Running changed my life and brought it into balance. I now feel as though my entire essence, body, and soul is centered.
~Donna Issacson, (Casting Director)
Hello! My name is Keri, from the blog The Blue-Eyed Runner . I am a runner, group fitness instructor, and all around fitness enthusiast. I love Jen’s blog and jumped at the opportunity to guest post here today! Jen tells me she is not a runner, so I thought I would do a running post for all of you. There are so many amazing running sources out there so I tried to include some interesting and fun things you may not have heard before…or maybe you have…but these are some of my favorite tips and secrets.
~Running strengthens your immune system, which keeps you healthy. And the benefits go beyond fewer colds and runny noses. A strong immune system has the ability to fight off cancer and other life threatening diseases.
~Running improves mood.
Ever hear of the runner’s high? Well it does exist! Exercise has been used (in conjunction with anti-depressants and without) to treat depression and anxiety successfully. Exercise has the ability to stimulate new brain cell growth while anti-depressants only have partial ability to grow new cells.
~Running makes you smarter.
According to The Runner’s Body, “Repeated physical exertion makes our brains generally better able to learn, function, and adapt by stimulating the growth of new cells, increasing the brain’s fuel efficiency, and stimulating other changes that are very much like the exercise induced changes we are familiar with in other organs, such as the muscles.”
Okay fine. You don’t have to be a runner to reap the rewards of this one, any type of repeated physical exertion will do, but I find this study fascinating!
Because who doesn’t need a little motivation to get out there once in awhile?!
~Buy cute new running outfits.
I love to wear cute running outfits! I have so much pink in my fitness wardrobe it is ridiculous. There are so many adorable workout clothes available for women now, and it is so hard for me to stop buying them!
Nike Pro Sports Bra- $28
Lululemon Running Shorts- $54
Hydration Belt- $32
~Find a scenic route to run.
I never run on a treadmill, even in the winter. I find them so boring. If being a runner meant you had to run on a treadmill, then I would not do it. I love finding new routes to run whether at the beach, on a trail, in a new state or city, or even at home. I love to explore new places, and what better way to do that than to run through them?
~Run with a buddy…or lots of buddies. I run with my dad. Running with a partner makes the time go so much faster! Sometimes I find that I get excited and it makes me run faster too. When you run with friends, it is easier to forget that you are actually running because you are having fun too. Many running clubs set group run times followed by pizza and beer or coffee and breakfast. Also, if you set a date and time to run with someone, you will most likely make sure you get there because nobody likes to bail on friends.
~Reward yourself when you reach a goal you set.
See all that cute gear above? I am constantly rewarding myself for setting a PR (personal record) in a race or achieving a goal I set for myself.
~Enter a race.
If you read my blog, then you know I LOVE to race. I am constantly racing many weekends each month (too many, really) and I always post a race report. Races are fun…even if you don’t actually race them! Running a race is a good opportunity to assess your fitness, perform a tempo run, or just have fun running with a ton of other people! Look in your area for theme races. Some of the races I do supply free pizza or beer afterwards, among a ton of other fun free stuff! If you join a running club, many races may even be free! (see below)
~Join a running club.
This is probably my number 1 favorite secret, so I saved the best for last. If you are at all into running…locate a club and join! I run for a club which is also a running store. For about $30 a year, I receive a 20 percent store discount, team uniform, over a dozen free races, multiple track/team workouts and there are always people available to run with you! You do not have to be a good runner to join a club…most clubs welcome anyone and everyone who wants to join! They also offer and sponsor various running related events, promotions, etc. One local running club (not mine!) had Bart Yasso to come speak for them. Of course all clubs are different and each has its own perks but it is definitely worth looking into.
So, I want to know: How many of you are already runners? Who wants to become one? Who still says no way, you runners are crazy!
[Note from Jen: Thank you so much to Keri from The Blue-Eyed Runner for writing this. I can't wait to put my running shoes on this weekend and give it a real try! Be sure to check out her blog - she rocks!!]