“Running is like going to the dentist - the benefits of going far outweigh the desire to skip your appointment."
Your day at work has just ended. You are exhausted, hungry, stressed, and possibly a little delirious from all the coffee you sucked down during the late afternoon push. Let’s face it. The last thing you want to do when you get home is lace up the old kicks and hit the road. Enthusiasm or not, the benefits of running should be enough to make you think, “How could I not go running today?”
Let’s sum up the physical benefits of running: It’s good for you.
Whether you are a runner or not, most people know that running is one of the fastest ways to burn calories and fat. If you don’t know, all you have to do is look at experienced long distance runners and compare your body to theirs. Depressing, I know. Runners burn about 100 calories per mile. This amount changes slightly depending on your weight and ability level. If you are an experienced runner, your body will be more efficient in its calorie burning and your body will burn fewer calories per mile. Regardless, being a runner has many physical benefits that you will eventually discover for yourself once you become one.
Becoming a runner is like joining a secret society where everyone understands each other. They have inside jokes and secrets, wear similar clothing, and share the same passion and desire for the open road. While everyone joins the secret society for a different reason, they all remain long time members for the same reason - addiction.
We use the word addiction because, for one, running is physically addicting. Endorphins are released within the brain and you become “addicted,” more or less, to this feeling. I also use the word addiction because, endorphins or not, running itself is an addiction. Running is you, your thoughts, and the terrain. It is finding a new trail, finding a new speed, or maybe even finding a new you.
Running gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It continually reassures you that you should never doubt yourself or tell yourself that you are not capable of achieving something. It is also a stress reliever, an energizer, a sense of inner peace and sanctity, a motivator, alone time or social time, a weight controller, and a hobby. Running pushes you through your hard days, is a reward after your easy days, and is the one thing that always has benefits, regardless of how bad you hate it some days.
So, the next time you are sitting in your car on the way home from work and the excuses begin, ask yourself, “What can running do for me today?”