Jessica here! I wanted to write a quick post about something I’ve become more passionate about only over the last few years: running.
I’m just going to preface this by saying I am not a long distance runner and have no plans to be. The most I’ve run at once is six miles. And you know what? That is perfectly fine with me! When I reach the 5th or 6th mile, my legs get tired and my knees start to ache and that’s my sign that I’m done.
REASON #1: MY MENTAL HEALTH
I’m sure everyone who has done a work out can relate to this. Working out releases endorphins and that makes you HAPPY! Running specifically boosts my mood the most out of any work out I do. Any time I’m feeling down or sluggish, I go for a quick run and feel instantly better. It has come to a point where my body and mind actually CRAVE it now.
Just the other week, I was feeling sluggish and down for two days straight. My guts felt weird and I couldn’t shake my negative feelings. I almost didn’t go on my lunch break run, but told myself to just start running and when I want to stop, I can. 5 miles later, I had to stop myself! My body didn’t want to stop, and my mind and body felt good again for the rest of the day.
REASON #2: MY GUT HEALTH
(TMI #sorrynotsorry) For much of my life I have suffered from gut problems that I didn’t get a handle on until my early 20’s. I cut out a lot of foods (i.e. dairy, processed meats, fatty meats, and high saturated fat foods), dropped like 20 lbs, and became more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth and how to treat my symptoms as naturally as I can. One of these natural ways to stay on top of my gut health is sticking to a work out schedule that includes plenty of running. It keeps my organs moving and performing the way they should be.
REASON #3: A QUICK + FREE WORKOUT
Running and walking can be done anywhere, anytime, for FREE. It’s a great work out you can do inside or outside, for however long you want, at no cost to you. Since I do most of my work outs during the week on my lunch break, I like to do work outs that burn calories in a small amount of time. I can run 3 miles in a half hour and just about close my move ring on my Apple Watch by the time I’m done. But did you know you can burn the same amount of calories walking vs. running one mile? Running can just be done in half the time which can be more convenient for some. So even if you’re not a runner, still go for walks!
REASON #4: THE GREAT OUTDOORS
As you know, we live in Wisconsin. I’m not adventurous enough to go on runs in the middle of the winter….those days are for the treadmill. But! Once spring rolls around, you can find me running outside through the fall. You can explore so many new trails in areas you’ve never been, and I love that! Please just use proper precautions to stay safe while running alone outside: make sure you tell someone close when and where you’re running (text or call them and even share your location from your phone during your run), wear reflective gear, be very aware of your surroundings (don’t blast your music too loud so you can still hear things around you), and even carry pepper spray.
REASON #5: IT’S FUN!
Personally I just think heading outside on a beautiful day with a great playlist to run for a few miles is fun. You get outside, can check out new trails, listen to good music, and can make it even more fun by doing it with a buddy! It’s fun to sign up for races. I’ve done a few in Wisconsin like the Color Run and just did the Crazylegs Classic this last weekend. The energy at races are fun with everyone running around you and being cheered on.
So grab a buddy and let’s lace up! See you out there!