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Fitness & Sports

10 Great Reasons to Run

Running has become one of the most popular sports in the world. Anyone can become a weekend warrior, compete or just get fit through running. There are probably as many reasons to run as there are runners. Everyone who tries running and sticks with it develops their own reasons for continuing.

I’ve enjoyed watching new runners catch the bug and been intrigued, and often inspired, by the “why” of their running. Some run for fitness, some to keep young, and some run for social reasons. If you’re debating whether to step out into the wonderful world-wide running community, here are 10 great reasons to go for it.

1. You can spend time alone. Some people like to use their running time to get away from everyone and everything. It’s a great way to be with your own thoughts or no thoughts at all. It’s totally up to you!

2. You can spend time with others. Running can be as social as you would like it to be. Running groups and workshops abound and many people find partners to run with on a regular basis.

3. You can compete with yourself. Running is a way to improve your endurance, speed, and strength. And in the process of working toward self-directed goals, you will inevitably become a better you.

4. You can compete with others. Not a requirement, but many people find that competing in road races is challenging and fun. It’s a great way to measure your progress against others in the same age and gender group

5. Young people can run. Running is a natural activity; just watch children at a playground. Typical road races have age categories of 14 and under and the kids frequently have some of the fastest times overall.

6. Old people can run. I coached new runners in their 60’s and 70’s in a Couch-to-5k program and 2 of them placed in their age groups in their first race ever. If you have any doubt, check out the National Senior Games, an Olympic-style competition for athletes 50 and over.

7. It’s good for your body. Running has been proven good for controlling weight, lowering blood pressure, combating Type 2 diabetes, aiding sleep, increasing heart and lung capacity, increasing bone density and muscular strength, and improving any number of metabolic measures.

8. It’s good for your mind. Running is good for fighting depression. Increased activity, improved physical conditioning, and the release of exercise related endorphins can be a great natural antidote to some mood disorders.

9. You can run outdoors. Spending time in nature is a wonderful feeling after spending most of the day inside at work and home. There is nothing like running on a beautiful sunny day to enjoy the sights around you and lift your spirits.

10. You can run indoors. If the weather is awful, you can run indoors on a treadmill. The benefits are that you can control the pace, the temperature, the incline (not everyone lives near hills), and you can listen to music or watch TV while you run.

Joan Kerrigan