You probably know that running is good for your health, but have you wondered why it’s such a popular sport among many people? Perhaps you might not believe it, but aside from giving you a fit physique, running can also boost mindfulness, promote positive emotions, and drive you to succeed in other aspects of life, whether it’s work, family, or relationships.
That said, in this article we’ll count down the five major reasons why you should consider running as a sport to do, and how running gives you a better life and better mind with it. Pretty soon, you’ll be inspired to lace up those shoes and get out running!
1. Running gets you in physical shape.
Of course, this point comes as a no-brainer, but we cannot stress just how completely true this is. With minimal equipment and a pair of good legs, you can gain lean muscle, lower high blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Whether you are a sprinter or a long-distance runner, running is a simple sport that anyone can do: anytime and anywhere.
How does running do all of this? When you run, you apply pressure to your legs, feet, and joints and each stride tears muscle tissue in the process; however, this isn’t a bad sign, for when you stop running and allow your muscle tissue to repair, they come back stronger than ever. As a result, you gain muscle from it.
In addition, you deplete more oxygen reserves in your body while you run. Therefore, your body compensates by enhancing your cardiovascular system, so that it can send oxygen more quickly to the heart which will help you continue to run with less fatigue. Essentially, it strengthens the heart, which allows you to live a longer, healthier life.
2. Running relieves stress.
If you’ve ever finished a long, intense run, then you probably have felt not only exhausted, but also a sense of calm and happiness. Known as the “runner’s high,” this elated sensation that we get after running is caused by a combination of a couple of different chemicals in our body: endocannabinoids and the famous endorphins.
In a way, these are our body’s natural painkillers, which help take away the pain when we run, thereby allowing us to push forward.
Furthermore, these natural chemicals that our body produce trigger feelings of calmness, even those of invincibility, especially if you had just completed a long, grueling marathon. It’s the ultimate de-stressor, and it’s no wonder that so many people choose to run to let off some steam after a stressful day at work. Perhaps that’s a reason to hit the concrete!
3. Running makes you more outgoing and sociable.
At first, you might see running as a solitary sport, something that you can do alone and on your own time. While that’s true, what’s also true is that running can bring together a group of like-minded people in a community, which as a result can establish comradery and wonderful lasting friendships.
From joining a running club to meeting locals in a regional 5K race, there are plenty of opportunities to find people to spend time with, which over time will make you a more outgoing and sociable person.
Even if you don’t join running clubs or participate in 5K races, you still pass by people on your runs from time to time. Whether they’re your neighbors or regulars at the gym, it’s natural to say “hello” and even stop for a quick chat before the workout.
In essence, it’s not just about being physically fit or achieving that runner’s high for de-stressing, but it’s also about establishing relationships with others whom you can rely on to have your back: in races and in real-life situations!
4. Running motivates you.
Especially if you run regularly, then you know how important it is to have a set schedule for your workouts, so you can maximize the physical and mental health benefits from doing, particularly if you tend to run early in the morning before work: not only does a good run perk you up, but it also makes it easier for you to get ready with the rest of the day!
Besides giving you a nice routine to fall back on, running also motivates you to not give up in other aspects of life, from finishing that work assignment to achieving your dreams. All of those motivational quotes you see about running didn’t just come from thin air: they came from those who, like you, run for a healthy body and a healthy mind, which in the end makes it all the more inspirational.
5. Running gives you a passion.
Similar to #4, running does motivate you, but even further gives you a hobby that you can enjoy doing for your entire life. Over time, it might even become a passion, which drives you to keep pushing yourself to be not just a good runner, but also overall a good person.
Running teaches you not to quit when the going gets tough, which when followed can lead you to achieve your PR or win that medal in the next race. In addition, it indirectly pushes you to have goals and ambitions which you can work towards and, with a dedicated mind, you can achieve it in the end. It doesn’t hurt to try!
That said, compared with other sports such as football or cycling, running doesn’t require a lot of equipment to be successful at it. In fact, with just a pair of good running shoes and a determined state of mind, you can easily go out and run well.
Besides getting you into good, physical shape, running is also good for improving the mind, whether in terms of emotional stability, social skills, or passion. There’s so much potential that can happen when you run, and it’s just a matter of making that move to do so.
With that said, happy running!