Really. Seriously. I ran on the treadmill at Vital Fit Club on Monday, December 8 and then I didn’t run again until yesterday. And I didn’t even want to do yesterday’s run. I just wasn’t feeling it. At. All.
I did not want to get up off my duff, go all the way downstairs, search through my closet to find the 800 pieces of clothing I was going to need (it was cold-ish outside), take the 25 minutes it was going to take to get dressed in said layers, take the 25 minutes it was going to take to find all my running gear – headphones, gloves, hat, shoes, etc. to head out the door to spend 30 minutes running in the cold, wintry, miserably gray, damp day.
But I did.
And I am SO HAPPY I did. It was one of the best runs ever. And I am not even kidding. It felt great. All four miles. All 40 minutes and 24 seconds. I felt fantastic. It was AHHH-MAY-ZING!
(Photo credit: Confessions of a [former] Fat Girl)
With that in mind, I have to send out a HUGE thank you to my husband who unknowingly “made me” get out there and run even though I did not want to. And I have to send out a HUGE apology to him for being a grumpy, stupid head about it. We were having a very relaxing morning at home, doing nothing. And I mean nothing. We were on our devices – he was on his Kindle, I was on my iPad – laying in bed, drinking coffee, solving the problems of the world. Okay, we were just trying to figure out what to make for supper and what races to sign up for! But we can pretend we were solving the world’s problems, right?
And then all of a sudden, he decided it was time to get up and do something with our day. Looking back, I guess he was right considering it was noon. Yep. Noon. Actually, it was probably closer to noon-thirty! Yes, we do that occasionally. And I don’t feel bad for being what most would call lazy. It feels good to do that once in awhile! Trust me on this.
Anyway, he decided that he was going to go for a run. Well, if he was then I was. I couldn’t let him go and me not go, even though I didn’t want to go. Make sense?
So, out the door I went. And truthfully, it probably took me all of 10 minutes to get ready and head out the door. Not the over exaggerated time I thought it was going to take me. And once I got out there and took that very first step, I knew it was going to be good. The crisp, fresh air. It just felt good. Really good.
Why do I run? Especially when I don’t want to sometimes. I have many people ask me this question. All. The. Time. And to be perfectly honest, I have asked myself this question a time or two. And you know what, sometimes, I don’t have an answer. There is just something about running that unless you do it, it’s hard to explain. It’s therapeutic. It’s freeing. It’s a stress reliever. It’s just awesome. Many people don’t get running. Really, they don’t. Many think it’s bad for your knees, hard on your joints, hurts, bad for asthmatics, expensive, hard on your heart, and a plethora of other negatives.
In reality, there is much research out there that dispels these myths and explains the actual benefits of running. Okay, except maybe the expensive part. But, as with any sport/activity/hobby/passion, it can be as expensive – or inexpensive – as you want it to be.
BENEFITS OF RUNNING:
1. Improves your health. Running can actually raise your levels of good cholesterol while helping you increase your lung function and use. It can also boost your immune system. There are numerous other health benefits as well.
2. Help to prevent disease. Running can reduce the risk of having a stroke and/or heart attack. And it can help lower the risk of getting breast cancer.
3. Help you to lose weight. Despite the many myths that running makes you gain weight, research has proven that running is one of the best forms of exercise for losing or maintaining a consistent weight. It is the leading way to burn off extra calories and it is the second most effective exercise in terms of calories burned per minute. Cross country skiing is number one. (I will note, however, that if you still eat like crap, running is going to be useless. You have to change the way you eat, as well. Going to fast food restaurants every day isn’t going to help!)
4. Boost your confidence. Not all benefits of running are physical. Running can not only help to boost your confidence, it can also help to improve your self esteem.
5. Relieves stress and helps to eliminate depression. Research has shown that there are few things in the world that can better or more rapidly treat depression than exercise such as running. (I am not saying that you should try running before being seen by a doctor for depression. Depression is not something to mess with. It is real and if you have it, get the help you need!)
6. Strengthens your knees, joints and bones. Yes. This is true. Believe it. Running increases bone mass and even helps stem age-related bone loss. Science has proven that running actually improves the health of your knees!
7. Keeps you sharper, even as you age. Studies have shown that fitter, older adults scored better in mental tests than their unfit peers. Regular exercise, such as running, improves memory,language, thinking and judgment problems.
8. Adds years to your life. Even the minimum amount of physical activity, say 30 minutes of running five times per week, will help you live longer. How cool is that?
So, I will leave you with this:
(Image credit: Confession of a [former] Fat Girl)