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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 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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