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Running Benefits That Changed My Life

Promoting Social Cause Through Advocacy Runs

Sante’ Barley Domination Run 2013 for the benefit of Philippine Eagle Foundation

Runners say that you will only understand why are they so “addicted” to running after you have become one of them. I agree! It happened to me. When you have experienced its pain and relief, sorrow and joy, failure and victory, only then will you long to find the runner in you.

Here are the top six running benefits that changed my life.

1. Stress Management

I have been working in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry for four years and 3 months when I joined my first race in 2013. The work in this sector is known to many as stressful because it is done at night and in shifting schedules. It modifies the natural body clock and disrupts the normal physiological processes as we need to stay awake at times when everyone else is sleeping. The sedentary nature of work, improper diet, and lack of exercise can lead to obesity and weaken the immune system.

A two-hour run on weekends allows me to move freely, to see the real world, to feel the warmth of sunshine on my skin, to breath the pristine air. Running gives me a break and helps me get rid of the stress associated with my job.

2. Health and Fitness

My jeans are falling off my waist. I punched a new hole on my belt to tighten its fit. Layers of fats on my midsection have come off. Thanks to running! But aside from being one of the most effective weight management strategies, running gives a good work out to the heart, aids in proper blood circulation, and strengthens the lungs. When you run, you need to manage your respiration to make sure your brain and lungs do get the right supply of oxygen.

When you get used to running, you will forget about cigarettes and liquors. You will watch out what you eat. You will think about joining LSDs, registering for runs, and improving your PR; hence, you will slowly but surely get rid of vices that detrimentally affect your health.

3. Exploring New Places

Sightseeing in the run is an active way of exploring new places. I have been amazed at how much of and how far in the world can I discover with just a a pair of suitable running shoes. Before, I was too lazy to find the way to places I want to go to; I often ask people and rely on them to give me the right directions.

For the love of running, I have learned how to read maps, decipher signs, and follow directions, whether I am out in the road or inside a mall. I have become fond of searching for short cuts when I am in a hurry. Sometimes, I even prefer walking to riding when the traffic situation gets worse. Most importantly, I have unlearned my fear of traveling alone.

4. Social Connection

“Birds of a feather flock together,” the saying goes. Runners share the same interests, so they are most likely spend time and space together, and the resulting proximity promotes friendship. May it be on-line or in the real world, the running community offers various rendezvous to engage in meaningful social interactions. Although some prefer to run in solitary, many like to be with other runners because they find comfort, encouragement, emotional support, and camaraderie in groups.

Running with friends helps us meet our social needs. It lets us achieve a sense of belongingness that is sometimes hard to find within the circle of people whom we consider significant.

5. Values Formation

Running does not only require an able and strong physical body to perform; mental processes and emotions are also at work to keep you moving and hitting the road. Training for a marathon necessitates patience, perseverance, and determination. Often, it is a tedious process that challenges our psychological vitality. It takes courage and motivation to be able to surpass the hurdles along the road. It takes personal discipline to be able to focus on and hit one’s goals.

Failures urge us to learn and strive harder, while success builds our confidence to do more [Tweet]. These values are transferred in the way we deal with life’s real problems, so they make us better and wiser individuals.

6. Social Responsibility

Fun runs are a good avenue to promote and support the advocacies that we value. Several races are organized every year to drive social causes for children’s education, humanitarian relief, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection.

For an ordinary employee who makes both ends meet, I gain a sense of fulfillment when I know that I am able to help others in a little way. Your hard-earned money becomes worthy of spending when you know you have used it for others’ welfare. Sharing is caring!

So these are the benefits I get from running. It differs from one person to another depending on what your goals are and what you value most in your life. Whatever the reasons are, I am glad that you have chosen running to be part of your healthy lifestyle. See you in the road!

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