A while back in the magazine “Runners World”, there was a short essay about why sometimes running is the only thing you can do if you feel bad or have some kind of problem eating away at you.
I started running two years ago to get control of my ever expanding waistline, which was the result of poor eating habits, no exercise and a desk job where I sit for eight hours a day. I had to get back in shape before I got one year older (that’s what I kept telling myself). I looked at some local gyms, but they all just seemed like a waste of money for me.
So I put on running shoes and headed out the door. Then, 100 feet later, I stopped as my lungs and legs refused to carry me any further. It was a fantastic reminder of just how out of shape I was. I pushed on though, and after a few months I was running one, two, three miles at a time.
But while my initial goal was fitness, one of the “side effects” of running is how it affects your mood. Any exercise will improve your mood and make you feel better, but running is unique in that it is practically free.
The more and longer I ran, the better I felt about myself and the more I felt like I was in control of my life again. Not every run is a good one, but even the bad ones have purpose. Even though weight loss may be your main goal, consider the lasting benefits exercise has on your mental well-being. Running clears my head- every single time.
So, sometimes the only answer is to go for a run. It clears out all the stress at least for a little while, and I can focus on handling life just as I am handling the act of running: by staying focused and moving forward.