Exercising by running is gaining popularity all the time, and rightly so.
Most people start running because it is a great physical exercise for overall fitness and increased stamina, but there is a great mental advantage also which is often not recognized until people actually start running.
Especially for beginning runners, the exercise is very rewarding and empowering. When you decide to run, you purposely dedicate part of your day to improve yourself. As your body quickly adapts to your new demands on your muscles, you will notice quick results in your overall fitness levels. As this improvement is solely the result of your own sweat and discipline, most runners experience a big increase in self-confidence. After I started exercising myself, I was amazed at the improvements which motivated me to work harder on myself on different aspects also, which created a self-improvement loop.
Peace of mind
What is little known by non-runners, is that running in itself is a fantastic meditative exercise. A lot of stress in our lives is caused by spending too much time in our heads and not enough in our body. During running, your mind is fully focussed on your exercising body and has no time for worrying. After running you feel clear-headed and balanced, which results in you focussing on the more important things in your life.
Scientific research has repeatedly shown that during physical exercise, endorphins and dopamine are being released in your body, which results in an overall better mood and a much higher tolerance for stress. Running three times a week for 30 minutes can have the same results for depression-sufferers as taking anti-depressive medication.
A great way to start running is to join a running group, most communities have several on different levels. Pick one for starters and join up. The experience of running together and motivating each other is very rewarding. After all, we all like to help one another, and the act of ‘suffering’ a bit together for a good goal can create bonds for life.
It is easy to start running: all you need is a pair of shoes, some shorts and a T-shirt. Give it a try and you will be amazed at the results.