The previous post, inspirations for running, was a bit too long winded and rambling. So, thought I'd make a short list, that gets right to the point.
Basically there are four primary reasons that I have for running.
Running exercises your legs, your heart and your lungs. It burns fat, and as a result helps to keep your whole body fit and trim. The ability to run is a good gauge of your general fitness level. If you can't run a mile without stopping, you're not in very good shape. So, regularly doing a bit of light running is good for your health. Meaning that you don't have to necessarily be a super fast and competitive marathon runner to reap the benefits, but just a few miles a week will have a good impact on your health.
Being able to run non-stop for more than a mile could someday save your life. You may need to run away from an attacker, who is trying to hurt you, or rob you, or get something from you that you don't want them to have; or you may need to run to help someone else in trouble, and running may be the fastest way to get there. The ability to run is a great skill to have, it has the potential to save lives, and the better you are at it, the more it will help you in an emergency situation.
3. Mood enhancement/therapy.
Running makes you feel better. Well, it makes me feel better. Yeah, there's pain, you feel exhausted, maybe you're a bit sore, but your mind is refreshed, and you feel energized and uplifted. It's a good way to manage anxiety and depression, and a good remedy against insomnia, if you make it a regular habit. Running is much better than popping a pill, getting drunk, or getting high. That's what I've found anyway. Yeah, I still like to have a couple beers, but when I've turned running into a regular habit, I'm less inclined to drink too much. It has a way of balancing me out, as does all exercise, particularly lifting weights. But running regularly, in conjunction with other forms of exercise, is a great method for improving your mental health.
If you have any problem with anxiety or depression or insomnia, rather than taking prescription medication for it, if you aren't doing so already, I would recommend starting up a regular exercise program, doing a combination of running and weight lifting, and you can do other things too, but the running and weight lifting I think is the best place to start. If you can't run, walk, run, intermittently, until you can run. But make it a priority to run. Walking is great, too, but if your goal is to improve your mood, you get more of the mood enhancing benefits from running, than you do from walking.
And last but not least, running is a natural form of transportation. If you find yourself without a car, without a bicycle, and without a ride, and you want to get somewhere faster than walking, running is your ticket. Walking is slow, running is faster. The stronger you are as a runner, makes running a more efficient and enjoyable mode of travel.
So there you have it. The four main reasons to run.
Health/fitness, self-defense/survival, mood enhancement/therapy, and transportation/travel.
Most are related to health, but still different enough to merit an explanation.
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