Reasons to Run

“Ew!  Running?” are most people’s reactions toward anyone who runs.  I used to run track and cross country during my middle school and high school days, and I’ve come to learn a couple of things:

Running is good for your body and your mind, extreme emphasis on the mind!  Not only does running get your blood flowing and keeps you in shape, but it’s also really healthy for your brain.  I struggle with anxiety and one thing I’ve noticed is when I stop running for a couple of days, my anxiety is noticeably worse.  No, you don’t have to run every single day, but running frequently will significantly improve your mental health.

You may have heard about the term runner’s high.  Runner’s highs are an amazing feeling one gets either during or after running due to the amount of effort your body is putting in.  The more you physically push yourself, your body eventually releases norepinephrine which is a chemical in the brain that helps you moderate your stress levels.  With my experience, going for a run, especially during a stressful time, helps you take your mind off of everything.  It’s even more beneficial if you run in a scenic place! The amount of exertion on your body distracts your mind from overthinking, bad thoughts, etc.  Or sometimes it will help you find solutions to your problems! If you go on a long run it gives you time to just be with yourself and think things through because it’s just you and the open road, no phone, no distractions.  Not to mention it is scientifically proven that running helps one’s mental health.

At first, running is definitely difficult, it’s very hard to get into shape for running, but it’s the personal progress that counts!  Once you start becoming better and better, running also becomes very addictive in a way. Some people I know have reported having a better day after going for a run.  Yes, it is difficult but you can start by slowly making your way up. It also teaches you how to set goals, and once you reach them you begin to feel really good about yourself!  In my opinion, it’s very exciting to see what your body can do and look back on all of your progress and see how much you’ve accomplished.

My last point is, if you have trouble with mental health and nothing else seems to be working, even medicine, running can help.  At least for people with anxiety, depression, etc. I am not sure about other mental health disorders. I highly recommend running, and if you’re having trouble with staying motivated, invite a friend to be your running buddy!  That’s how I started out, cross country practice after school every day gave me a chance to catch up with my friends on our long runs. Running can be social if you want it to be! Overall, there are so many benefits to running and I suggest it if you want to better your life in a great way.