You know the drill: Wake up, work all day, come home exhausted and yet your to-do list seems to have grown longer. The last thing you want to make time for is a workout. You’ve worked hard and feel exhausted—why go running?!
When I hear this from my clients, or when I think these thoughts myself, I pose two questions:
1) Will I feel better or worse after I finish my workout?
2) Will I regret going to work out?
Chances are, your answers are BETTER and NO, respectively. But I get it! It’s hard to justify turning off Netflix and leaving your comfy couch to spend even a few minutes boosting your heart rate. But find your reason to remember that it is worth it. We don’t exercise simply to look smokin’ in our summer bikini; hopefully, you also exercise to feel strong, to have more energy, to sleep better and stress less, and to bring out the best version of yourself. If you don’t have 60+ minutes to devote to burning calories, that’s okay!
Anything is Better Than Nothing.
A recent article from Shape.com explained how your brain responds to running. There’s a lot of science in the piece, but the take-away is that running definitely boosts your mood and the more in-shape you are, the better you feel. How’s that for incentive to get out and move more?
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Sarah Visbeek authors In the Trenches of Mommyhood, her personal blog about being a full-time working mother whose bathrooms always smell like pee. With a husband and three sports-loving sons, Sarah’s Boston trenches are full of balls–literally and figuratively. Her entire series titled “A Beginner’s Guide to Running” can be found on her blog.
So maybe you are tired of the gym. Or you want to exercise inexpensively. Or you want to take advantage of the nice weather. There are a myriad of reasons people choose to run. So whatever the reason, virtual high-five! Good for you!
Let me just first start out by reassuring you that anyone can run. Just head to the finish line of any race, of any distance, in any city. I promise you will be inspired as you observe runners of all different shapes, sizes and ages cross the finish line. Tall, short, fat, thin, old, young. YOU can be a runner, too.
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Maybe you’ve experienced it: You’ve finished exercising and you feel an amazing sense of joy, bliss or euphoria, almost as if you’re truly walking on cloud nine… in your running shoes. For many years, science has been challenged in trying to determine if runner’s high actually existed. But recently, a team of researchers in Germany showed that running does incite a high. In the journal Cerebral Cortex, the study showed that endorphins, the feel good hormones, are released in the runner’s body as they exercise. The more endorphins the runner’s body creates, the greater the effect in emotional state.
I was a runner for many years and admittedly had a modest addiction to the way I would feel following a run. It was a combination of feeling serene and calm yet joyful and well, high. So maybe if you love to run, but have a hard time pinpointing why, science may have answered your question.