The Happiness Class: Running
Updated: May 20
Physically, you are getting your heart going and your blood pumping and breathing fresh air. Mentally, running is great - it's when I process my worries, unpick what's stressing me and get my best ideas.
What Is It?
For some, running is an addictive way of life that drives them to incredible feats like running a marathon (the equivalent of running from Liverpool to the outskirts of Manchester!); whereas for others it's something they claim they're "Just not good at". I was definitely in the latter camp ten years ago but then the pressure of a full time job and two children meant that I couldn't get to the gym and I had to do something to improve my fitness. So, I turned to running - cheap, easy and, very literally, on your doorstep
How Do I Do It?
Well, basically, you just put one foot in front of another and then try to speed up! Don't put pressure on yourself - start small and build up to a distance that works for you. Feel free to walk a bit then run a bit, stop and have a stretch, admire the view, take it easy and find your own pace. Whatever happens, you NEVER regret a run, even if you walked most of the way home. I would suggest you get into a routine - I always run first thing in the morning during the week - it has become a habit and, as such, is easy to achieve - try and drag me out for a run at the weekend or in the evening and you've no chance!
Also, get a play list of music you love to sing along to, or tune into the radio or listen to a podcast - whatever works for you.
What Are The Benefits?
So many... physical and mental. Physically, you are getting your heart going and your blood pumping and breathing fresh air. You are also getting those magical endorphins running through your body which enable you to face life with a huge sense of positivity. Mentally, running is great - it's when I process my worries, unpick what's stressing me and get my best ideas. Running first thing also makes me feel smug for the rest of the day!
Running is also free (we've all got a pair of trainers and a PE kit, you don't need much else) and, crucially for me, it takes 40 minutes from start to finish.
Where Can I Learn More?
There are so many fantastic apps to help you train (sorry, "train" sounds far too professional, I meant to help get you started!) - Couch to 5K is brilliant. You could ask a runner enthusiast for some advice too - but don't be put off if they try to show off about their achievements - always find your own pace and set your own goals.