Running’s a miracle. I’ve always thought so. At least since I’ve read Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes. Did you know that humans are the best natural runners in the animal kingdom? True story. Better than horses, than cheetahs, than wolves… Once upon a time, though, when we actually knew how to run down our food. Now “running down food” means going to the nearest fast food joint. Of course, National Running Day should happen every day. Every. Day.
Benefits of Running:
Running isn’t just great physically—it uses all muscles in the body—but it’s an amazing emotional release as well. Here are a few of the benefits of running if you’re thinking of taking it up:
- Good for your body. Happy heart, happy joints, happy body. It’s also great for weight loss (if that’s your thing—but don’t base your running on losing weight; appreciate it for what it is). Plus, it can help prevent disease and cancer.
- Improves your mind. There are actually studies on exercise and mental acuity. I know this because my brother wrote a paper I edited correlating the two.
- Makes you happier. Running releases endorphins, but this is only the beginning…
- Gives you a place to think. It’s like meditating but without wasting time (or like meditating while multitasking). It unburdens your mind and gives you clarity.
- Reduces stress. And helps you deal with future stress. It’s like the miracle anxiety medication.
- Aids in relaxation. Physical and emotional relaxation. Those days I don’t run (Sundays) are always a little weird because I don’t release my pent up tension for the day.
- Diminishes Anxiety. Even better than a bubble bath, believe it or not.
And running is fun. The sense of accomplishment, the increased confidence. It’s fantastic. Or take a brisk walk. Either way, it can bring you emotional and physical joy.