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Here's why you should start running
Running is the purest form of exercise. You don't need an expensive gym membership or tons of heavy equipment to break a sweat; you just need a pair of sneakers and you're ready to go. You can even run almost anywhere—and the best part? No skills required. It's one of the easiest forms of movement, although many girls still believe that they can't go for a jog because they're "too slow" or just "not a runner." But that couldn't be further from the truth.
Running is accessible to almost everyone. As long as you get out there and start moving, you're a runner. And with a multitude of physical and mental benefits, there's no reason why you shouldn't at least give running a try. That's why we've compiled a list of all the reasons why running will def be your next exercise obsession. It's time to lace up those shoes, because we're hitting the ground running (pun intended).
1. It triggers happiness chemicals in your brain.
Feeling down? Running can serve as a natural mood booster. During exercise, your body releases endorphins, the "pain-killing" chemical. This chemical is also released when you eat dark chocolate or laugh with your BFFs. Endorphins make you feel physiologically happier. It can even trigger a "runner's high, " or a state of euphoric relaxation after high-level exercise. Next time you're feeling sad or stressed out, try going for a little jog. You'll be surprised how content you feel after.
2. It boosts your confidence.
Running not only makes you feel good in the short-term—it has amaze effects on long-term health as well. Developing the habit of running will increase your cardiovascular health and help build muscle. These benefits can enhance your confidence and make you feel better about your physical capabilities. Having a healthy and strong body can translate almost anywhere. So whether you're taking a mirror selfie or challenged to a game of soccer, you'll have the confidence to absolutely slay the game.
3. You can explore the great outdoors.
One of the best parts about running is its accessibility. Whether you're taking a jog through your neighborhood or going for a little run on your tropical summer vacation, running almost always provides a unique opportunity to experience nature. Going for a run encourages you to explore the outdoors in a way that you might not have done before. With the breeze in your hair and minimal distraction from devices, you can spot the cutest animal or a beautiful tree you never noticed in your own neighborhood.
GL PSA: Running outdoors has many benefits, but it's most important to stay safe. Make sure you have a device on hand at all times, and avoid running in the dark or in unfamiliar places. If you have any concerns about your safety before going for a run, it might be best to stick to the treadmill.
4. It gives you personal goals to accomplish.
Imagine being able to tell your friends that you're "training for a 5k" or "going for a little run after school." It sounds impressive, but it's actually easier than you may think. So long as you have the proper motivation, you can train for just about anything. (And you can start small too!) There's no right or wrong way to plan your running journey, and there are so many ways to tailor your goals to your running style. Training to run one mile without stopping? Awesome! Training to make varsity on the cross country team? Great! Training to win a gold medal? Super cool! It's all up to you.
5. You can run with your BFFs.
Something that differentiates running from so many other sports is that you can do it with your besties! Find a friend (it's good to pick one with similar running experience as you) and propose the idea of being "running buddies." If your friend agrees, you can hold each other accountable for your goals and have the *best* convos during your runs. With your BFF in tow, every jog can become an impromptu catch-up sesh. Plus, it'll be 2x more exciting when you both meet your running goals together!
6. You can run at whatever pace you like.
TBH, the best part about running is that it is totally judgement-free. When you go for a run, you're only competing with yourself. That way, you can listen to your body and run the way that *you* want to. Whether you run slow, fast, long or short, you're still running, which is the most important part. If you remember one thing, let it be this: You are a runner, no matter the pace.
Share your best 0.5x running selfies with us on Insta @girlslifemag!
Slider Image: @amberunz
Top image: @kateglavan