When I started running, I didn’t expect the number of benefits that it would have on my life.
Running on a high level seems so simple. You put your shoes on and run.
There’s not much to it than that, right?
Well, along with running, I learned to gain confidence in parts of my life that I didn’t even know were there. Running helped me find parts of myself that I didn’t even know existed.
Running starts to serve as a tool for many parts of my life and I can take it with me no matter where I go.
Distances Won’t Seem As Far
When you start to run, a 2-mile walk doesn’t seem as dreadful as it used to be. You’ll start to know what an average walking pace is and you will start to look at 2 miles as just a 30–40 minute walk.
It’s nice to know that if your car broke down and you were 4 miles away from a gas station, you could run there.
At my last job, I used to run to my office and home as a form of commuting.
The ability to not need a car made me feel a lot more secure in my life. If something happened to my car, I wouldn’t have to immediately scramble and think that I wouldn’t be able to go to work and my whole life would be in disarray.
The Runners High
Nothing feels quite like a good runner's high after a great run. The definition of a runner's high is a euphoric feeling after intense exercise.
Every day that I have had a great run becomes a better day mentally.
Running isn’t some magic bullet that will cure all your problems but even if it makes your day just 10% better, that’s a great return on investment over a long period of time.
You Will Feel Better
If you run long enough and consistently enough over a long enough time scale, you are bound to see some changes in your body composition.
Your body image with become better and make you feel more confident in the world.
There’s more to exercise than to look good. When you are in great shape, you also feel safer in the world. Your subconscious mind knows that you are ready for things to change suddenly because you have been training your body to be ready for those changes.
There are tons of running events everywhere. Whether you are training for your first 5K or trying to run an ultra marathon, there is a goal that will be there for you.
Studies show that people who set ambitious goals (that are also achievable) gain more self-confidence and a better view of themselves.
I know for myself that I will always set a race goal for myself. Even as I get older and can no longer make the times I used to, I will set a goal to reach a certain percentile in my age group.
With running, there are always ways to reframe your goals to make yourself better.
You Get Outside
One of the reasons I love running is that it gives me an opportunity to get outside almost every day.
It’s no secret that getting outside is good for your mental health.
Running gives you an opportunity to breathe some fresh air and get outside and explore the area you live in.
You’ll Gain A Better Sense Of Direction
When I mean you’ll gain a better sense of direction, I mean this quite literally. One of the first things I do, when I travel to a new area, is go on a run. Why?
I get to run through areas and see what the town is like.
Running for me is a lot different than driving a car. When you drive, you have to pay attention to the road, and being in the bubble of the car doesn’t seem to encode in memory quite as well as a single run does.
It feels great to know where I’m going and not have to rely on GPS. It makes me feel more self-reliant.
Running can impact tons of areas of your life that you didn’t think you needed to have an impact on.
Even if running marginally improves any of these areas of your life, that’s a win. Most of life is lived in the margins and the subtle changes that we experience make the biggest difference of all.