Some call it an art, some call it exercise, some call it fun, whilst others call it torture. My take on this is a combination of all. I began running over 30 years ago (yes, I was a small child when I began), after 30 years of running (off and on) you think I might actually get better at it!!! Sadly, this is not the case.
Even though I am as slow as a tortoise, sound like I am dying and plod along like an obese elephant I continue to participate in this pastime, sport, hobby, form of exercise, whatever you want to call it? The other day when my lungs were on fire and thought I might just have a heart attack there and then I began to question why I was doing this – I had hurt my knee the previous week, my back felt like there were knives in it every time I landed a foot on the ground, I couldn’t catch my breath and yet I continued to pound the pavement.
The answer is quite simple, I felt great after. Not initially, when I’m tackling between ripping my shoes off, gasping for breath or trying to rehydrate all at the same time, but once I regain my composure I feel energised, I feel alive, I feel awake and I am a happier person. It is common knowledge that exercise releases beta-endorphins in the brain that can increase our level of happiness and overall wellbeing. It is proven that any form of exercise that increases heart rate will help with depression if continued over a lengthy period of time. Exercise allows us to ‘clean out the cobwebs’, to breathe in fresh air and to get our bodies moving.
I had one of the most horrible days at work the other day that I just wanted to bang my head against a brick wall, and then when I got home I dropped dinner all over the floor whilst preparing it! It was one of those days and things just kept piling up on top of me and I could feel my anxiety rising up and up. I knew what I had to do and it didn’t involve wine! I changed into my running gear, grabbed my phone and my headphones and I hit the running track. I was only gone for just over 20 minutes but I felt so much better when I got back. I had a quick yoga session, followed by a shower and I was ready to face ‘cactus hour’ with the children and continue on to have an enjoyable evening, the horrible day was gone and it was time to re-focus on the most important people.
It is hard to find the motivation sometimes, but exercise is a far better choice to make than alcohol.