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Running; Getting Stronger and Mastering your Mind.

Running; Getting Stronger and Mastering your Mind.

There is no need defining running to you because you already know what is. We all run, whether we like it or not, it is avoidable. From the 5 seconds you use when you need to put off the oven to running a marathon. Though unavoidable, many of us detest running for leisure or sport. If you dislike running, there are other ways to get your cardio requirements i.e stair master, skipping, aerobics, dancing and so on and so forth. Running however has many benefits some of these other exercises may not provide.

Firstly, running can be very therapeutic. You don’t have to run only when you want to lose weight. When I feel stressed out, annoyed or overwhelmed by anything, I run. It is a way to ooze off negative energy or simply unwanted energy.

When you run for a longer distance, you run with your mind and head and not just your legs. To master the art of running, you have to break that ‘impossible’ wall in your mind. That wall that tells you to STOP’, that ‘your leg hurts and you are out of breath’. That normally takes mastering but once you learn to control your mind, you become unstoppable. At first, your whole body wants to give up, but IF YOU CONTINUE, not just a day but days and weeks, you get better, faster and stronger at it, same with every other seemingly difficult areas of life. Running, thus teaches you about persistence and endurance.

When you run for a longer distance, you run with your mind and head and not just your legs. To master the art of running, you have to break that ‘impossible’ wall in your mind

More so, its common knowledge that running helps you lose those love handles and defines your waistline. When you run, you burn and use up calories, AKA energy stored in the body. Calorie is a unit of measurement reflecting the amount of energy a given food or drink provides. When we take in too much calories, be it through solid food or liquid, our body stores the excess as fat and reserves some as glycogen for the provision of instant energy. When you run, you utilise and burn up glycogen or fat. For even faster fat burn try out running with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training; sprinting for 30 seconds, walking for 1 minutes and repeating this for about 30 minutes) [1].

For those of us who want to stay young and hearty, running can help you achieve this goal. According to Sascha Wingenfeld, health trainer and active triathlete, running makes you heart healthy by doing the following [2];

  • dropping blood fat levels and maintaining good cholesterol in the body.
  • Reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis (Thickening and hardening of blood vessels that transport oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the body which may in turn restrict the flow of blood to the organs and tissues [3])
  • Slowing down the production of stress hormones such as Adrenalin and Cortisol
  • Enhancing blood circulation in the body
  • Preventing thrombosis (blood clotting in the blood vessels that may prevent the proper flow of blood [4] )
  • Increased blood volume in your body

Beginner? You don’t have to run 20/30 minutes straight up. You can start with running 5 minutes and walking 5 minutes continuously. The key is to listen to your body. Do not over stress yourself. It is only natural for your body to pick up and get stronger on its own as you stay persistent. So do not worry if it takes two weeks for you to run 10 minutes straight up, the most important thing is that you will get there.

Precautions;

  • Always pick a day or two to rest. This will help your body recoup and also keep you from overuse injuries.
  • Always stretch after your run.
  • Stay aware of your environment to avoid accidents.
  • Run in lit up areas
  • Listen to your body and always watch your heart beat. If your heart is going to fast, stop to catch your breath and do not start until you can breath fine

Interested in running now? Join our #30daysRun challenge. It’s 24 days left now but that would be a good start still. You can choose anytime to run and share your journey if it pleases you :). Finally remember, you run for no one but yourself and not just for your weight but your HEALTH. Enjoy the journey.

Mimaj

I am a graduate of Law and French Language from Swansea University, United Kingdom. I have always loved writing, researching, adventure and learning. I am bilingual and appreciate a multicultural environment. I have a heart for development work and human rights.

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