If you’re reading this on March 17th, 2020, or any time around the date this blog went live, you’re probably reading it from your house. You probably have no plans to leave your house at least for the next two weeks… well, you probably did have plans at some point, but they were canceled.
I’m right with you. I’m writing this from my home office, but I was supposed to be in Orlando with my family this week. Alas, plans change. Disney World apparently closes?
Anyways, the point I’m trying to make is that we’re all stuck inside our homes with no real prospect of leaving within the near future. We could all mope around and feel bad for ourselves, watch the stock market plummet, binge reality TV that feels like it was filmed a million years ago, or you could go for a run.
Yes, a run. Go dig through your closet and find your tennis shoes, pop in your AirPods, and venture outside. I’m serious. Even if you don’t run. Now is your chance to become a runner. What else are you going to do?
Aside from actually giving you the opportunity to get some fresh air and feel the sun on your face, running has a lot of other benefits that seem exceptionally relevant at the moment.
Running can boost your immune system.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to take care of yourself, and that includes exercising. However, when pretty much every gym in the country is closed, it’s time to branch out of your normal activities. According to Running Magazine’s article, “BODY WORK: How Running Can Boost Your Immune System,” “Light or moderate running boosts our body’s natural immune system by circulating protective cells through the body faster, to attack and eliminate bacteria, viruses and fungi.” Additionally, some experts say that running can help rid your lungs of airborne bacteria and viruses (hello… COVID-19). While we all seem to be giving ourselves a little more self-love in the form of soul food, Netflix, and face masks, let’s not forget about our actual physical bodies.
Running makes every day better.
If you’re not a runner, you probably think that statement is insane, but it’s true. No matter how terrible everything else around you seems, those endorphins from running kick in and make you feel better. As someone who struggles a lot with anxiety, I can personally vouch for the mental benefits of running. I’m just not myself if I take a few days off of running. Since everyone’s stress levels seem to be through the roof right now, so do yourself a favor and go for a little run (or a long run). It doesn’t have to be fast, you just have to move. Plus, the change of scenery will do you some good.
Running gives you a goal to work towards when it feels like the rest of the world is standing still.
On a business call today, a client mentioned that he felt like the world was set on pause… except not at the same time. I have to agree. Right now, when every plan I’ve made for the next two months is canceled and even the Bachelorette has halted production. In addition, so many races have been canceled in the upcoming months, which is discouraging a ton of runners. However, you can still set your own goals. Whether you’re working towards a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon, or ultra, you can still train and even run your respective race on your own. Of course, you won’t get a BQ or an official PR, but it’s still something you can do for yourself to give yourself a sense of accomplishment when everything else feels like it’s paused.
In all seriousness, you should really go out for a run. If running’s really really really not your thing (although I encourage everyone to try it), go for a walk or ride your bike. Step outside of your house (and run at least six feet away from other people). The world is a much better place after you go for a run.