By Chris Nelson, Anytime Fitness
Despite the abundance of wellness products now readily available to us via our phones, through the media and on social media platforms, real-time physical exercise and movement remains a key component to maintaining a healthy body and mind.
From wanting to smash new fitness goals or move that stubborn belly-fat and love handles, through to facing stress in your everyday life and seeking a way to unwind and centre the mind, getting out and moving your body is a guaranteed way to encourage positive changes all round.
With this said, I know there are so many forms of exercise and the popularity of specialty gyms and fitness clubs popping up left right and centre and, admittedly, it’s becoming harder and harder to know where to begin when you’re looking to up the ante on your training.
The good news is: I am here to help you! My first message is simple – there is nothing wrong with bringing it back to basics and taking yourself away from the heavy weights and expensive gym memberships and picking up a new healthy (cost-effective!) habit – running!
1. Running improves your mood
When you are running, your body releases happy hormones called endorphins that help to improve your mood and bring about more elated feelings and a positive state of mind. These hormones interact with the receptors in your brain and trigger a positive feeling in the body, which also happens to be the perfect way to fight stress… it’s a win, win!
2. It increases endurance
As you slowly increase your time spent pounding the pavement, your body will naturally adjust to the surge in your energy outputs for the day. So, while you may assume that running each morning will be exhausting, it will actually have the opposite effect, instead boosting your energy levels and leaving you feeling more alert and excited to conquer the day ahead.
3. It helps to channel your zen
Running is a great mental break from the ‘always-on’ lives we lead. We’re all constantly tapped into social media and feeling the pressure to keep busy for fear of being lazy, but running allows you the time and space to switch off, mentally, as well as giving you an opportunity to embrace the outdoors and breath in that fresh air.
Observing your surrounds and truly being present will help bring about a meditative state of mind and a sense of relaxation, despite your body’s physical efforts. Post-run, you’re sure to feel more refreshed and calm, so let’s all say “ommm” together and get moving!
4. It assists with weight loss
I know we’ve all seen the fitness challenges and crash diets that preach incredible weight loss results, but did you know that running is proven as a highly effective way to achieve and sustain weight loss long-term.
It is important, however, to consider your calorie intake alongside your energy output, as diet is an essential component to improving results. For example, while running may burn around 100 calories per 1.6km, eating a 500-calorie pizza afterwards will counteract the benefits of your time spent exercising – trust me, it’s NOT worth it!
5. It’s cheap!
Other forms of cardio or workouts can cost a lot or may even require contractual membership agreements that lock you in to one gym for 12 months or more. Running, on the other hand, can be done for free AND you can do it just about anywhere! Because of the low cost and ease of access, it’s the perfect way for you to get your physical activity fix for the day, without having to sign your life away!
6. It’s a great way to meet new people
Running can also take you to different places and introduce you to other like-minded people that get their exercise in the same way as you! Running along popular tracks and pathways is one place you are sure to see other runners in your local community, so why not introduce yourself and see if the other person is interested is running together once a week, or even wants to grab a post-run coffee?
If you’re able to meet someone who has the same running route as you, sharing the journey as running buddies is a great way to stay motivated and accountable, pushing you to get out of bed on those cooler mornings you would otherwise consider bailing on your exercise plans.
At Anytime Fitness Club we also have a list of recommendations available for you around training groups in your local area so, if you’re a member, give your club a call and they can point you in the right direction!
7. It doesn’t require any training
Unlike many other forms of physical exercise, running does not require any training. Regardless of your fitness levels or abilities, or whether you start with a walk or a sprint, running is one of the simplest ways to introduce basic exercise into your routine and move your body. No excuses!
8. It assists with memory and focus
Some studies suggest that exercise can help the coordination between areas of the brain that control different functions, including our memory processing and motor skills. In this way, running could help to improve your memory and focus, which is going to benefit your work, study and home life!
Running is also a great way to clear your mind and feel refreshed, allowing you to better focus on any challenges your day may bring.
Now that you are informed of all the benefits of running, there should be no excuses! Should you be looking to really commit to a running goal, why not start with completing either the 5km or 10km The Sunday Mail Bridge to Brisbane? Whether you run the whole way, or take walking breaks in between sprints, 25 August is the chance to join the ultimate Race Day, all while touring some of Brisbane’s most iconic landmarks in a fun, active day out – you can register now by following this link.