Since I started running last spring, I've lost about 10 pounds, gained a lot of stamina and lung capacity (I have asthma), and a lot of confidence. I have been a runner, sort of, at other times in my life, but this experience is better than any other time. I probably need it more than any other time, too! Running is hard to get started because it just hurts the first couple of weeks until you start getting in shape, and unless I have a good motivation, such as a running buddy, a particular fitness goal, or a race coming up, it is hard for me to keep it up for more than a couple of months. But if you can get over the initial hump of breathlessness, and maintain a regular schedule, you'll feel fantastic. Some of the things that have inspired me were seeing my sister and husband run a half-marathon last year, reading Born to Run, and really really wanting to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I also had a great running buddy as well as a supportive husband.
Running is great for so many reasons:
- It's free. All you need are shoes (or not if you're into barefoot running), and a half-hour or so. No gym membership, no expensive equipment, no trainer.
- You get to experience the outdoors and explore your neighborhood. Last week I found a new park that I didn't know existed! I like running even in the cold and rain because it is so invigorating and feels great to breathe the fresh air.
- You can take your baby (or kid depending on how big your stroller is) and maybe your dog if he or she likes to run. No need for a babysitter. It often is a great way to get Sweet Pea to take a nap, actually, which is especially great right now because she is sometimes too busy for a nap when there are toys to play with.
- Just like any form of exercise, it gets you to sweat, which is good for your skin. It feels sooo good to shower after a workout!
- Also, just like any form of exercise, it is good for your heart, muscles, and even your brain! I recently heard on the radio that physical exercise may be even more important than mental exercise for preventing or delaying Alzheimer's and dementia.
Do you run? Do you consider yourself a "runner"?