Find your running mojoThe act of running brings with it numerous benefits, to both our bodies and our minds. Regular exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system and heart, & recent studies have shown that running regularly can reduce the symptoms of issues such as stress, anxiety and even depression as effectively as medication or therapy.
However many of us struggle to find enjoyment in running. So we’ve compiled a list of methods to help you to find the joy in running, so you can gain all the benefits without feeling like you’re completing a chore.
1) Run Your Way
Don’t just stick to the norm. Whether that means running along to techno music or an audiobook, or even without headphones, control the experience to meet your needs. That also applies to where you run. If you find pounding the pavements boring, try parks, trails or beaches. Find places that inspire you.
2) Seek Water
Speaking of beaches, running beside or near water has been said to have multiple physical and mental benefits. Research suggests that the clean air and calm environment by water is beneficial to runners and can improve the quality of your run. So if you have a local lake or beach, give a run around it a try and see if you feel the effects.
3) Be Social
If you feel yourself becoming uninspired or in a rut, try finding a running buddy. Running with someone else can be a really good motivator and social outlet, reducing boredom on long runs and helping to drive you forward when you’re tired. If you want to be social but can’t find or don’t want a running buddy, apps like Strava have great little communities that allow runners to communicate and share stories or advice.
4) Feel the Love
Appreciate running for what it is and what it means to you. Think of all the benefits you find from running and why you got into it in the first place. Whether it’s the peacefulness, the alone time, the time to unplug your brain or the time to brainstorm, remember it and appreciate it while you’re running. And don’t be afraid to smile. Studies suggest that smiling during a run lowers oxygen consumption and lowers the runner’s perception of effort.
5) Train for a Race
The act of preparing for a race that we previously thought beyond our wildest dreams is a challenging, but incomparably rewarding experience. Targeting a distance we don’t think we’re capable of can unleash the runner you never knew was inside of you. Every time you make progress on your journey, you’ll feel your brain release the reward chemical dopamine. Use this, and the thought of how good it will feel to cross the finishing line, as motivation and you’ll be flying.