Reasons to Run (That have nothing to do with loosing weight)

It’s no secret that I love running.  I dedicate a lot of time and energy to it.  But even I can forget during training just why I’m putting my body through 40 or more miles a week.  Of course, there are the physical fitness reasons why running is great.  Cardiovascular health, breathing, weight loss (though this isn’t always the case), these are all great and obviously worth pursuing.

But there are so many more reasons besides just the obvious physical reasons to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement, trails or that random dusty road.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Learn How to Be By Yourself

Sometimes its hard in our world of constant activity and connection to have any moment to ourselves.  When you are a parent, I can only imagine that it’s worse.  Running is a moment that we can take to ourselves.  It is shocking how hard it is when you start running to learn how to be alone with your own mind.  I highly recommend it!

Being with a Great Community

The total opposite of learning to be with yourself is the community that comes with running.  Yes, running is a solitary sport for the most part but runners tend to be the happiest, most supportive group of people that I have ever come across.  Maybe it’s the endorphins.  Maybe its the fact that running is about intentional suffering, so everything else just seems peachy.  Maybe its because everyone was new to running at some point no matter where they are now.  Whatever it is, you will never find a more supportive and encouraging group of people then your fellow runners.

Learning Goal Setting

Goals.  We knew about them in school, we know about them as deadlines at work but one of the big things about becoming an adult, I’ve found, is learning how to set our own personal goals.  And there is nothing better than reaching a goal to boost your confidence.  Running is full of goals, for the most beginner or us all the way to the most experienced.  Regardless of if it is running your first 5k or your first Ultramarathon.  Learning how to set your own goals and build up to something great is not only satisfying but extremely important for your mental health.

Boost Your Confidence

This sort of goes with the last one but running does wonders to boost your confidence.  When I tell people that I ran a marathon runner, they look at me like I am either crazy or like I am superhuman!  And maybe its a little bit of both!  But really it’s about putting your mind to something and doing it.  And when you get to the end of working for something so hard, dedicating hours and hours to it, giving up Friday nights so that you can be out on the trail at 5 am, you should feel proud!  You should feel confident.  

Sweating is Great For Your Skin

Okay, so this one might be physical and a little bit health related but lets be real.  Who doesn’t want better skin.  Sweating opens up your pores and gets all of those toxians out.  It gives you a glow that is hard to get any other way.  Not only that but getting out and under the sun will give you some much needed vitimin d.

Decrease Stress

I don’t know what I would have done this year if it weren’t for a few things.  My family, friends, and puppy have been over the top supportive but more then anything I had to learn how to really really deal with my own thoughts.  But as the miles roll by, it gets easier and easier.  I pump myself up.  I know that no matter what running is always there for me.  When I started to feel anxious I would lace up my racing flats and take off.  I jokingly called it “Running away from my problems” but really I was centering myself, finding an outlet for my stress.  The endorphins and dopamine is something that a lot of people might get from binge drinking or doing drugs.

But I got all of that from running.

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There is a time in our lives when we figure out that we are adults. When that time is...we sometimes don't know. Even at 32. I'm just a young woman trying to restart and learn how to live as an adult after years of just making ends meet. Coming out of a divorce was something horrid for Erika, but opening up to my authentic self and finding joy in the things I love has been a huge step forward. Becoming an adult isn't about the age you are at, but being comfortable in what you do, what you love and who you are.

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