When you imagine the typical runner, what comes to mind? The stereotypical runner is literally, always running. They're obsessed with it and run every chance they get: indoors, outdoors, races every weekend.
Maybe you know someone who is a runner. Do they fit this profile? If they do, chances are they know exactly how running can be used as a weapon and here is a list of the top 8 ways.
Hand to Hand Combat on Calories
If you are looking to lose some weight, there is no better weapon than running. Long distance runners (those maniacs) actually try to run as efficiently as possible and consume calories on long runs in order to run marathons (42.195 kilometres) and make it to the end.
A runner of normal weight and BMI burns about 100 calories for every mile they run, and people who have some weight to lose will burn even more than that. To lose weight effectively we must burn more calories than we consume.
To lose a pound of fat we must burn 3,500 calories. An interesting fact about running: you don't burn more calories by running faster!
Anxiety Meets its Match
Running is absolutely a better, stronger weapon than any pill to help you fight anxiety and win. There are chemicals released in the brain when we run called endorphins, which are the "feel good" hormones.
If you are feeling anxious, try getting outside and running a mile or two and you will see for yourself how amazing you feel – running beats any prescription, that's for sure!
This may be one of the key reasons people become obsessed with running. It's because it keeps stress and anxiety to a minimum and the feeling after a nice run is so good it's worth repeating daily!
Win the Fight to Focus
Many people struggle to stay focused, whether at work or school or even at home doing things around the house. People diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) say that going for regular runs helps to clear their heads of unwanted clutter.
This works because when we run, we must focus mostly on our breathing but also our stride, pace and heart-rate if we want to keep going more than a block or two. Forcing ourselves to focus on just these things naturally eliminates the constant feeling of being distracted.
Runners who get distracted easily are usually called walkers. ADD and ADHD patients may not be able to stop taking their medicine, but running regularly will likely cause the patient to need smaller doses than those who don't exercise.
Battle on Boredom
What do we usually do when we get bored? Some of us eat, which isn't good. Some of us nap, which in small doses is healthy but if you're napping more than you're exercising, that's a recipe for weight gain and definitely depression.
So when you run out of things to Google or can't find anything good on Netflix, put on those trainers and go for a run! Being out in nature is so good for the soul and the fresh air is great for your health in general. Running provides all that and is your strongest weapon when battling boredom!
The best and healthiest source of Vitamin D is natural sunlight. Getting a minimum of 15 minutes of sunlight every day is the recommendation from the National Institute of Health (NIH). When we don't get enough Vitamin D we risk weakened bones, osteoporosis and arthritis just to name a few.
Getting outside to run is an excellent defense against Vitamin D deficiency. If you're out for more than 15 minutes, be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 25 or higher, and always stay hydrated!
Supersize Your Social Life!
Do you want to meet new people and have a blast at the same time? Sign up for a 5K race! It's part of running culture for runners to automatically support each other, even if they were total strangers before the race.
It doesn't even matter who wins, everyone celebrates every single person that crosses the finish line! Running groups are also a lot of fun and an effective weapon against loneliness.
Just as running is a fantastic weapon against anxiety, the same theory applies to people who are depressed. When hiding under the covers seems like the only way to cope, think again!
Those same endorphins that combat anxiety also relieve the symptoms of depression and may decrease or eliminate your need for antidepressant medications (but talk to your doctor before discontinuing any prescribed medicines).
Kick That Bad Habit
If you have a bad habit that you'd like to change, replacing it with running is an excellent weapon when it comes to kicking a negative behavior to the curb! Try it for 30 days and you'll definitely see results!
If you've decided to take up running, be sure to get professionally fitted shoes and run short distances mixed with walking until you can keep a good pace for a couple of miles. Once you achieve that, you'll be able to go longer and longer distances, sharpening your sword against these and many other ailments!
What battle will you win with running as your newest weapon?