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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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