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Refrain from Doing These 3 Things as You Begin Your Running Journey

Refrain from Doing These 3 Things as You Begin Your Running Journey

    The decision to become a runner can be very much like a New Year’s resolution. It is always made with the best of intentions but then withers away gradually as life’s many distractions get in the way. However, there are some distractions that one can consciously avoid which will prevent the withering of both your money, as well as your reasons for wanting to run.

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    1. Frivolous Spending on Running Apparels/Gadgets

    Some people make the commendable decision to start running. Instead of doing just that, they then channel their energy on what is the latest technology footwear or the foremost-advanced calorie-counting watch to buy. Such extravagant outlays not only put in doubt the true motivation for running (with obvious implications for its longer term sustainability), but are downright wasteful.

    Irrespective of the multi-billion dollar industry catering to his perceived needs, all a runner really needs is a pair of joggers which is not in tatters, an old T-shirt that you were planning to donate to charity and a genuine desire to also donate something worthwhile towards your own sense of well-being.

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    2. Subscribing to Running/Fitness Magazines

    For those who truly believe that being a runner requires so much more than just going out and putting one foot in front of the other, feel free to seek advice from appropriate sources. However, I urge you to think twice about paying good money subscribing to any of the running or fitness magazines out in the market. While most, if not all, of them do indeed provide sound tips, these are readily available on the Internet without costing you a cent.

    Furthermore, refraining from these publications allows you to distance yourself from the temptations of frivolous spending mentioned above—after all, who could resist those glossy advertisements featuring the latest Garmin GPS watch which can not only measure your pace in 16 different ways, but has enough computing firepower to launch you into space!

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    Most importantly, avoiding these well-intentioned magazines minimizes contact with influences which distract you from what running is at its core—a simple and natural act performed by man (and woman) since the dawn of time.

    3. Committing to Long Term Gym Membership Contracts

    Being a gym member is great for both general fitness and even social reasons. However, committing to an expensive long term membership contract so that you can begin running is akin to uprooting to Brazil so that you can begin learning Portuguese—admirable but not even close to being necessary.

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    There may be countless reasons to commence your journey as a runner in the gym e.g. treadmills are better for the knees, safer than being on the road, opportunity to cross-train, a motivating surrounding, etc. In reality, though, they are mere snippets of canned wisdom from those glossy magazines that I have already advised against subscribing to above. If you want to start running, just start running. Don’t complicate what is essentially a very primitive form of exercise by throwing your hard-earned dollars at it.

    Final Thoughts

    I’m not advocating a monk-like abstinence to the above-mentioned temptations when starting your runner’s journey. By all means, leaf through an occasional running magazine, browse the odd Nike catalogue and entertain some casual visits to the gym.

    However, keep this mind: running for joy usually begins with an innocent single step, motivated by an emotional yearning (health, solitude, mental clarity), and quietly builds from there. It rarely starts with a materialistic splurge, driven by superficial desires because, rather than building from there, it invariably descends into an “all form, no substance” chore. And as every passionate advocate knows, when it comes to running, substance trumps over form any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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