15 of the Undeniable and Irreplaceable Benefits of Running

Reader Contribution by Liberty V Justice
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Running should be done as early in the morning as possible. At 5 am, I get the road and the moon all to myself. On the other hand, a late afternoon run is good for stress relief, almost like a meditation session. The day I found out my grandma was in the hospital, I went for a run and I felt much more assured, my anxiety melted away and I could think more rationally instead of emotionally.

Benefits of running:

Better sleep
Better self-esteem
Better memory and concentration
Better mood
More pain relief
Better diet the next day
Better spiritually
More hopeful
More fulfilled
Feel I’ve made progress towards all other my goals too, even before I do
Better locus on control — mine is internal

Once I read that running helps rebuild bone and muscles and helps with joint pain, I decided I really am a runner, and I started giving my running habit more attention than any other physical activity. After several months, something is missing without it. I’m not me if I don’t run.

Any longer than 1 or 2 days without a run and I feel a little void, a gnawing at my heart and I feel unaccomplished. I’m only accountable to myself, but I need those rewarding chemicals — dopamine and norepinephrine from the sense of accomplishment running gives me. They’re also pain relievers, something my body needs in the healing process.

I see an undeniable difference in my muscle tone; my skin is clearer and brighter and looks healthier. My eyes are brighter when I run. I feel better overall and I have more stamina throughout the day, more focus, can speak to people better, less anger, better problem solving abilities. Other people see the flame in my eyes and there’s more respect between us because they know I’m a Peaceful Warrior. It’s unspoken. Everyone talks because they don’t know how to be alone. Walking the walk is the only way to show others to the stadium where the race begins.

Photo by Fotolia/Brian Jackson

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