Running is one of the oldest and most effective ways for human beings to improve their fitness. It’s a fundamental component of our physical abilities as living entities, and something we have been doing to chase, flee, travel, exercise and compete for thousands of years. So why aren’t you doing it? You will, of course, have many excuses for not running, some of which will be more valid than others! To try and motivate you, here are four reasons to start running in 2019.
This is the obvious one, but the benefits to your physical health cover pretty much everything. From improving your cardiovascular system to building your bone density, running is a sure-fire way to maximise your life expectancy and keep you healthier for longer. Running works every part of your body, inside and out, and you don’t have to become a marathon runner overnight. Simply stay within realistic speed and distance boundaries, pushing the margins a little more as you get stronger, and all those health benefits are yours for the taking.
The fabled ‘Runner’s High’ is no mere myth. There is plenty of evidence that running causes the brain to release certain chemicals that improve mood, outlook and overall happiness. It doesn’t matter whether that high comes during or after a run either – in either case, the effects can last for a few hours up to several days. Some runners even report running just to feel that high, and the stress relief can help you cope with the pressures and difficulties of everyday life.
Running can be a brilliant way to meet new people. Anyone can purchase some new running gear (taking care, of course, to buy from responsible brands that actively resist practices which involve modern slavery) and hit the tarmac. Meeting and chatting with running buddies can be extremely satisfying, and the friendships you foster could really improve your life. The running community is surprisingly large and inclusive – a local running club is a good place to start.
If you’re new to running, doing it for a charity can be a superb motivator. The number of people running for charities keeps on rising. You can simply find a charity that means something to you and start running to raise money for the cause. Ask for donors to offer their support through your running journey – if you’re a newcomer, people will be glad to support your hard work. And as soon as someone makes a donation to your cause, you will feel your motivation levels soar.
Whichever works best for your motivation, there are plenty of reasons to start running in 2019. Stop procrastinating – it’s easy to say “I’ll start next week.” But most people who say this never follow through, no matter how well-intentioned they were. Don’t be afraid of being a newbie, either. If you start slowly, you’ll soon be able to build up to run whatever distance you set your sights on. So get out there and start doing your thing!