10 reasons I love to run and think you might too

10 reasons I love to run

There are countless reasons why I run, but here are the top 10 reasons I love to run and why I think you might too.

  1. I can eat more. Anyone who knows me knows I love to eat—sweets, salty snacks, bread, potatoes, rice, fruits, veggies, meat—you name it, I probably like it. Being physically active means I can afford to eat a little more and still maintain a reasonably healthy weight. (According to livestrong.com, “A very rough rule of thumb is that, if you have an average healthy body weight, you’ll burn roughly 100 calories for every mile you cover. Of course, if you weigh more than average, you’ll burn more calories. If you weigh less, you’ll burn fewer calories.” Bonus: you continue to burn more calories even after your run.)
  2. Napping without guilt. Few things feel better than an afternoon nap following a long morning run. Suddenly napping is not lazy, but well-earned. That’s all I have to say about that.
  3. Listening to music with my headphones. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to music a lot, even when I’m not running, but usually as background noise. When I’m running with my earbuds in, I’m really listening to the music. I’ve heard the actual lyrics to some of my favorite songs for the first time while on a run. Bonus: when I hear the songs on my running playlist outside of a run, my heart rate kicks up and I start tapping a toe or nodding my head.
  4. Time spent outdoors. Okay, there are a lot of other things you can do outdoors, but to be honest, there are many weekends that I might spend the entire day in front of my computer or puttering around the house, but I have a run on my schedule, so I am forced out the door onto the trail, and I never regret it—NEVER.
  5. The fun shoes and other clothes. I may not be the fastest runner at the gym, on the trail, or in the race—in fact I know I won’t be—but I feel like a real athlete in my high performance running gear. And seriously, when else do I get to wear those bright color combinations?
  6. Camaraderie with other runners. I don’t know what it is about runners, but running (at any level) instantly makes you part of a larger community. When I’m running on the trail, I get a little rush out of nodding or waving to the other runners. Runners love to seek and give advice. We love to swap stories, share miseries, and offer encouragement.
  7. The sense of accomplishment—bragging rights. Some runs are good; some are bad. But no matter how poor any particular run goes, I’ve never regretted that I ran when I’m done. There is always a sense of accomplishment. And when I’m training and I cross the 10-mile mark, it is magnified. I feel like everyone should know that I ran 10 miles. I really have to practice some self-restraint not to tell the barista, the checker at the grocery store, or even the person next to me at the traffic light. And nothing can stop me from telling the nail tech giving me a pedicure (that callus is from running) or the masseuse working out my kinks (I may have some tightness in my calves from all that running).
  8. Collecting medals, bibs, and race shirts. This is similar to #7 above, but goes a step further. The bibs, shirts, and medals collected from races hold the memories from those races and are tangible evidence of what you’ve accomplished. Plus the medals are pieces of art in and of themselves. I love studying the detail and comparing them to other race medals.
  9. Strong heart, lungs, muscles, and bones. Now we’re getting down to the serious stuff. There are amazing health benefits to running. Besides the fitness factor, running builds bone mass, reduces the risk of certain cancers, and strengthens your heart and lungs. Studies show that people who run live longer on average than those who don’t, and disability levels are significantly lower in runners than in even healthy non-runners. (http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/health-benefits-of-running)
  10. Mental toughness. I can’t give you any scientific reason why, but I truly believe that running has contributed to my mental toughness. Since running a marathon, I am a stronger person overall. Perhaps the mental toughness that is required to run 26.2 miles carries over into the challenges we face in every day life. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that running burns off stress and releases feel-good hormones. Whatever it is, I’ll take it. I need all the help I can get.

So there you have it, the top 10 reasons I love to run.

For those of you that run, what do you love about it? Do you have reasons I haven’t mentioned?

If you don’t run, do you feel similarly about some other form of activity? What is it, and why do you love it?

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29 Comments

  1. Thank you Christie for linking up and co-hosting at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared this post on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

  2. I don’t run. My asthma will not allow it. But I envy those of you that do. Thank you for sharing with #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’ve shared your post on social media.

    • Thanks Clearissa! Hopefully, you have other activities that you enjoy like I enjoy running. Truth be told, it’s a love/hate relationship I have with running, but mostly love!

  3. My son and husband are marathon runners…so I leave the running to them.
    I agree with your list of benefits and hopefully get a few of them from hiking and yoga.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  4. In years past, I did run. I always loved it. My knees won’t take it, now. So, I do low-impact exercise at the YMCA. Thank you for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’m sharing your post on social media.

  5. Couldn’t have said it better. All the very reasons why I run. And now I am sitting here feeling guilty for skipping the gym today. Ha! Maybe I will at least get in a mile on the treadmill at home. Great post.

    I listen to books via Audible when I run. And aren’t the active wear choices these days so much better than the baggy fleece drawstring sweatpants we wore in gym class?

    Leslie @ onceuponatimehappilyeverafter.com

    • I’ve never listened to a book while running. I may have to try that on the next long run. Thanks for the suggestion, Leslie! I remember a striped jumpsuit for gym. Really! Who thought that up?

  6. Cindy

    I like all the benefits you listed for running except for #3. Maybe because I don’t have wireless music, it just seems to get in my way. I listen to music when I walk. And I cracked up because #7 is so true! After I run in the afternoon I always stop for a Diet Coke, (that’s a good recovery drink, right?) and I’m sweaty and in workout clothes and I’m thinking “that’s right, I just went for a run!”! 😂

    • Cindy, wireless is definitely better. I hate when the cords are tugging or flapping around. I have run outdoors a few times without music, and its a nice change of pace. I can listen to the birds and other nature noises and feel one with Mother Earth. 🙂 Happy running!

  7. I love running also and run with some friends twice a week. We call ourselves the Saturday Sisters and keep each other going. I’m the oldest at almost 60 but we enter fun runs and it is a fun way to keep fit. Thanks for sharing with us at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’ve shared on social media.

  8. Hi Christie – all fantastic reasons to run (I particularly loved your bragging rights one!) and I just wish it translated into real life for me. I’ve tried running several times and it just doesn’t work for me – I look like a drunk giraffe, I get hot and sweaty and feel defeated when I start to flag. I’m just going to own walking as my “thing” because I still get a few of your benefits and I do it with a smile (so many runners look miserable while they’re running). My husband is really fit and runs regularly – he says it so that he can keep eating chocolate biscuits – I’d rather give up on the biscuits!

    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au

    • I’m down with walking, Leanne, and in fact I take several walk breaks during my runs. I do like to push myself some, but I never want to be miserable. It all comes down to cultivating joy, so if the misery outweighs the joy, it’s not happening for me. Thanks, as always, for hosting #MLSTL.

  9. I ran 6 miles a day for years and never enjoyed doing it. I ran with a group and we would run three miles do an hour exercise class and run three more miles. I hate to say it but I never got that much out of it. I still had to watch my diet constantly and I guess because I broke the miles into two sections I never got a runner high. I tried cycling for about two years and got tired of that. My go to now is walking not many bragging rights with that but at least it is something I will do. lol

  10. Hey Christie,

    I think that’s fabulous that you love to run and for so many great reasons. I’ve never been athletic nor a running (unless I had to) for that. However, there are things that I love to do myself that can give me that same feel-good feeling you get from running. I love spending time with my dogs. We can play (good exercise for all 3 of us), cuddle, chill, and just be. I’m also passionate about other outdoor activities but none have the “always love and feel-good” emotions and being with my pups.

    Thanks for sharing yours!

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