It's funny because every time I start on a run, I don't enjoy it. My legs don't want to keep moving. But after about a mile or so I find my groove and can run for miles and miles. This morning I began thinking of why I enjoy running so much.
Disclaimer: The thoughts shared here are my personal thoughts from my personal experience. I am not a medical doctor, psychologist or professional health expert.
1. Running gives me energy
It seems so paradoxical doesn't it? Running takes a lot of energy, so how can it give it? Well, this is not a scientific article looking to answer the technicalities of that question. You can look up metabolism and all other relevant factors on your own. What I do want to say is that on the days that I run, I am less lethargic and more ready to conquer the world.
2. Running helps me eat better
While running makes me hungrier, it doesn't tend to make me hungrier for bad stuff. My body craves a healthy balance of carbs, protein, etc. to replenish itself. I tend to make healthier choices. There's also a psychological component at play for me. The thought of eating super unhealthy makes me feel like I would be wasting the time and effort investing in my running. Since I don't want to run for nothing, I tend to compliment my running with healthier eating.
3. Running makes me feel better
Along with the benefit of added energy and healthier eating, there are other aspects of running that help me feel better. Running helps me lose and/or maintain my weight. Running helps me build stronger muscles. I feel better all around on days that I run.
4. Running helps me spiritually
When I'm not faithfully running, because I love it so much, it's a good gauge of where I'm at spiritually. It generally means that I'm not doing well in the area of self-control. This means I'm probably eating poorly, my devotional time may not be as strong, my prayer life may not be as consistent and my decision making may be more me-centered. It's not a guarantee of those things, but it's a good indicator for me. On the flip-side, when I am running those other areas are generally stronger in my life as well.
5. God speaks to me when I run
I don't know why but running is a good thinking time and prayer time for me. And this is also the time when I generally feel like God puts things on my heart. During my run this morning, I felt like God put the idea for a 3 week series for Chicos on my heart. Last week, He put another idea for Chicos on my heart. In 2010 it was during a run that I felt like God told me we were pregnant. I told Polly. A few days later when she checked, it turned out we were. There's something about running that brings harmony to my conversations with God. (No I don't hear His audible voice, but I know He puts things in my heart.)
6. Running helps me enjoy God's creation
I love being in nature. I love fresh air (I try to avoid the congested city streets as best as I can). I love looking at mountains with the sunlight shining on them. I love seeing trees and flowers. I love seeing people and saying good morning to them. All of these things are part of God's beautiful creation. And I love to enjoy them all.
7. Running gives me fun, new experiences
Whether it's running in a race or going for a run with friends or running through a new part of town or meeting people along the way, I love the fun, new experiences running offers me.
So all this begs a simple question: If I love running so much and it makes my life so much better, why do I get out of the habit of doing it sometimes? The answer: I have no idea.