Running isn’t just simply a sport, it is so much more than that. Whilst the actual motion itself is relatively straight forward, the ways in which the sport helps us can be quite complex. Whether you are a competitive runner or enjoy running recreationally, there is plenty to thank the sport for.
Clears your mind.
We all have those days where your brain and mind can seem like a blur. It can be difficult to concentrate on whatever it is you have ahead of you that day. Nothing seems to fix it as well as a run. Whether that be a session or an easy run, getting outside and running, can have a magical affect. If you haven’t tried running to help clear your head, you would be surprised at how powerful it can be. I know, my mind can be wandering off in all sorts of directions, worrying about things completely out of my control or in the distant future, and by the time I’ve completed by training, the worries don’t seem quite as big as they were. Running has a powerful way of putting things into perspective. It allows you to filter out the unnecessary stresses and focus on what actually matters. More often than not, I return from a run and have actually forgotten what was playing on my mind.
Another powerful thing running provides you with is a sense of direction. Whatever else is going on in life, every time you step outside and get your training done, you feel like you are taking a step forward. This sense of daily achievement and progress allows you to feel like life is going in a positive way. When I was finding the stresses and pressures of life weighing me down, running gave me the direction I needed to move forward. It allowed me to get out of the dark place I was in as I had something I wanted to succeed at, and this drove me each day to think more positively and act constructively. The drive I had to give my all in running and prove to myself that I could be a strong runner, reminded me of the importance of correcting my behaviour and not letting it get destructive. Some believe running can be destructive, and yes it can be, but it can also help reverse destructive behaviour by giving you something to be healthy for.
In society, pre coronavirus, once you have left university (or even at university) it can be difficult to meet new people outside of work, especially if you aren’t massively into going to bars and clubs. Getting into running brings such a large sense of community. Whether you join a club, or link up with other runners you see out and about, there is an immediate connection that forms between you. Runners are like runners, we have similar interests and tend to be quite like-minded. Some of my best friends I have met through running, simply because we understand one another so well and we are understanding of the ‘runners lifestyle’.
One of the biggest problems facing us today, is inactivity. Plenty of people go to work and come home without doing any form of exercise. Especially when many of us are working from home and the only form of necessary movement is from your room to the kitchen. Without even realising, you are getting minimal exercise, which not only affects your physical health, but your mental health. As a result, this is likely to affect your productivity and focus at work. Getting some fresh air, whether that be before or after work, will improve how you are feeling and consequently working.
One of the most obvious benefits of running is its ability to improve your fitness. Whether you are embarking on a couch to 5k programme or trying to progress as a competitive athlete, running helps improve your fitness. Observing your progression can be extremely rewarding and give you a target to focus on and work towards.
So, running can help us in many different ways, not just by improving our fitness. It can help different people for different reasons, but for many it gives us something to get up in the morning for and turn up to day in and day out.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!