I may be a bit biased over here, but running is pretty great. I mean, so great that I write a blog about it, right? Besides the obvious reasons to run, like it’s good for your health (mental and physical), it makes you happier, and you get to wear cool sweat-resistant clothing, throughout my journey as a runner I’ve come across 5 other reasons why you should run.
Here it goes:
1. Run Clubs
I live in Charlotte, NC and in Charlotte, NC there is a different run club every single night. Just another reason why it’s my favorite city in the country. Let me give you a little taste of what it’s like to run in a run club. First, it’s not an actual “club.” You don’t have to sign up or pay dues or fund raise. You literally just show up and run. Sounds pretty basic, right? It’s so much more than that. The atmosphere is enthralling. Imagine, a large group of runners of all shapes, sizes, ages, fitness levels, coming together after a long day to pound the pavement together and then drink beer (if you chose) at the end. The energy is positive and uplifting and after getting in your share of endorphins, it’s serves as a social hour where you can meet new friends and converse with the old.
Don’t have a run club in your area? Start one!
And, if you live in Charlotte, stay tuned. I’m starting a run club with a couple friends… yes, another run club. But, I promise it’ll be so worth your time.
Interested in running with us or learning more about what it takes to start a run club? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay, that’s my only plug, I promise.
2. You can disconnect
Sometimes there’s no greater feeling than shutting everything down – work, life, that never ending to-do list – and spending time outdoors. What I love the most about running is it gives me an excuse to completely forget about everything that I have to do, respond to, that’s due the next day and it gives me time to simply think and be by myself.
Running is my time to shut off the dings and pings that seem to be a constant occurrence on my phone. It’s a time to reflect on the happy and the sad, to figure things out, and to plan and think about my future goals. It’s my “me” time – the only time I don’t feel guilty for not responding to those pings and dings on my phone.
Have you seen the Burt’s Bees documentary on Netflix yet? I think about it sometimes when I feel overwhelmed and overworked. The documentary takes a deeper look into Mr. Burt Shavitz’s, co-founder of the popular lip balm Burt’s Bees, life out in the mountains alone. To summarize Mr. Shavitz’s life in once sentence, read this quote:
“A good day is when no one shows up… and you don’t have to go anywhere.” I like that. That’s how I feel when I’m running alone.
And while running in a group has many positives, disconnecting and powering down technology has its many advantages, as well. Like, removing feelings of jealousy, missing out, and giving you solitude. Just to name a few.
3. You’ll sleep better
Who doesn’t love sleeping? Well, me. I’m not a big fan because there are so many other things I’d rather be doing… like writing this blog post, or running, or talking to my friends, or looking at Instagram, or thinking of all of the things I should be doing…
Sorry. I digress.
Sleep is so very important and I’ve found that because I run, I sleep much better.
But don’t just take my word for it. The National Sleep Foundation concluded the same thing:
A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.
That’s pretty cool, right?
And, if you want the best night’s sleep, Runner’s World suggests running in the morning based on a study that was conducted at Appalachian State University. The study concluded:
Compared to when [the participants had] done afternoon or evening workouts, they woke significantly fewer times during the night when they’d exercised at 7 a.m.
I can attest to this. Especially after running in the morning and then working a full day. I’m usually ready for bed by 8 AM.
4. It’s good for your brain
Back in the day, neurologists believed that we were basically “stuck” with a certain number of neurons and the inability to create more. However, a recent study has proved that’s no longer true. According to a Science of Us article, How Neuroscientists Explain the Mind-Clearing Magic of Running:
Studies in animal models have shown that new neurons are produced in the brain throughout the lifespan, and, so far, only one activity is known to trigger the birth of those new neurons: vigorous aerobic exercise, said Karen Postal, president of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. “That’s it,” she said. “That’s the only trigger that we know about.”
That’s it. Running is the only way to a healthy brain (I definitely just made that up, but I’m gonna roll with it anyways).
And, if that wasn’t cool enough. These neurons are created in the hippocampus, which is associated with learning and memory. So, if you want to improve your memory get out there and get running. Or you can continue to forget why you just walked into the kitchen. Your choice.
Running gives you an excuse to buy a new pair of sneaks every 400 or so miles. Come on. Need I say more?
Okay, I will. I take more pictures with my shoes than most people do with their dogs. It’s bordering on a problem.
Alright, that’s all I got for ya. If these 5 very important points don’t convince you to go for a run… all hope is lost for you. Sorry, my friend.
Just kidding! Sometimes it just takes time. Sometimes it’s an external motivator – a friend, a bad experience, a goal. Sometimes it comes from within. Whatever your reasoning for running is, stick to it. Don’t forget it. There will be times when running is awful. Like at run club a few weeks ago when I said, “I hate running.” And my friend responded with, “Well, good thing you don’t write a blog about it.” Sometimes, running isn’t fun and makes us feel angry feelings.