Running improves your physical health, that’s a fact that doesn’t need explaining, but it also benefits and brings happiness to other areas of life as any runner can testify.
It builds character, boosts self-esteem and can create a community of friends and support that few sports can match.
Running can be difficult at times, but it can also transform lives and impact the life choices you make.
Whether you set out to achieve a personal best over 5K or win a national championship, running shows you what can be achieved when you put your mind to it, which helps you realise that goals in other areas of life, whether personal or professional are not out of reach.
Need convincing that running can benefit other areas of your life? Here are five ways that running makes you a better person.
Running brings clarity and helps you solve problems
Runners like habits and routines and tend to stick to the same running routes, but this familiarity allows your mind to switch its focus from what your body is doing, to think about other things going on in your life.
Whether it is a problem at home or a tough professional decision, running clears your mind from all other distractions and gives you an uninterrupted space to bring mental clarity to the choices and decisions you need to make.
Running fosters friendships and community
For the most part running is an individual sport, but it also creates a community that few sports can conceive. In a race environment when each person is zoned in on their own goals, runners are still supportive of one another, whether it’s simply sharing a simple smile or a nod of the head to say I know the pain you are going through.
Do you remember the amazing show of support one London marathoner showed his fellow runner this year?
The sense of camaraderie that runners share in both running clubs and at local the park leads to lifelong friendships. Even the short interactions with other runners that you meet on your morning run can provide a lasting supportive social group.
Running helps you appreciate pain
Running can present many painful and challenging moments, but by persevering and overcoming these obstacles you learn to appreciate pain.
This pain you experience and endure helps create a mental coping mechanism that can be applied to all other areas of life. This new found strength helps build the confidence that you can endure and overcome any challenge, whether it’s losing weight or hiking up a mountain.
Running boosts self-esteem
For the duration of a run, whether it’s thirty minutes or two hours, the moment you come in through the door you experience that euphoric feeling and sense of joy – the runner’s high.
You want to feel it again, so you run more, you set goals that you reach, you get in better physical shape, you make friendships at your running club or park, and this all works together to increase your overall self-esteem.
Running breeds humility
The challenges and setbacks that come with running are experienced by the full spectrum of runners, from novices to Olympians, whether it’s that one dreadful race, missing a run due to illness, or time out with an injury.
So, regardless of how confident a runner you are, the experiences cannot help but leave you humble and appreciative of the fact that no runner is immune to the unforgiving hardships of the sport.
At the end of a marathon or track race, once the finish line has been crossed, one of the first things a runner does is seek out and congratulate a fellow competitor, regardless of how they performed, because they know they have shared the same undulating journey.