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How running helps my physical and mental health

Running gives Caitlin a chance to clear her head and lifts her energy levels for the day

Written by Caitlin Grant and posted in voices

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Caitlin is running the Dublin Marathon on 27th October 2019 in aid of Read about Caitlin's marathon training below and if you want support her fundraising efforts, you can donate here.

Running gives people the chance to exercise whenever and wherever they want to. It has to be the most accessible way of exercising - just put on your shoes and go. Whether you don’t want to be seen and prefer the mornings, go out for a jog with friends or you’re competitive and decide to race, there’s something in it for everyone. In the hectic life we live in today, it’s vital that we fit in exercise, not only for our physical health but our mental health too. I’ve taken advantage of running over the last few years and I’ve become an all round healthier person because of it.

Mental Health

No matter how anxious or stressed I may feel I always feel better after a run. It’s a great opportunity to practice mindfulness because you can focus on everything around you instead of something you may be finding difficult in your life at that moment. If you’re concentrating on your feet landing on the ground, the nature surrounding you or even your breathing it’s helping you to stay present in the moment. I find it’s a good way to reset my mind to make it more relaxed and help me to get ready for the rest of the day.

No matter if it’s 500m or a marathon if you’re out there you’re achieving something and you’re going to feel proud of yourself for that. I always find that I have more confidence and belief in myself afterwards. My energy levels are better for the day ahead too. It’s mentally challenging to get going and while running, but if you’ve completed it you will feel great about yourself.

Tying running shoes

Physical Health

What I benefit a lot from is prioritising what I eat and how much I sleep when I have a running routine. I feel the need to look after myself more in order to exercise. Most of my old habits like not eating enough or eating too much junk food aren’t a problem anymore because I’ve now decided to prioritise my running and I want to be able to perform my best. I have found that I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight much easier from exercising and eating healthier food daily. I’m not saying I eat perfectly but I used to have days where I wouldn’t eat much at all and then eat too much so this has definitely helped to balance it out more.

It also means that if I have to run early in the morning, I force myself to get to sleep early, probably getting a better sleep than I would have if I wasn’t getting up early in the mornings.

Even though you can run whenever you want I find it easiest running in the morning to get it out of the way as it’s usually the only time in the day that you have completely to yourself. It’s also a great to have something achieved before everyone else wakes up. I genuinely haven’t pressed the snooze button in ages purely because I’m motivated to get up and get out as soon as I can. Watching Netflix until the early hours isn’t an option now.

The beauty of running is you can go wherever you want, for as long as you want and whenever you want. If you’ve never tried it out, give it a go! If running isn’t for you there’s so many different types of exercise whether it’s in the gym, the track or the field, there’s something for everyone.

To support Caitlin in her fundraising efforts, you can donate here.

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Published August 21st2019
Tags opinion exercise running mental health
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