Most people fall into two camps — they either love running, or hate it with a passion. Whichever type you are, the following reasons are why I run and why I think you should give it a shot. By the end of the list, I hope you can put yourself in a new category: Either you’re going for a run in the next five minutes — or you’ll go in the next hour (maybe after your food settles).
1. You can do it anywhere.
Running can be done anywhere — and that is no exaggeration. Wherever you are or whatever you are doing, you can just start running!
2. It’s free!
It doesn’t cost a penny to run. You most likely have items in your wardrobe that are suitable for running. It doesn’t take much: something that covers your body so you don’t get in trouble for indecent exposure, some clean socks, and a decent pair of sneakers.
3. You will be healthier.
Adding running to your life will make you healthier. It can lower your blood pressure, increase blood flow, increase your metabolism, and increase your endurance, just to name a few health benefits. Not to mention that starting a healthy running habit naturally increases the chance that other healthy habits will sneak into your life.
4. Running is a good excuse to eat carbs.
To get your muscles revving, you need carbohydrates. Running gives you an excuse to indulge in some healthy carbohydrates! I am not suggesting you stuff your face with unhealthy food, but healthy carb options will give you the ability to run farther! Some great options for right before a run are fruit or oatmeal. If I am fueling for a longer run, I like sweet potatoes, lasagna made from root vegetables, or quinoa.
5. Your skin will glow.
Sweating is the body’s way to cool down and release toxins in the process. Eliminating toxins from the body can give your skin a healthy glow.
6. Running builds confidence.
When you run, you’re taking control of your health and your future. You’re putting yourself first. Once you get into a routine, you’ll start feeling more confident and will likely inspire some new runners!
7. You become one with your city.
As mentioned above, running around your city or neighborhood can make you feel more connected. You can run by that store you have been meaning to check out and do some quick window shopping. You can be inspired by the local businesses and their delicious smells. You’re taking the time to appreciate your surroundings.
8. You get to buy new shoes. (Not like you needed an excuse.)
I think it is safe to say that most of us like to buy new shoes. Use a new pair of kicks as motivation to get good use out of them! Your feet and knees will appreciate a well-fitting pair of sneakers; it can be like night and day when it comes to your shoes and running! Adidas has great options for different price ranges and styles. They take what your foot needs for a comfortable run into consideration without sacrificing style. Gift yourself a pair of bright, trendy kicks when you complete a mileage goal!
9. It’s an excuse to blast your favorite music.
This is your chance to play whatever music you want. One of my secrets for staying on pace is keeping my music upbeat — hearing a quick tempo makes me go faster than hearing a slow song would.
10. You’ll feel free.
Your run is yours. It isn’t anyone else’s. The run gives you the ability to do exactly what you want and be one with it. Feeling the wind blowing in your face offers a sense of freedom that surrounds your entire body. It is amazing what the open air can do to revitalize the mind and body.
11. Running increases stamina — in many departments.
I will let you use your imagination a little bit on this one! Some specific times it helps are when you’re playing with your children, walking up and down stairs, or doing yard work, just to name a few.
12. You will be one with nature.
Running outside is a wonderful way to reconnect with the great outdoors. During a run I like to observe my surroundings. I notice things I don’t normally notice while driving in my car. It makes me feel more connected to my neighborhood and city.
13. Running provides a sense of accomplishment.
It has a beginning and an end. Starting something from the beginning and seeing it through to the end is an accomplishment. Big or small — you did it and should be proud!
14. You will discover new places.
You don’t necessarily have to run indoors or run along busy streets and trails. Let your mood carry you. If an alley looks interesting, take a turn down there, if there is a nice park over to the left, go check it out. If you see someone running a different way than you, check out their route.
15. You have the opportunity to give back.
Join a charity run. While it may seem odd to pay to run, your payment goes to someone who needs it. It is a great feeling to give back. The bonus is, you get a great run in as well. Running with hundreds of people surrounding you is a great motivator and inspiration to keep up your hard work!
Photo courtesy of Imeh Akpanudosen for Getty Images