We all know how deeply connected our well-being is to our physical health, but finding the time to make exercise important can be difficult. With our busy lives and hectic schedules, it can often feel fruitless to make extra time for our physical exercise.
Why Should I Be Running?
Without lecturing you, it would be important to note a few main reasons we need exercise:
- Blood settles from our brains into our legs when we don’t move. This leads to a brain fog and will eventually lead us away from our spiritual center. This leaves the door open to stress, depression, anxiety and anger.
- Using physical activity to help another person will enrich our soul. It creates a sense of purpose and overall well-being within our bodies. Consider avenues such as mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn or fixing up a food bank. These are all forms of activity that will lead to a blessing in someone else’s world.
- Building your self-esteem is something that has taken years of work and effort. Running is an awesome way to increase your confidence and overall self-worth. By achieving small goals on your running journey, you will feel empowered to take on other challenges in your life.
So, now you know why running can be an important part of your personal growth. The question is, how do you make it a habit?
5 Actionable Steps You Can Take NOW
Running doesn’t have to be a chore. There are some simple, actionable steps that can make the challenge of running seem much more attainable in your life.
1. Walk First
When you first begin running, you may not be able to go more than a few minutes without stopping. This can be discouraging!
Despite the fact that your body is telling you that you can’t go further, you might even try to push on. This is not a good idea. Listening to the messages coming from your body is an important step to running.
You need to be one with your body through this process. If you choose not to listen, you will create a negative mental association with running.
Instead, why not start with walking. Many marathon runners recommend this starting point for beginners. In fact, you could incorporate a one minute burst of running in the midst of your walking plan.
As you become more comfortable, you’ll easily be able to add more running into the mix. Each time you add a little more, you’ll feel more competent and sure of yourself.
When the weather is bad, don’t stop walking. Invest in the best treadmill for home and you can walk or run anywhere with ease.
2. Start Slow
We were always taught that you had to run fast, but it’s a lie! Running should feel good. It should allow you to feel the flow of blood traveling through your body and energizing you.
Start by running slowly. Don’t push yourself too hard.
You will want to be able to carry on a conversation while you are running. If you can’t, you need to slow the pace slightly.
Don’t be self-conscious if it feels that you are barely moving faster than a walk. That’s a normal place to be. You won’t see marathon runners sprinting through the entire race. Most of the time, advanced runners move at a conversational pace.
Allow yourself to be okay with whatever pace you need to move at. You are right where you are supposed to be and you will continue to grow stronger every day.
3. Use Short, Quick Strides
There is a natural stride when running that will help you to be your best. It consists of three steps per second.
Wow – that seems like a lot!
But, it isn’t. In fact, if you take three small steps per second with short strides, your pace remains the same as before, but you are taking more steps.
When you focus on this stride rate, most all other running issues will correct themselves with ease. Shorter strides prevent injury because you are running with a gentle force.
Keep in mind that this might feel awkward if you are already trained to run differently. Give yourself some time to adjust to this new method and you’ll find a new passion for running in a few short weeks.
4. Run as a Way to Increase Fulfillment
Some people find that running while listening to music helps them. What if that isn’t what you enjoy?
That’ okay! This is your personal time and it should be used for the things you enjoy.
Maybe you’ll find that meditation during running is beneficial to you. It’s possible that you’ll enjoy using that time to run with a friend and reconnect. There are no right or wrong answers to what you do while running. The main thing is to make it something that you look forward to. Pick activities that grow your mind, body and soul all at the same time.
In addition, you’ll want to pick the places you run carefully. Not everyone finds peace running on the asphalt in their neighborhood. That’s okay. You can go trail running, or visit a local lake. Maybe you are lucky enough to live near the beach and you can enjoy running through the luxurious sand. Take time to pick locations that inspire and move you.
5. Train for the Big Picture
Life is about what is bigger than us. That’s why once we get the hang of running and we feel comfortable, it is time to look bigger.
It may seem impossible to train for that race, but you have the strength and power to accomplish it. Setting goals for yourself will teach you valuable lessons, not just about running, but also about life.
If taking part in a marathon doesn’t get you excited, there are other options available. Consider instead an obstacle race or mud run. This allows you the opportunity to get off the road and try something challenging and fun.
Set up an achievable training plan that you can follow. Spend time motivating yourself and allowing the encouragement to sink in. Be sure you also share these goals with a loved one who can also spend time offering you words that will build you up.
Imagine the feeling of accomplishment and success when you reach that finish line of your goal. You’ll know how hard you worked, how dedicated you were to training and you’ll be able to succeed at anything you put your mind to. There are no limits.
I believe in you and know that you can do this! Your mind and body will thank you when you have taken the time to invest in your physical well-being. Set up realistic goals to start and watch yourself accomplish things you never dreamed were possible.