Why I run.
Up until two years, running was work, running was excercise, running was hard ... and I practiced it religiously rain or shine, sore or blistered- I was on the track. It become something I NEEDED to do. Similar to caffeine addicts, if I don't get my morning run in, I feel uneasy, sluggish and not myself. Training for the Marathon helped me see running differently, I learned the benefit of a rest day, the importance speed work and the therapeutic benefit of a long slow run.
My knee is still sore from Saturday's killer run, but after an emotional night with my "complicated" relationship, I needed to get on the road. Without an ipod and before the city got to loud, I headed out for a quick run that turned into a 10 mile run. There's something special about being alone with your thoughts, without any distractions and the space to clear you mind or work out any confusions. I felt like thoughts and emotions were bouncing around in my head but with every mile, with every step, those thoughts fell into place. I don't think my problems were solved in that hour run but it helped ease my mind and psyche. Running is a great workout but it also has perks like stress relief and a great therapy session. Who needs Zoloft?
*Running (or any kind of exercise) stimulates the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and beta-endorphin, all of which elevate mood and reduce depression and anxiety. You might know endorphins as the "feel-good" hormones of the body.
*Running can help you shed as many as 100 calories per mile and aids in lowering your blood pressure by making sure the arteries stay nice and elastic.
*Running also slows down the hands of time a little, as it relates to your aging process -- regular runners are less likely to have bone and muscle loss.
*Getting out and talking with others while you run or walk can help change your thoughts and give you a different perspective on how you choose to deal with anger, grief, or trauma.
*Psychologically, running gives you a set amount of time to be alone with your thoughts. If you're able to use this to your advantage, you can use that time to get your brain around an issue at the office or the problem with your significant other.
That's why I run.
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