4 Ways Running Will Change Your Mind

Zechariah Newman —  August 26, 2014 — 22 Comments

Several years ago I was so out of shape that I could not run a half mile without stopping and this was after being an athlete in high school. My cholesterol was high and my doctor told me I needed to start making changes. “I had to reduce my stress”, he said. How could this be? I was only in my late 20’s! I was seeing success in a lot of areas of life, but like a lot of hard drivers I was ignoring my health and body. The effects on me physically were nothing compared to my mental health. Unfortunately, when life gets busy I think that exercise is the first thing we drop.

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Fortunately, I slowly but surely have gotten my health back and now run marathons. I have a stretch goal to run one in every state. You don’t need to run marathons, however, you do need to make physical exercise a part of your everyday life. I have no doubt that running has changed my life and no doubt it will change your life too!

Maybe you just need some motivation to start or a reason to keep going. When chasing your dream, exercising is a must. I believe it is a key ingredient of any serious dream chasers journey. Running will help you to chase your dream by doing these 4 things to your mind!

1. Solitude. If you have a family like I do, there are times where you just want to be alone. Running has provided that for me. It allows me time that I can hear from God. To process my life and to come up with ideas. All of this happens because of the solitude that running provides. Run to get alone time.

2. Confidence. As my runs have gotten longer and faster, my overall confidence has improved. If you start running, you will see a difference in your overall confidence. There is freedom in knowing that pain is temporary and it is a choice to stop. My confidence in knowing that I can push through discomfort has changed my life. I have a level of endurance in my brain that was not there before. Run to push through to new levels in your life. Run to raise your confidence.

3. Energy. Since beginning running, my endurance both physically and mentally has shot up dramatically. Starting things in my life is not hard for me, however, the tenacity to keep going is a weakness. Running has helped my mental energy to increase. Just like a muscle pushing through mental barriers, it will grow your mental energy and stamina.  Run to increase your energy.

4. Relieve stress. We all fight stress in different ways. Some combat it with substances like alcohol. Some people tune life out by watching television. When I was out of shape and miserable, I would sit at home and watch hours of television or play video games because I could tune out my problem. Now when I have high stress I run. Running will help you reduce and even remove some stress the healthy way. Run to reduce your stress.

If you don’t run and are physically able, I encourage you to. Start slow and increase mileage slowly as well. Try running for a month and if you don’t like it you could always find another avenue of physical exercise. Running will change your life if you give it a chance. It won’t be easy, but if you stick with it, it will be worth it. Be blessed on your journey.

What benefits do you get from running?

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  • Great post. The hardest part of any journey, goal, or dream is to get started. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Steve;)

      • My sister started running a few years ago, and she also set a goal to run a marathon in each state. She has completed 46 marathons in 43 states. It appears that there is a group of people who travel together to accomplish this goal. I can connect you to them if you would like.

  • Not sure we have enough space for all the benefits running has brought to my life. I’ve run for about 25 years now, even though I’m not a fast runner, and it has helped me get through some pretty tough times mentally in my life. It helps relieve stress for sure as well as burn calories. It also is my minds way of telling my body it’s not in control. I just feel like if I can defeat the physical, like when running, then I become mentally stronger. The biggest benefit of running is that it’s often one of my best worship times. It’s as if the physical is taken care of and there’s a lot less interfering with God being able to speak to my heart. I feel like I could write a book about the benefits of running in my life.

  • Since moving to Portland, I have been going out on a run/walk 6 days a week. I have a 2.5mile loop mapped out. I run as long as I can and than walk the rest of the way. I have found every week I can run a bit further. Soon I will increase my distance. I find this to be great thinking time. I also take along my iPhone to listen to Podcasts. This way it is also a time of learning.

    Thanks for sharing a part of your story!

    • Thanks Paul! Supper cool that you are getting that time in;)

      • Yeah, its pretty much the first thing I do most mornings, before the cup of coffee, before I eat and usually before the kids get up!

  • Thanks for the good reminder about the importance of exercise. We had an extremely tough winter this past year in Missouri, so it’s hard to get outside and exercise for sometimes 3-4 months out of the year. I think it’s time to invest in an elliptical or treadmill…

    • Sounds like it! We only get snow a couple times of year in this part of Oregon.

  • I love, love, love running. Here are 10 reason I run (hope it’s okay to share the link)….

    http://liveitforward.com/10-reasons-why-i-run-how-to-improve-yourself/

  • Running / working out in the weight room gives me energy and makes me feel good. Great post!

    • Yes Dan. If we had a gym closer I would do that too! Tanks buddy. Have a great day;)

      • I understand that. The only reason why I’m able to go to the gym is because it’s 1/2 mile away and they have a kid watch. It’s allowed me to be able to work out about 3-4 times a week!

  • Good stuff – I am a rollerblader myself. I enjoy blading and pushing my son in his little red car to the park.