Whether you love this Hallmark holiday or just wait patiently for it to pass, there’s no better reminder of love than Valentine’s Day. Each year I enjoy the festive celebrations as a reminder to be grateful for all of the love that I have in my life. One of my favorites: my love for running.
There are so many reasons to love running.
As we celebrate this holiday with fancy dinners, little gifts, heartfelt notes and plenty of candy, I’m taking a few minutes out of the day to acknowledge my love for running.
Whether you’re a seasoned runner, you religiously clock in your daily miles as a means of stress relief, or are just toying with the idea of getting started – there are so many reasons to fall in love with running.
We are lucky enough to be able to participate in this worldwide sport in whatever way best suits our goals, lifestyle and schedule. Whether you’re waving at a fellow runner in your neighborhood, encouraging one another on the trails, or toeing the starting line with 1,000 other strangers, there are so many opportunities to spread the love for running.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, celebrating the love already in your heart, or hoping to find the courage to begin – here are some of the best reasons to love running this Valentine’s Day.
14 Reasons to Fall in Love with Running
1. Running is all-inclusive.
This sport is unique in the fact that anyone can do it.
Are you just starting to run for the first time and have to take tons of walk breaks?
Or are you challenging yourself to complete a half marathon, your farthest distance yet?
Maybe you’re waking up before dawn to log 100+ mile weeks as you shoot for that 1st place finish, or simply trying to lose 20 pounds and barely able to run a mile at a time.
You are all runners. No matter how fast you go, how far you run, when you complete those miles, or where you are when you do – everyone can be a runner.
This sport brings together a unique group of people with completely different backgrounds, goals, personalities and abilities, and yet each of these people identifies as a runner. Together, runners encourage one another and compete against themselves to improve and succeed.
2. Running will make you a better person.
Whether you progress through life thinking only about yourself, or are regularly scheduling time to self-reflect – running will make you a better person.
Running is a unique sport that challenges us to compete against ourselves. It helps us see our progress, discover what sets us up for success, find motivation from within, and encourages us to create new goals.
This sport has as many mental benefits as it does physical. Not only will you gain strength, lose weight and increase your fitness as you continue running, you’ll also gain perspective, patience, mental strength, willpower, grit and gratitude.
No matter why you began or where you are now, running continues to help each and every one of us become a better person.
3. Running is available at any time or place.
Whether you’re running your usual neighborhood loop, visiting a friend, or on vacation, running is always possible. All it takes is a pair of running shoes and a road, trail or sidewalk to get going.
You can run to see the sunrise, log a few miles at lunch, climb that mountain, explore a new city or wind down after a long day of work. Running will fit into your schedule in whatever way is best.
4. Running keeps you consistent.
There’s nothing more powerful than working towards a goal to keep you consistent. As you cross days off your training plan, record your mileage in a training log or just complete each run to relieve stress after work, this sport helps you practice consistency in every way.
When you miss a couple of runs, your body will feel the difference when you try to return. The more our relationship with running develops, the more we realize this and hope to avoid it at all costs. Running holds us accountable each and every day.
5. Running relieves stress.
It’s no secret that many adults are under a significant amount of stress each day. Whether it’s from taking care of your family, a time-consuming job, or various personal matters – each week is filled with its fair share of stress.
Running is an excellent way to relieve stress. It’s a healthy form of stress relief that not only helps reduce tension, but provides a healthy dose of endorphins as well.
6. Running helps you experience every season.
While it may be easy to head outdoors in the summertime – when the sun is still shining at 9pm and all the neighborhood kids are home from school – getting outdoors the rest of the year is a bit trickier.
As a runner, we are provided with daily and weekly opportunities to head outside when we otherwise might be stuck indoors all day. Running helps us experience the first snow, first warm day after a long winter, or the beautiful colors as the leaves begin to change in fall.
With a regular running schedule, you’ll be sure to never miss a season and get that healthy dose of fresh air each week.
7. Running introduces you to new friends.
Whether you wave at a friend on the trail or strike up a conversation with the runner next to you in the starting corral, running brings together people of all backgrounds to start some of the strongest friendships.
Even if you never see that fellow runner again, you’ll never have to worry about being alone on race day. Running introduces us to some of the most inspirational, friendly and encouraging people we’d otherwise never have a chance to meet.
8. Running shows you how strong you really are.
Few other experiences in life challenge us in the same way that running does. There is something so satisfying about putting in the physical labor each week, sweating it out on the run, and challenging yourself to new goals to really prove what you’re made of.
With each new accomplishment, you’ll likely continue to set your sights for something bigger and better. Running has a way of taking our wildest dreams and turning them into something that feels possible.
9. Running instills confidence.
Knowing that you’ve logged 4 miles before the rest of the world is even awake is a satisfying feeling like no other. Simply completing 13 miles on a Saturday morning, running a new PR, completing a hard workout, or just getting around the block in crazy weather provides us with so many experiences that instill confidence.
When your eyes are opened to everything you have accomplished with running, your confidence will soar.
10. Running allows you to eat without guilt.
There’s no better feeling than knowing you have worked off enough calories to enjoy that delicious meal or dessert without guilt. That post-run hunger that comes from long runs or hard workouts is a feeling of satisfaction in itself.
Running helps us eat without becoming overly analytical. We can refuel our bodies without psyching ourselves out about body image, calorie counting or comparative thoughts. Those miles help us earn each and every treat to enjoy without a smidgen of guilt.
11. Running challenges you to improve.
When you first begin running, completing a mile without walking sounds nearly impossible. Slowly, you progress to the 5k or even a 10k, until suddenly you’re contemplating the idea of a half marathon. Before long you’ve signed up for your first marathon and are completing double digit long runs each weekend.
As new runners, our goals our usually small and simple: run without feeling terrible. But as we become more comfortable and fit, our limits begin to expand. We suddenly find ourselves dreaming about completing a race when we once would have laughed at the idea.
No matter how much we have accomplished, running shows us that there is always room for improvement.
12. Running brings families together.
There is hardly a better bonding experience than sticking together through the highs and lows of exercise. Running creates the ultimate opportunity for families to come together and bond.
Whether your family has set a weight loss goal or are just hoping to improve their lifestyle, the experiences you have along the way will bring you closer together than ever before.
13. Running teaches you about yourself.
You learn so much about yourself when you are pushed to the limits. Whether it’s a long run, grueling conditions or a challenging workout, you’ll learn so much about yourself during the journey.
The experiences running provides us challenge our minds and bodies, teaching us what we’re really made of. We’ll learn why we start to give up, what happens when we doubt ourselves, and what we can accomplish when we push through.
14. Running increases your happiness.
Very few things in life are better than that natural endorphin high after a grueling long run. Running provides a dose of happiness on a regular basis – and that alone is enough reason to fall in love.