What are the benefits of running?

I have been running on and off for about three years now. Not until beginning of this year, that I decided to go full-time with running.  I started cutting down on weight training and gym. Not that I have anything against them, but I think I have had my share of it. Hence, one day  light bulb went on and I realized running was my calling. I have started to notice a lot of positives I have gained from running that has helped me and continues to do so in my day to day life.

These are my ten topmost benefits of running.

Sleep Better:

Sleep Better

I have had nights where I am twisting and turning in my bed.  And it directly impacted productivity. But now,  after a run every evening, I sleep sound and much better that night. There is no waking up in the middle of the night.

Understand my body:

I can say, I am starting to know my body much better now in terms of what are my strengths and weaknesses. Endurance training has helped me understand my limitations. Additionally, running Barefoot has given me that wholesome, oneness with the ground. With each foot forward, I focus more on my posture, gait and form and hence, I am able to apply corrective measures. Running without injuries is really fun.

Better focus:

Running has helped me become more focused. One of the benefits of running, I have noticed is that It has forced me to focus more on my breathing in every run. The in and out and the pace with which I breathe helps me understand the amount of effort and exertion I am putting while running.  Hence, I can control my runs better.  It is almost like meditation while running. The focus is on the present and that is all that matters.

Less stress:

stress

Running sometimes can be painful when doing those long distances, but in a strange way after every run, I feel relaxed. Sure, the legs are sore and throat is dry, but I feel rejuvenated. The feeling that I have accomplished something is the key in taking away all that stress.

Running is healing:

While running, I tend to pick an issue from my  list of items that is troubling me at the moment and I think about it while running. The whole idea is that with each breath, I am focusing on analyzing the issue that is bothering me and find out a solution. Sometimes, I succeed and sometimes I don’t. But at the end of the run, I have better grasp on the issue than it was before. It is almost like I am healed of my troubles at the end of my run.

More active:

Active Running
Active Running

Following a training plan like the ones in Nike+ app, or any other plans has made me more active. I plan my evening around it. I focus more on stretching for gaining flexibility and strengths on areas needed more for active running. In a way, I am out almost every evening running for at-least 5K.

Loose weight:

It has been the easiest and most healthiest way for me to loose weight. I am not skinny but am were I should be for my age and height. And hey no aversion to eating those pasta and tortilla and fueling myself with carbs.

Save money:

money

Running doesn’t cost a dime. All you need is a nice pair of shoes and even not those if you are planning to go all barefoot.  So you save your monthly $30-$40 on what you would probably spend on your gym membership which you might or might not use but still end up paying without fail every month

New friends:

Running can help you make new friends. There are plenty of running groups, meetup groups in and around your city. And running community is the best. You root for each other. Share tips for races, get to know about new races. An absolute benefits of running.

New places:

Running is never boring. There is always an opportunity to go on a different route- the one you have never ran before. More so, go on running on a trail in some place outside your city. It gives a perfect opportunity to discover new areas, trails, or hikes. Its a win win.

So why are you waiting or what are you waiting for? Go and run.

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