In earlier blogs I’ve talked about running as a fundamental part of my routine. I know that it isn’t a part of everybody’s fitness routines, but if you’re the type of person who would like to get into running or do a marathon one day, there are plenty of reasons that you should get started! If you need a little extra convincing (especially in these colder months), let me tell you some of the positives for what running can do for you and why it’s worth the time and effort that you put into it.
It’s common knowledge that aerobic exercises are good for your heart and blood pressure. As a result, they help to prevent related diseases such as heart attacks or stroke. Even running a mile a day can make a big difference. It can be good for strengthening joints and bones as well, and of course, losing or maintaining weight. As people get older, bone health becomes more and more important. Actually, being physically fit as you get older helps to improve cognitive functions. So if you want to stay sharp mentally, make sure to stay in shape physically.
Speaking of cognitive benefits, running (just like almost every other form of exercise) helps to reduce stress and studies have shown that 30 minutes of running or aerobic exercise can help to reduce depression symptoms. Whether that’s from your body producing certain chemicals that’ll lift your mood or because it’s an activity that’s somewhat similar to meditating or the combo of both, I don’t know. But aerobic exercise does boost brain function and help with memory, focus, multitasking, etc. And of course, there’s another unintended outcomes of exercising and feeling better about yourself physically—confidence.
For me, running ensures that my endurance is going to be solid when I’m boxing. It’s also how I like to start my days—running 5 miles before 5am—and at this point it’s more than just exercise, it’s a representation of my work ethic and mindset. I’ve been consistent with it for a while now. I also decided a few years ago that I’d run the marathon simply because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, even with certain setbacks. You definitely don’t have to do something big like a marathon; in fact, I wouldn’t really recommend it as your first big goal (unless that’s the type of thing that excites you), but running regularly has so many health benefits and anyone at any age or fitness level can do it. In fact, find a friend or a running group if you can! It’ll be fun and it’ll hold you accountable and consistent.