Running Fuels Your Mind, Body and Soul

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Running is one of the most popular exercises around and for good reason.  Running fuels your mind, body and soul.  You can do it practically any time, anywhere.  Here are the top reasons to run.

Top 15 Reasons to Run

Reduce your risk of death

Lose or maintain your weight

Increase bone density

Protect your memory and combat age-related mental decline

Improve your ability to produce energy

Strengthen your heart

Improve your sleep quality

Relieve stress

Improve concentration and mood

Reduce blood pressure and cholesterol

Strengthen your legs and core

Improve your body image and self-confidence

Build mental toughness

To zone out or make friends

For that euphoric runner’s high

How to Start Running

The key to picking up running is to start small.  Build your habit slowly.  Even if you only run once a week, you will benefit greatly.  You can alternate periods of running and walking.  This will make it more do-able as well as reducing your risk of injury.  As your body adapts to your training, it will become easier.  Then you can add more miles or speed.

Once you have the hang of it, you can run for 30 minutes twice a week, and then a little longer on another non-consecutive day. Cross-train or rest the other days.

One easy way to make sure it happens is to sign up for a race.  Once that’s on the calendar, you will have a point of focus and your runs will all have a purpose.  A 5K (3.1 mile) fun run is a good place to start.  Plan on training for seven to eight weeks.  You need to build up your mileage and speed gradually. 

Like many new activities, running is an acquired taste.  If you don’t take to it immediately, don’t give up.  It gets better and better with time!

Safety Tips

Build up your mileage and speed gradually to avoid injury

Run against traffic

Always be aware of your surroundings

Stay hydrated

Warm up before your run, and stretch afterwards

Switch your running shoes every 300-500 miles

Bring edible fuel if running longer than an hour

How to Become an Even Better Runner

If you increase your overall fitness, you will become a better runner.  You can do this by cross-training and focusing on your nutrition, hydration and sleep.  You can also increase your mileage and speed gradually. 

Vary your workouts. Try to include hill work, interval training, speed drills/sprints, shorter and longer runs.  Take at least one rest day a week to recover. 

Generally speaking, the more running you do the better runner you’ll become.  But listen to your body, if you’re overdoing it you may need to cut back.  Getting injured would keep you from getting your running fix for an extended period of time!

Making Your Circle a Little Smaller or a Little Larger

I do my best thinking and soul-searching while I run.  It’s an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts in a non-stagnant way.  If you need to get away from it all, zone out or change your scenery, running is your answer.  It’s the mind-body connection at its best.

Running is also a great way to make friends.  You can interact with like-minded people in your community and run for a cause. 

Why Runners Should Cross-Train

Cross-training will improve your health and make you a better runner.  It will increase your athleticism, mobility and sense of wellness.  You will be less likely to get injured as you challenge your muscles in different ways.

The stronger your core, the better your running form.  The better your running form the easier it is to breathe.  Cross-training can help improve your core strength, balance and stability.

Resistance training two to three times a week is a great way to improve and enhance your running.  Your core and leg strength and endurance will get better.  You can learn to run more efficiently as well as targeting different muscle groups.

Run-Specific Exercises

Squats, speed skaters, jump squats, long jumps, bird dogs, lunges, heel raises and hops, planks and side planks, clamshells, side shuffles and burpees are some of the numerous exercises which can enhance your running.

Our Golden Home Fitness Personal Trainers can customize a running training program that’s just right for you.  We can help you get started, get you in peak condition for a race or anything in between. For your complimentary in-person or virtual Golden Home Fitness Personal Training session click here.

The Takeaway

Running provides a plethora of benefits including improved health, confidence, weight management and stress relief.  To start running, alternate short bouts of running with walking.  The key is to increase your mileage and speed slowly. 

Cross-training and focusing on nutrition, hydration and sleep will improve your running.  Both running alone and with others are great for the mind body connection.  If you cross-train as a runner, you are less likely to get injured.  You are also more likely to enjoy your runs. 

Exercises such as squats, speed skaters and bird dogs are beneficial for runners.  Running fuels your mind, body and soul.  Why not lace up your shoes and see where they take you today! 

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Healthline.com;  nytimes.com;  verywellfit.com;  active.com;  runningtrainingplan.com;  marathonhandbook.com

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