but how do I get to that point?
It takes time, it won’t happen immediately but trust me when I say persistence pays off. You need to push yourself but the reward is worth the effort. If the thought of doing it on your own terrifies you there are plenty of ways to get the motivation you need to get started. Think of it as a commitment to yourself, just like you wouldn’t let someone else down, don’t let yourself down.
Grab a mate who runs or wants to start and you can push each other to be better, challenge each other and work together to reach your goals. Or if you have a gym membership see if they do a running club, make yourself accountable – you don’t want to let the team down. And, being surrounded by others who share a common goal will.
Nike+ Run Club
The OG of running apps, get started with your own personal coach or motivate yourself to run further by competing and comparing your times with other Nike runners and track your progress with a detailed log of all your activity while you’re using the app. As well as your own nike running coach in your ear it syncs up with spotify and selects songs that match your running speed.
And if that isn’t enough, get yourself some new kit. Ditch your old and worn runners for some new ones, buy some new crops and leggings and feel the part. Fake till you make it. Running is definitely a form of meditation, after a good run you’ll feel energized, de-stressed, positive and you’ll start thinking more clearly, your mood will be up and you’ll make smarter choices for your health, and you’ll sleep better. So what’s stopping you?
Lets run baby!