I’ve been a runner for about 10 years now. If I go more than a few days without going on a run, I start to get a little anxious. Running has become a habit that I take everywhere. No matter where I go, what time of the year it is, I make sure to get out on a run. There are a variety of reasons that I think you should start running (even if you’re not a runner). If you thought about becoming a runner and need some reasons to think of some reasons to push you into it. Here are some of the reasons that I run.

 

 

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You Get Outdoors

Running on a treadmill is boring. After about 30 minutes, I can’t stand it. Maybe it’s just the cadence and feeling like a hamster on a wheel but I avoid a treadmill as much as possible to get outside. There’s days where it’s 72 and sunny and I see people running on the treadmill at the gym. Why not go outside? It’s beautiful out.

Even when it’s not 72 and sunny, I run outside. From 0 degrees to 100 degrees I’ve run in all weather. There’s an old Swedish saying, “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes.” Running in all weather is a matter of preparation. If it’s 100 degrees outside, I make sure to bring my hand water bottle or a hydration pack with me. If it’s 0 degrees outside, I wear a neck gaiter to keep my face covered if necessary.

When you run in bad weather and do it anyways, the accomplishment feels even greater. You didn’t quit just because there was a little rain.

 

 

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Mental Health Benefits

When I go on runs, I usually experience a vast array of emotions. Every thought about slowing down or stopping comes through my subconscious. It allows me to tell my body who’s in charge and not give into my impulses.

Studies have shown that running releases endocannabinoids that can cause the euphoric feeling of the runners high. This is something you usually won’t experience right away when starting off. As you persevere something will click and you will just want to go.

There’s also something empowering about knowing that you can run a marathon. It makes a 1–2 mile walk seem like a breeze.

Low Barrier To Entry

All you “need” is running shoes. I put need in quotes because having running clothes for the different types of weather will definitely make running more enjoyable. However, it’s not a complete necessity to have a nice pullover to run in the spring. A good pair of running shoes usually runs between $100–150. That’s cheaper than most gym memberships as the shoes will usually last a light/moderate user about 6 months or 300–500 miles on the shoes. That means if you run just 10–15 miles a week your shoes should last 20–25 weeks.

Over time, I have realized that I don’t need a membership at a big box gym. I would rather do most strength training at home with a few kettles, run and do drop ins at local gyms when necessary. It is honestly empowering to not have to “need” a gym membership but still stay in fantastic shape.

 

 

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It’s A Great Way To Learn A Neighborhood

One of the first things I do when I travel somewhere is go on a run to map out the local area. I don’t know why but there’s something different about being on your feet on the ground then driving around in a car. I’ve discovered amazing places I would have never thought to go to while traveling because of my run.

It feels more gratifying to find a place and wonder when you travel than to just plan everything out by a Google search.

I probably know almost every street within a 4 mile radius of where I live. I credit that all to running. I see different houses, bars, cafe’s and discover new places that I want to go to when I’m in a non-exercising state.

Goal Setting Is Linear

One thing I love about running is that goal setting is linear. I want to run 4 miles today, I just go out and run 4 miles. I want to run a faster 1 mile? I time myself, get my time and work on getting faster then retime myself in a month or two.

Be careful though, you can quickly become one of those people who keeps setting the goals higher and higher and before you know it, you will be signing up for an ultra.

Conclusion

There are plenty of more reasons to run that just these. I do it because it helps me deal with stress, provides a challenge and keeps me in great shape. If you’re not a runner, that’s okay too. However, if you’ve never given it a real shot, I would suggest you give it a second chance.