Motivation: Step 1- The beginning! WHY RUN?
(Affectionately subtitled “Getting your butt out there in the first place”)
What motivates us to exercise? Of course it will be different for each individual, but here are a few common motivators:
- Weight loss – weight that has accumulated over time, post partum weight, holiday weight, slimming down for the summer, a vacation, or an upcoming event such as a wedding or school reunion. This is probably the most common reason that people start to run.
- Stress Relief
- Social Activity
Getting motivated to get out there and just do it is something that we struggle with every day that we run- it’s winter, it’s cold, we’re tired and there are a limitless number of more comfortable things to do indoors! So why run? What can we think about to get us out the door on our run days?
Well you could join a running clinic! The group element can add an extra incentive to keep on the program. Because you want to stay on pace with your group, you try harder not to skip scheduled practices!
Here are some simple mantras to reflect on as you’re trying to drag yourself out the door:
- The schedule of a beginner isprogram simply a 25 minute commitment on run days. 25 minutes! That’s hardly any time out of your busy day; surely we can put aside 25 minutes to devote to exercise and our health. If you’re having trouble finding those 25 minutes (like I do, with a small kids, a job, plus all of my domestic responsibilities) try getting into a morning routine where you wake up 45 minutes before anyone else. You can be out and back with coffee on by the time anyone else in the house has even started their day!
- Running is a full person workout in that it is benefiting your body mind and soul. Running helps your physical, mental and emotional health. Not only are you physically more fit, it also helps with stress relief and also self esteem. As we experience in the clinic, there’s an entire social element as well which connects you with other motivated and health conscious people, so hopefully the attitude is contagious.
- Every single day that you run you are healthier than a day that you had not. No matter what the scales say, you are healthier and fitter- remember we are fit from the inside out! Being fit is not just about attaining your ideal body weight, although you can be sure that running is the single fastest way to burn off any extra pounds. Running increases circulation to your organs including your skin (which really helps it to glow!), it exercises your muscles making them stronger including your heart, and we can all agree on the importance of a strong heart! It builds muscle memory, a resource which you can call upon in emergency and depend upon when you need it! Running will give you extra energy- physical, mental and emotional-all that for a mere 25 minutes of your time!
- Running will help you to start to be more conscious of your body and of what you eat. We work hard to be out there, so it’s natural to start becoming more conscious of food choices that we make that will either help or hinder our fitness goals. Food is what fuels us and hopefully realizing how this works in conjunction with our activity is a slight enough shift in our attitudes towards food to increase our chances of making a healthier choice- will this give me more real energy or will this make it harder when I am out there trying to bust my butt?
- Running IS a gift that you give to yourself. We devote so much of ourselves to our families, our jobs, etc. that you DESERVE to give yourself 25 minutes of dedicated me time in the pursuit of health and happiness- in the betterment of you and only you! For me it’s 25 minutes of solitude, and often the only alone time I get each day. I have really come to value that.