If you are looking to take up a new form of exercise, or are just looking for a way to boost your cardio and increase your heart rate, running may be the answer.
Like all exercise, it’s not right for everyone, and may not be your thing, but if you give it a try, here’s what you can expect:
- You gain more confidence – You might start running for the physical benefits, such as getting fit, improving endurance or losing weight, but you will keep running for the confidence boost. When you start running you feel better about yourself physically for the effort and work you are doing in taking care of yourself, and this translates to improved confidence. It might be improved self-confidence, or it might be improved confidence in your ability to do things that you once thought you couldn’t or that you once thought were hard. Whatever the case, you will notice your confidence change as you run more, and chances are, you’ll like what you see.
- You eat better – On the days that you start with exercise, eating a healthy breakfast afterwards to refuel, and then head out the door, all ready for work by 8 am, you feel really great. So much so, that later on, when you get to the office and you see the cake in the staff room mid morning, celebrating somebody’s birthday, you suddenly find yourself turning it down. Exercising early in the day makes you eat better because you don’t want to sabotage the work you did early on and make it be all for nothing. Plus, you know that making bad food choices makes you feel unwell and that is the complete opposite of what you are trying to achieve from running.
- You have less stress – Running is a great way to improve your mental state of mind. It allows you to de-stress from work, have a break from the chaos of home with your kids and family, and gives you some amazing thinking time. Whether you have something specific that you are worrying about or that is bothering you, or you simply need some time to not have to have any thoughts at all, running is the answer.
- You develop a routine – If you have ever heard of run streaking, you are likely familiar with how impactful running can be in driving a routine and helping to create a habit. Run streaking is running every day for a specific – determined or indeterminate – number of days. Once you start and get into a running routine, it is a great motivator to help push you towards developing habit and routine in other areas of your life, such as healthy eating.
- You have more energy – It may seem like running would deplete your energy and leave you feeling fatigued and ready for a nap, but most people experience the opposite: going for a run, increasing your heart rate and getting some fresh air does a great job at boosting your energy. In fact, if you are tired or lethargic, it might be a great time to go for a run! You will be pleasantly surprised to finish refreshed and with more energy than you started with.
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH – Viand Nutrition