Go for a run. Get up and go, get out of your chair and move. These words resonate with me multiple times a week as if it were some form of mantra. I never had a love for running growing up, if anything I despised it until recent. If you are like me and the majority of your working days are desk bound, you will know the stale feeling that can build up throughout the day mentally and physically. No fresh air and maintaining supposedly the worst position for the human body, sitting.
When you fall victim to the physical and mental drain of the daily grind and woes I can recommend one medicine, a simple run. I didn’t start running because I was told to, I normally swayed to weight training in the gym. Running is intrinsically natural, primeval even, whether it was our ancestors chasing prey or running from predators, it would have been a daily activity. We lost this over time as we became kings of the food chain, sinking into the more comfortable existence we now know.
Get your heart pumping and feel how the machine that you have been given works, feel the blood pumping through your veins and your mind chatter clearing as you keep saying “No, I will run an extra kilometre.” It is a form of meditation. If you feel as though life is getting the best of you drag yourself outside and run. I prefer running outdoors as to indoors, purely because the chances of stopping when your ego starts yelling at you to give up are slimmer, if I am a few kilometres from my home then I have to keep going or it’s a long walk home. So what are the benefits of running?
1. Running makes you happier.
Running is a natural mood booster, just 30 minutes of exercise can result in a huge boost of the feel good hormones known as endocannabinoids. This is a great aid for depression, and unlike their pharmaceutical counterparts the effects will last longer. Source
2. Running can strengthen your joints, and your bones too.
Running can help you strengthen the bones in the lower half of your body especially your knees, helping you stay agile as you age. Source
3. Running will keep your mind sharp, even as you age.
Running can help you to fight off a variety of mental health related diseases especially as you age. A rapidly growing literature strongly suggests that exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, may attenuate cognitive impairment and reduce dementia risk. Source
4. Running can add years to your life.
Regular running slows the aging clock keeping you feeling and looking younger. In one study it was shown that elderly runners were found to have fewer disabilities, a longer active life and are half as likely as aging non runners to die early deaths. Source
So put on your running shoes, lace up and get moving.