Fitness Articles

Learn to Love Running

Meeting Your Goals Never Felt So Good

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But running can also be used as a drug-free way to help treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders. Some studies have shown that intense physical exercise works as well as psychotherapy and also relieves tension, fatigue and confusion. Running has also been proven to help prevent the depression that many people develop when recovering from serious illness.  (*Always check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.) Other psychological benefits of running include:
  • Increased confidence as you reach for and achieve your distance goals.
  • Relieved stress and the ability to cope with problems more effectively.
  • A positive attitude and a general sense of happiness.
  • Boosted self-esteem related to positive changes in your body, such as weight loss.
Jogging can also be a great way to spend time with your friends and meet like-minded fitness lovers too. That woman you nod to every day as you pass on the street could become one of your closest friends. Look at what you have in common!

If you prefer to keep to yourself, running can be a way of actively meditating as you become one with your breathing. Problems and thoughts that might have been swirling around your mind disappear when you’re deep in the rhythm of your footsteps—you might even discover the perfect solution when you’re done with your workout.

It doesn’t matter where you live—running can be done almost anywhere and requires very little in the way of equipment except for proper shoes and comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing.

My Accomplishment
I have a tendency to start an activity full-force and then burn out quickly, so I had to be careful not to expect too much of myself as I began my jogging program. I didn’t want to lose my motivation in a few weeks, so I didn’t set impossible expectations that I could never realistically meet. What worked for me was having a basic goal—to jog for 15 minutes straight. I didn’t imagine myself ever trying the Boston Marathon. I just wanted to be able to get in shape and still have time for other things.

The first week I started by walking quickly for five minutes as a warm-up, then I jogged for one minute and switched back to walking for two minutes. I alternated between walking and jogging several times until I had completed about 20 minutes and ended with another five-minute walk to cool down.

The amount of time I spent jogging gradually increased over then next two and a half months until I could finally jog for 15 minutes straight. What an emotional rush I felt when I finally reached my goal! I had actually done what I had set out to do. And I did it again and again in the coming days.

I’d like to be able to say that jogging magically solved all of my problems but life still pulls me in a million different directions. No matter what happens though, I still have that wonderful feeling of accomplishment deep down inside—and nothing can take that away from me.
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • I don't like running but I will try for about a minute and that's it. I love to walk. - 12/9/2013 9:23:43 AM
  • I've always wanted to run but have never been able to. Now I am trying again....ran eight minutes last night with a 60 second break in the middle. I don't go very fast but once I can do 15 minutes I will work on speed...after that I will need to start using the incline on my treadmill because it is so hilly where I live - if I want to do this outside, hills are going to be part of it! - 9/3/2013 8:53:15 AM
  • I'm new to running. Training for a 5k in June - thru my health insurance. It's something that I've long to do... started and stopped a few times. Prayerfully, I'll catch on and stick to it. I look forward to the accomplishment of it all. Nothing beats a FAILURE but a TRY! Congrats to all who run and to those who try.

    - 4/17/2013 12:51:38 PM
  • I love my running started out could run for a minute than walk for 5. Now today I actually overtook other runners that was a milestone for me - 3/27/2013 6:00:32 PM
  • Thanks for the article, which taught me a few things.

    I transitioned from running on the treadmill to running outdoors with a group, and it's been fabulous. I'm now at a point where I can run 10 miles, and working out with the group has combined the best of social aspects with the best of solitude. - 2/11/2013 11:40:01 PM
  • i love running as well. I am not very good at it, and I cant run consistently for very long, but im great at the run/walk/run method.. I joined the Galloway Method of training in December and now the farthest I've run so far is 6 miles. I'm training for my first EVER half marathon in March. Also, Ive never run a 5k and my first 5k is Feb. 9th!!!! crazy, how far ive come! Good luck to everyone who is trying to run. you will love it, no matter how you do it! - 1/21/2013 2:28:38 PM
  • i started running 3weeks ago and i already feel the difference,it always changes my moods and clears my mind!!!i run every evening for the 30minutes except on weekends - 10/22/2012 6:14:56 AM
  • thank you for sharing... its true we have to make the time to workout...
    and i do love running but i cant seem to get past the two miles anymore at 4mph after slipping a disc...
    yeah i know.... it takes time but i am ready just not pushing hard enough...
    thanks again!!!!
    - 9/27/2012 7:29:04 PM
  • ABBYLYNN_1
    yay you! I just started yesterday and I cannot run very far at all yet but gotta start somewhere..good luck!..*S* - 5/17/2012 10:20:16 AM
  • I love running. I think it's so natural as far as exercise, and I love that (for me) it's solitary. Usually, I run on the treadmill - but outside is nice too.

    I did a 5km when I started, then a 10K, then a half marathon. I learned I hate races though... I like the solitary aspect of running, so running with a heard kind of defeated the purpose. - 3/18/2011 1:51:02 PM
  • Wow sparkpeople.com, good timing yet again. I've started on Sunday. I do a 5-min unit of running, 5 min walking, 5 min running... I try to go up 1 unit a week for the first month. My goal is to run 30 min straight some day. I am not giving myself a date as to when I have to achieve that, as this would stress me out, but I want to run at least twice a week no excuses! I did it on Sunday and Wednesday (2 units of 5 min) and the second time around I was much faster. Will see how it goes today... I am using runkeeper to track my progress (Username is Maruca) - 3/18/2011 5:22:28 AM
  • I have been working out for a while now and I have always HATED running! But here lately my husband has started running and so I have been trying to get into it! And today I finally reached my goal and ran 1mile without walking!! And I got the runner high that my husband talks about! I can't wait to run tomorrow now!! I'm so glad I read this on this same day!! - 3/17/2011 1:26:50 AM
  • Great article! Came at the right time too. I went out and did 2 miles today, 6 segments of running and 8 of walking. I actually enjoyed the running for the first time - I think because my legs are stronger and my lungs more fit, due to the aerobic DVDs I've been using. Thanks for detailing the benefits - this will motivate me to do it again and again! - 8/21/2010 6:50:04 PM
  • I like this "Problems and thoughts that might have been swirling around your mind disappear when you’re deep in the rhythm of your footsteps—you might even discover the perfect solution when you’re done with your workout". Sounds like a 2-in-1 shampoo - get a good therapy AND health benefits, too! - 6/17/2010 7:07:22 PM
  • Running & jogging are not synonymous. Jogging pounds my joints, but running does not. - 4/10/2009 12:40:35 AM
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