We all know the physical benefits to running. I won’t waste your time by repeating them here. However, people who don’t run, often miss the non-physical benefits. To me, these are even more valuable than the physical ones.
This week, I have been running outdoors. I have chosen to run in the heat of the day—usually when the temperatures are 90° or more. I know, I’m crazy. But I am loving it.
In addition to losing a few pounds, I have enjoyed three non-physical benefits. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but they are highly compelling to me.
- Running provides me with “think time.” I don’t know about you, but I am so busy these days that I rarely have time to think. Yet, I know instinctively that I really can’t accomplish anything signicant without serious reflection, dreaming, and planning. Running affords me this opportunity. Just today, I thought through the outline for a new book I want to write—and this blog post.
- Running provides an opportunity for personal growth. Often, I listen to audio books, podcasts, or courses when running. This has become the primary way I “read” these days. The great thing is that I find myself looking forward to running, because I am eager to get back to what I am reading. For example, I am just finishing up Fast, Effective, Copywriting by David Garfinkle. I have been pushing my running mileage just so I have more time to listen and learn!
- Running provides the chance to recharge. It sounds counter-intuitive, especially to non-runners, but running actually gives you more energy that it consumes. Some people think, I can’t run or walk. I just don’t have the energy. What they don’t realize is that if they would just do it, they would be more energetic for the rest of the day. Running clears your mind, improves circulation, and eliminates toxins. I never feel better than right after a good run.
I have often told my wife, Gail, “Whatever you do, please make sure I keep running. Nothing I do pays more dividends than this.” Who knew that there were so many non-physical benefits?