I grew up in an era when outdoor play was the typical way to fill a day. When we weren’t exploring, my brother and I used to set up running races on our street. I loved the feeling of freedom that running sparked within me.
During my school years, I followed in my brother’s footsteps and found a true love for track and field. It was thrilling to believe I could run like the wind. My confidence soared when my teachers nicknamed me the Roadrunner for my quick speed.
But when I became a teenager, my love for running faded. It wasn’t until I hit my 20s that I found my way inside a gym. I quickly remembered how good it felt to move and strengthen my body. But hopping on a treadmill and exercising inside simply didn’t compare to the fresh air and freedom I’d experienced from running outside.
That was nearly two decades ago, and while I do still enjoy indoor strength training and yoga, nothing compares to running outside in the fresh air. Here are five powerful reasons why running has strengthened my spirit over the years, and why I continue to take my exercise outside.