Despite knowing all the benefits of working out and leading a healthy lifestyle, so many of us choose to ignore it. We tell ourselves we’ll start one day and that day never comes. Even if it does come, way too many of us quit within a week’s time.
Exercise will benefit you in numerous ways. Most people turn to exercise when they want to lose weight. Although running will aid your weight loss, it will take some time before you start dropping pounds; but there are other benefits you can reap from regular exercise.
It gives you an instant boost of energy by giving you an adrenaline rush. The release of endorphins during exercise improve your mood. You develop stamina and your muscles strengthen, reducing your chances of injury and developing arthritis.
So why do we avoid it?
Well, the most obvious reason is that it is a lot of work…and because it hurts so much! Unless you’ve been watching what you eat or engaging in simple healthy activities, like walking instead of taking the bus or hiking during the weekend, exercise is going to hurt you.
The initial pain that you experience from exercise is a reflection of how unhealthy you are and how badly you need to exercise. But instead of interpreting the pain as a signal to keep going, we let it scare us and quit.
There’s an array of excuses people use to avoid exercise. My favorite one is “I can’t afford to go to the gym”.
If you’re really committed, you wouldn’t have to go to the gym. Exercise can be done from the comfort of your home, with no equipment; you just need the motivation.
Running is another cheap way of exercising. There is no equipment necessary, you just need a decent pair of sneakers and you’re good to go. However, if you’re not physically healthy, you’re bound to find running painful.
You’ll run out of breath, your chest will feel the burn and you’ll feel your legs tingle. This is just a sign of how unfit you are, instead of letting it intimidate you, use it as motivation to keep going.
With regular running, you’ll learn to keep your heart rate steady and won’t run out of breath so easily. Your muscles will be stronger so you won’t get sore.
Here are 7 tips to keep you motivated to keep running:
- Let go of past memories
This can be applied to most things in life. If you’re looking to bring a positive change in your life then you need to let go of the past. You need to embrace the right frame of mind to enable you to make the conscious decision to move forward. All your memories from gym class, all the memories of how the one marathon you participated in left you panting. Tell yourself that this time it was going to be different. Even if you run out of breath, you aren’t going to stop.
- Set yourself a goal
Goals always help when you’re taking upon some new activity. When you first start running, keeping attainable goals will help, no matter how small. It could be something as small as not stopping for half an hour, even if it means you need to walk for a bit. With each run, you can push yourself bit by bit.
- Start slow
Your first run, shouldn’t be a run. Start off slow. You’ll pick up pace as your body gets used to the idea of running and you build up more aerobic endurance. You’re sure to run out of breath and feel sore if you begin sprinting in your very first go. Pushing too hard at the very beginning often leaves people too dejected to give it another try, so pace yourself.
- Distract yourself
You can do this with either a game, music or the radio. Play ‘I spy’ with a running buddy, count the number of blue cars, see how far you go through the alphabet by following letters on street signs. Do anything to distract your brain from thinking about running and how it is affecting your body. You can focus on it when you’ve developed more stamina and endurance.
- Run with a friend
Running with a friend provides you with the moral support that you require when you first begin. Find someone who is as fit as you. Watching someone speed in front of you can get frustrating, so go with a friend you can keep up with.
- Discover new places
To change things up a little bit, go down paths that you have not gone before. Seeing the same place and same faces every day can get dull, so switch things up every now and then. Run down an unfamiliar street and change up the scene. Again, you’ll be distracting your brain as it will be too busy taking in the new surroundings.
- Find something to ‘run’ to
Doesn’t your day go by more smoothly when you have something to look forward to? The same goes for a run. Find a nice way to end your run by either treating yourself with something or going running to meet someone or a place you enjoy. Head towards the café to meet up with a friend for breakfast or the lake to soak up some nature before you get started with the day.
Like all daily exercises to stay fit, running will be difficult when you first start but it is one of the few that provides a full body workout. Push past the initial pain and make running a regular activity