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15 Reasons Why You Should Start Running and Not Put It Off Anymore

15 Reasons Why You Should Start Running and Not Put It Off Anymore

I once thought I had an aversion to running.  It was the summer going into my freshman year of college when I diagnosed myself being allergic to running.  I was on the basketball team and every year before we started official practice all of the players had to run a mile in a qualifying time set by the coaching staff.  The guards, which I was one of them,  had to run a mile under five minutes and thirty seconds.  At first glance this seemed doable, until I attempted it.  I failed my first attempt coming in at six minutes and twenty seven seconds.  The worst part was that if you didn’t qualify, you had to attempt it for the next four weeks every Friday.

I dreaded the next four Fridays.  After failing to make the cut five weeks in a row, running was something I put off at all costs.

It was years before I laced up my running shoes and headed out the door for a run again, however, when I changed my perspective about running and focused on all of the potential benefits of running rather than focusing on an outcome (like trying to run a mile in under five minutes and thirty seconds) I actually fell in love with running.

Now, I run three to four times a week and absolutely love it.

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Running can and should be a staple in your health and wellness.  Here are 15 awesome reasons why:

1. It’s free

Running is one of the few exercises that don’t require any equipment or gym membership is running. You can run anywhere, for free.

2. Make some new friends

Running has become a trendy physical activity that is not only good for your physical health, but serves as a bridge to meet other like minded individuals and possible life long friends.  Along the way, joining a running club you’ll bump into experienced runners who can offer you great advice on all things running like nutrition, running form and recovery.

3. Stress-buster

Running bumps up your production of “feel good” neurotransmitters, endorphins.  This is the “runners high” you may have heard of which leaves you with a calm, optimistic and balanced mindset.

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4. Inspire

As you get more consistent in your running, people will notice.  They’ll start asking you why you have so much energy or how you managed to shed 12 pounds.  You’ll soon have a platform to share your joy of running with others, and more likely than not, inspire them to take up running themselves.

5. Put the cash back in your pocket

Since you won’t be paying a gym membership to enjoy all the benefits of running, you’ll be putting away about $360 a year!

6. Meditation in motion

As you increase endorphin levels during your run, you’ll calm your mind and start focusing on the one task at hand, to run.  You’ll soon enter a state where the daily irritations that commonly drag you down, are merely events that will soon pass, rather than defining moments in your life.

7. Stay mentally sharp

Running boost your overall brain power so you can function at peak levels throughout the day.  There are two key brain chemicals released when you run that keep you mentally sharp; dopamine, which increases learning and attention capacity;  norepinephrine,which influences motivation and arousal.

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8. Live longer 

By keeping a moderate running schedule,you’ll not only keep a lean body you’ll also increase your longevity 

9. It only takes 5 minutes a day

If you’re not a natural born runner, it’s all good.  You don’t have to start out running marathons.  In fact, all it takes is five minutes a day.  The Journal of the American College of Cardiology demonstrates that just five minutes a day of running significantly reduces the risk of you dying prematurely.

10. Fire up your metabolism

By running consistently, you will bulletproof yourself from a slow, crawling metabolism.  You’ll be influencing lean muscle mass gain throughout your legs and core by keeping a running schedule.    As you age or physical activity declines or both, your lean body mass declines as well.  This is the leading cause in a slowed metabolism leading to fat gain.

11. Your knees are going to be OK

Contrary to what you might have heard, running won’t kill your knees.  In fact a moderate running schedule can be good for you joints.  Additionally, having a basic understanding of good running form will help prevent any kind of injury.

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12. Gear up

Running and fashion are no longer two separate identities.  It’s stylish to wear your running gear to lunch or to meet up for green tea with a friend.

13. Regulate your bowel movements

Dealing with constipation?  Running can help.  By raising your heart rate and blood flow with running, you’ll simultaneously contract your intestinal muscles without even realizing it.  This action in return will help move stools quickly and efficiently. 

14. Turn it up!

Music, particularly with a strong bass and an upbeat pace, makes you feel strong and confident.  It pumps you up. This study by University of Northwestern proves that music can make you feel invincible.  What better way to take all of this positive energy and go out for a run?

15. Get lean and sexy

Last, but certainly not least, by running you can slim down, burn the fat and look incredible.  Consistent runners who pair their physical activity with a balanced diet that consists of whole foods, always maintain a low body fat percentage.

Featured photo credit: http://depositphotos.com/portfolio-2069237.html via depositphotos.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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