Andy Hawthorne

Andy Hawthorne

Projects, photos and running

22 Jun 2020

Running Back to Life

Reading time: 3 minute(s) - 600 words

Runners don’t realise how lucky they are to be running at all.

Before you start running, it seems like a thing only skinny, lycra-clad people do. Then, you start running yourself. And it hurts every time you go out. Every time.

The more running you do, the more your body gets used to it - until you realise that and try to do more. Then you learn all over again how hard it is.

But in the midst of all this hardship, you also realise something else. You feel more alive than you did before. Much more alive.

There you go. All done. Move along to the next post, I’m done here.

Oh, okay you want more.

Right, you asked for it.

We all know that physical activity is good for our bodies. That’s the no-brainer part. If you want a reason to go running, there it is. Your body will like you for it and you’ll feel better. You may even lose some weight.

But that’s not the whole story.

Running is also good for your mind.

There have been many times when I’ve set off on a run with a head full of worries. So much so, that I almost chose not to go running. By the middle of the run, the cloud in my mind is lifting. By the end of the run my mind is clear. Hell, sometimes I’ve even come up with a solution to a problem.

So, why does this happen?

I don’t care, do you?

I’m glad it does, though. Because it means I have an excuse to head out of the door tomorrow. And the day after.

Blimey, you lot are a tough bunch. You want proof now, too?

OK, here it is: Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness.

That’s a quote from the NHS Steps to mental wellbeing page on their website.

I’d also point you to this on the same web page: “Do not feel that you have to spend hours in a gym. It’s best to find activities you enjoy and make them a part of your life

That’d be running, then.

The point is: running (alright, and other forms of exercise) is good for your mind. I knew that all along. And so did you if you already run.

Why am I referring to this as running back to life?

I’m entering dangerous territory now. I’m not a doctor or any other kind of healthcare professional. However, my own evidence proves I’m right about this. I don’t want to labour the point, but I’ve battled some dark days in recent times. And running has helped me get through them.

That’s subjective, of course. But I know it has. And it can for you, too.

I call it running back to life because the exercise does lift the clouds from your mind. It does help you to feel better and not only physically.

The bottom line? If you want to feel better, go for a run.

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