It’s the New Year and everybody is racing to the gym to lose weight or get in shape. The regulars can’t get on a treadmill or use the equipment because they are taken over by the New Year resolutioners. Sadly, in a couple of weeks, things will be back to normal and some will slip into their old routines. What most people don’t realize is losing weight or getting in shape is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, a complete lifestyle change. You have to find a plan that fits your schedule, so it makes it easier for you to be consistent and follow through. Getting into a routine and finding an exercise regimen you enjoy is so important to keeping you engaged. I have a personal trainer that I go to twice a week, but I would have to say running is really my exercise of choice. While typing that I had to smile to myself and think back to when I first started running. I fondly remember my friends saying, “you should come run with us” and my response was “I don’t do outside running” while laughing. Even after saying no, somehow, I found myself in the park, on the trail, running. Peer pressure is serious. Now all I can say is I am so glad they invited me.
For all the stressors that can come to wear on your mood and health, running for me is that panacea. You often hear people talk about the “runners high”, and that is because according to a study published in Neuropharmacology, running can cause the same kind of neurochemical adaptations in the brain’s pleasure and reward center as some addictive drugs. German scientists have shown that, in mice, that rush is not related to endorphins being released but to an increase in the level of endocannabinoids in the bloodstream. So, working out can increase what is basically the body’s naturally occurring cannabis, yielding a state of euphoria and relaxation. Who knew? We are able to increase those pleasure centers just by getting out and getting active.
I know you are anxious to get started so let me tell you how:
- Determine where you are. Some people are able to start with a running plan and others who aren’t running at all may need to start with a walk/run method. Thanks to technology there are so many apps that will help with this.
- Be consistent. Do your best to run at the same time of day. This helps with creating a mindset that develops this into a habit.
- Build a support system. Having friends that I can run with helps to keep me accountable and pushes me to go harder.
Now look, you won’t be Usain Bolt in a week, a month or let’s just say (for some of us) ever but you can be you. Take your time, be patient and slowly but surely you will start to see improvement in your pace and endurance. Although those first few runs will challenge you, the rewards will be greater. Check out my Instagram account and I will be sharing what kind of running gear you will need, apps I use and more of the benefits of running. Follow me on IG @thePillDr. If you’re already running, leave me some comments to say what you would add. I would love to “hear”.