I never in a million years would imagine me saying what I’m about to say, but:
I ENJOY RUNNING!
There was a time when the very thought of running was frightening. Back in high school, when we would have to run two and a half miles during P.E., I would do everything in my power to get out of it. I hated running! Having to push my body to exhaustion was not something I wanted to do.
After my diabetes scare, I decided to push myself beyond my limit and give the gym a try. I joined one of my local gyms, and my initial visit there was intimidating. I was even more nervous about using the machines because it was my first time in a gym. I took my time, walked around the gym, getting familiar with the place. I worked my way to the treadmill, and on that day, I told myself that I would eventually love running.
(Five years later)
I wake up, freshen up, put on my exercise clothes, put my shoes on, grab my phone and headphones, and head out of the door. As the humid air engulfs me, I take a few deep breathes before I turn on my music and prep myself for the run that was about to take place.
With the music blasting in my ears, I take off on my run. The beginning of the run is always the easiest, but it doesn’t take long before my breath begins to quicken. Breathe in, breathe out; I steady my breath as my feet continue to pound the pavement. As thirty minutes passes by, I reach the end of my run, I let out a massive sigh of relief and give myself a little pat on the back. “I did it!” I say quietly to myself.
Before I venture off on runs, I usually set a time for myself. On that particular day, in the short story above, I challenged myself to run for thirty minutes. Was it easy? Nope! It was a challenge, but I pushed through. I’ve concluded that if I can physically push myself beyond my limits through exercise, I can do it in other areas of my life and yield exciting results.
Running is therapy.
When I’m stressed, I run.
When I’m depressed, I run.
When I feel overwhelmed, I run.
Running, alongside praying and journaling, has to be my favorite combination to get me back in the right headspace.
The benefits of walking/running
Words cannot explain how thankful I am for sticking to my goal of running for more extended periods. Am I perfect? No! But one thing for sure is that I’m getting better at it every single day.
The benefits of running, even walking if you’re not quite ready to run yet, are:
- reduced stress
- clearer mind
- weight management / weight loss
- better sleep
- decrease in anxiety/depression
Tips for new runners
When it comes to running, have a goal in mind. Do you want to run a mile in less than twenty minutes? Would you like to be able to run for thirty minutes without stopping? Like with any goal, it’s best to have an achievable milestone in mind.
I will also encourage you to work your way up to it. Start with a fast-paced walk and increase your speed from there. Please don’t do as I did and expect to be running almost immediately after starting my fitness journey. I was extremely out of shape, and my body showed me on several occasions when I would try to run fast and for longer distances that I wasn’t ready for lengthy runs yet. I slowed my pace and increased my speed as I became healthier and more fit.
However you go about your fitness journey, please keep in mind to listen to your body. If you begin to feel pain or your breathing is uncontrollable, stop and calm down before moving forward. You got this!
Are you a fan of running? When did you begin to enjoy it? Let me know in the comment section below!
Stay hydrated, and continue pressing forward!