At some point in our lives we all go through a stretch where we are not as physically active as we once were. Maybe we got a new job. Maybe we are new parents. Maybe we’ve just lost the drive to move. Maybe we just lost track of time. No matter the reason, it is not too late to get moving!
This realization came to a head for me at the end of April. I stepped on a scale and was unhappy with the weight staring back at me. I knew I needed to up my movement as I had been rather stagnant for a few years. I decided that I would start running, though I absolutely despised it. Like waking up at the crack of dawn and having a flat tire, despise. I also knew that if I could get myself motivated to run, I could better my overall health and find myself again.
I know I’m new to running, but I want to share the top three things I’ve gained through running that may convince you to get moving!
More Energy– Don’t we all wish we could bottle up little kids energy. I mean they can literally run around ALL DAY! The older we get the harder it is to have that excess energy. I know that the past couple of years have really hit me in this department. I became reliant on other outside entities to keep me going (red bull, Mt. Dew, etc.). Part of this is because I was less active and with that was more restless at night. I’d wake up in the morning and not want to get out of bed. Your mind can be a very powerful non-motivator. It always wants you to stay in the comfort of your bed. It doesn’t want to feel the agony of working your muscles. It convinces you that you don’t need to workout today. There’s always tomorrow!
Here’s where the routine of running can help. Getting up and out of bed is still a struggle, but on the days I run I have more energy. When you first think about that you may think it’s just the opposite. In reality, your body gets that shockwave to get going right away to start your day. Your metabolism also gets a jolt to get working! That doesn’t mean you have to run in the morning, but I know that it has helped me make it through my days much easier. It’s helped me keep up with our one year old son as well! If you are searching for more energy try an early morning run/jog!
Eating Healthier– I’ve always been a sucker for pizza…And burgers…And steaks..And ice cream…I mean who isn’t? The thing is we can’t eat them all the time. If we did/do we will end up having energy issues and more importantly health issues down the road. I think we’d all like to live a healthy and long life.
That’s where running comes in. As I started my journey in running and losing weight, I noticed how much more I was drawn to healthier options more frequently. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat those things I love, but I do it in moderation. I think that is extremely important when working on your health. I’m a firm believer that you can have your cravings, IN MODERATION. If we cut out all the great stuff, we will fall off the wagon at some point.
I think the main reason I am choosing the healthier option more frequently is I don’t want to lose the progress I got from the run. That heightened energy I got will be cut down with a bunch of junk food. The great start to my weight loss, 25 pounds, will go up in a flash with too many sweets. It’s become a good habit that I’m unwilling to break. Now go treat yourself to a run… and a small ice cream : )
Weight Loss– It’s so much easier to gain weight. We may not think about it until we work to lose it. Sometimes the first pounds fly off, but there are setbacks. The aches and pains we haven’t felt in years. The cravings to eat like we used to eat. Your mind once again being the star of laziness. We like talking about losing weight, but when it comes down to putting in the sweat equity our minds like to convince us otherwise.
I say all of this to also say that weight is not everything. It’s important that we feel comfortable in our own skin, while being as healthy as possible. The reality is there are people that struggle just as much with eating enough healthy foods and keeping on weight. For me, it was the startling realization that I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life. I was the unhealthiest I had been in my life. I was lost.
I knew I had gained weight. I wasn’t as quick on the basketball court when playing pickup. I was tired after simple cardio. My body hurt. I had a stretch over two years where my feet and ankles KILLED. I went to the podiatrist to no avail. Thinking back now I know it had to do with my weight. I was simply carrying too much. I was making my body work harder then it needed to. I’m not talking about losing 10 pounds. I’m talking about making a decision that I NEEDED to lose 65 pounds in a year.
For me, running has helped tremendously in this endeavor. I still have a ways to go, but I have dropped 25 pounds to date. My feet and ankles feel so much better. I can feel the flexibility coming back to me. I can comfortably fit in a SLIM CUT XL button down for the first time in years. I know I am doing something that was needed for myself and my family. I want to be able to play catch with my son. I want to be able to dance with my wife. I want to grow old with my loved ones. I want to be the best Philip Mueller I can be. Running has helped.