All Women's Talk

9 Joys of Running ...

By Denise

Aside from writing, running is one of my passions in life. I started running about 10 months ago and in that span of time, I have run 2 official half-marathons and countless short distance races. As I write this post, I am training for a full marathon which happens in January 2011. I am not a fast runner and I do not have podium finishes. I don’t even finish anywhere near top ten. Despite being an average runner, I continue to run for the sheer love of it. I have found in my 10 months of hitting the pavement that there are joys that a runner experiences.

1 Muscle Gain

Muscle GainPhoto Credit: brianapa

The first thing you notice after running regularly for several weeks is the gain of muscle mass. You look leaner and the muscles in your lower body feel more firm.

2 Weight Loss

Weight LossPhoto Credit: Franca Alejandra

You won’t notice the weight loss at first because you will actually be heavier. Remember that muscle is heavier than fats. The weight loss comes with the regular running and proper diet.

3 Cardiovascular Fitness

Cardiovascular FitnessPhoto Credit: S h e l l y

The cardio workout and the weight loss greatly contribute to the health of your heart. The constant use of your lungs during running builds them up and makes them stronger.

4 Friendship

FriendshipPhoto Credit: mikebaird

Even though running is mostly a solo sport, you can still build strong friendships with other runners. You can always use tips and support from other people who understand your love for the sport.

5 Self-confidence

Self-confidencePhoto Credit: Alex Suhorucov

Running gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. The small accomplishments you gain each day you run give you confidence and trust in yourself. The pain and sacrifice that running requires helps you realize that there isn’t much that you cannot do.

6 More Sensitive to Your Body

More Sensitive to Your BodyPhoto Credit: RhiannonDaire

When you run, you need to listen to your body. You have to know when and what to fuel your body. You need to know when you can train and when you need to rest. You have to know when to intensify or cut back on your training. Running makes you more intuitive to your body.

7 Creative Juices Flow

Creative Juices FlowPhoto Credit: sweetsandhearts

For many, physical activities help relax the mind and body. When you are able to find the meditative aspect of running, it actually helps make your creative juices flow more freely.

8 Alone Time

Alone TimePhoto Credit: LeGrandLife

Running is one of those activities where an hour turns into a lifetime. There is nothing but you and the ground below your feet. Running is a wonderful way to spend your free time.

9 Elevated Mood

Elevated MoodPhoto Credit: San Diego Shooter

Running helps release happy hormones and natural pain killers. It elevates your mood and gives you a positive outlook in life. But as with all forms of exercise, too much can actually be a downer. So keep the running to a moderate amount.

You don’t need to run for hours each day to experience the benefits of running; thirty minutes every day is enough. Don’t become too obsessive and keep the running to a sensible length and intensity each day. Running should not become your whole life. Running should be something that will improve the quality of your life.

Top Photo Credit: Sam Moore

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