12 Great Reasons to Love Running

Need Motivation to Run? Here are a Dozen Benefits

Woman running through the woods
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On some days, it’s easy to get out and run, but there are times when you may need a little extra motivation. Here are some very good reasons to keep lacing up those running shoes.

1. You can improve your sleep.

Runners find that the more they run, the more their bodies crave sleep since it repairs itself while you’re resting. Research confirms that exercise can help you sleep better. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine asked sedentary adults suffering from insomnia to exercise for twenty to thirty minutes every other day in the afternoon.

They found their time required to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost one hour.

2. You can do it practically anywhere.

You don’t need to travel somewhere to run – just head out your front door and go for a run. If you’re traveling, your running shoes and clothes don’t take up a lot of space.  And running is a fun, interesting way to explore a new destination.

3. Running gives you an escape.

The mental benefits of running are tremendous. Running gives you a break from the pressures and stresses of everyday life. Running can help you clear your mind, problem-solve without getting too emotional, and put things into perspective. What feels like an insurmountable problem somehow just doesn’t seem like a huge deal after a run.

4. Race medals and t-shirts are cool.

Most running races give you something -- whether it's a medal, a shirt, or both – simply for finishing. You may not wear it all the time, but it'll be there when you need a tangible reminder of your running prowess.

5. You can get guilt-free massages.

Runners tend to get tight muscles, and regular massages can help you feel comfortable and stay injury-free. Treat yourself to a professional massage every couple of months to help relieve some of that tightness.

6. You can compete against yourself.

You don’t have to worry about how you compare to other runners.

With running, it’s easy to chart your individual progress. If you’re a competitive person, you can try to improve your times at different race distances.

7. You can enjoy the great outdoors.

Running is the perfect excuse to get outside, breath in some fresh air, and experience all the beauty of nature. Whether you like running in the woods, on the beach, or in the mountains, it all serves as a peaceful backdrop for exercise.

8. Running is cheap!

Unlike others sports that require expensive equipment and lots of travel, running requires very little equipment, and you can do it almost anywhere. You don't even need a gym membership. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, and you can head out your door to go for a run.​ Use these ​money-saving tips for runners to find out how to do it for less.

9. You can make a difference.

Running can also be used as a way to contribute to society as a whole. Many races benefit charities, and some charities offer race training in exchange for fund-raising.

Running for something that's bigger than you is a great way to stay motivated to keep training and can make your races even more meaningful and fulfilling.​ Find a charity you want to support and use these fundraising tips for charity runners.

10. Running helps you feel good about yourself.

Regular runners report an increase in their confidence and self-esteem and the self-esteem benefits of running are increased if you set a specific goal, such as running a 5K or even a marathon, and accomplish it. These benefits will undoubtedly spill over into other areas, such as your professional and personal life.

11. You’ll add more structure and discipline to your life.

As you develop a running habit, your runs will become focal points in your week. You’ll plan other things around them, and your days will have more structure. You’ll also become more disciplined, especially if you decide to train for a race and follow a training schedule.

12. You can run alone – or with others.

Unlike other sports that are tough to play by yourself, running can be a perfect solo activity. But if you’re in the mood to socialize, you can always run with a friend, join a running group, or participate in a race.

A​re you already familiar with these reasons? How many of these ​​15 signs you're in love with running do you exhibit?


 “Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia” Reid, Kathryn J., PhD, et. al., Sleep Medicine 2010 Oct; 11(9): 934-940.

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