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WHY WE RUN (LITERALLY)
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Running in Dubai Marathon’s 10K Road Race for the 4th straight year today and finally completing it in less than an hour is a personal milestone. It’s not only a good reminder that once upon a time I won over obesity, but have also decided to commit to a healthier life by starting to run.
Fast forward to today, the dedication has been layered up by a lot more efforts to reach my ever increasing fitness goals. Yet, while there may be more effective and extensive alternatives, I still love and believe that we should always run.
Here are my top 10 reasons that are meant to inspire and push you to get into your trainers and experience the joy of running.
1. Increases stamina and endurance. This is the main difference between long distance running and sprinting. You need to find your pace to endure the distance til you complete it at your target time. Doing so develops a healthier level of stamina and endurance, which helps in performing more complicated exercise routines.
2. Simple, practical and ageless. Come to think of it, anyone can do it – kid or adult, rich or poor, any nationality, any physical strength and frame. And it can be done anywhere and everywhere as long as you have space. You won’t need cash to pay for gym membership, not even expensive kicks and personal effects.
3. Allows more carbs and burns more calories. One of my favorite reasons actually. Since it will require you to have sufficient energy, the direct source would be carbohydrates. For instance, for a 10K run, I’d stuff myself with rice and pasta days before the run, which I’d eventually burn while racing. Or if it’s the other way around (just like the recent festive season), it’s also a great way to shed your unwanted calories.
4. Mentally therapeutic and boosts memory. After your first few meters, you’ll find your mind wandering through various thoughts. It’s the perfect opportunity to exercise your mental strength and see how you can control your mind. Studies also show that these types of regimens boost memory, which you’d be happy to have as you age.
5. Psychologically relaxing and relieves stress. There’s no denying that it’s physically draining, yet since running is an individual activity, it relaxes you psychologically. With your own music on your headphones, you also decide your route, distance, moves, speed, breaks and sprints. Being in control at that moment when you shut yourself from the world relieves stress and gives you a quality ‘me time’.
6. Strengthens bones and helps build muscles. I love high intensity interval trainings, but running best complements it as it helps produce stronger bones than just focusing on reps. It also aids at building muscles that lower impact workouts ignore. Hence, your bones are kept healthy even as they age.
7. Lowers risk of heart attack and other diseases. We need to get our hearts pumping to keep it happy and working just right. Being active and keeping that healthy mindset through running is a great way to prevent sickness.
8. Brings you closer to nature. If you’re doing it outdoors, you have the opportunity to take notice of your surroundings. Find an opportunity to run through a beach strip, a nature trail, beside a lake and a park filled with trees – you’ll simply enjoy nature’s intricate details and would adore its beauty.
9. Gives that natural glow and makes you look good. A good and intense sweat session boost natural oils that clears your pores of the dirt that clogs them and lead to breakouts. Thus, it’s not just those anti-aging creams and moisturizers that make your face and skin look great, you have to thank running for that too.
10. Transforms and makes you a better version of yourself. If you include running to your fitness routine, you’d obviously see your physical transformation – a leaner and healthier looking you. Beyond this feeling of accomplishment though, is a more profound longing to keep on going and be a better version of yourself inside and out. And once you get to it, there’s no turning back.
To all the runners that my sweat have bumped into today, congratulations and well done to all of you! Definitely happy and proud to be one of the thousands who got up to get the kilometers done.
Call it crazy, but yes, this is why we run (literally).
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