Hey everyone, if you are wanting to start jogging or running, or know you should. One thing you will come up against without a doubt, is motivating yourself to go jogging.
Here, we have always said jogging or running is great for you. Scientific evidence proves that regular exercise (150 minutes per week, which is about 30 minutes five times per week)—and running in particular—has health benefits that extend well beyond any pill a doctor could prescribe. Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, and a host of other unpleasant conditions. What’s more, scientists have shown that running also vastly improves the quality of your emotional and mental life, and even helps you live longer. Why do you think athletes do it, and those in the military do it like habit, and veterans of military keep doing it? Because it is good for you.
Then there are those that just for no reason, have said they don’t like jogging. They have just said this for years, and put it into their mind, not thinking of the benefits of jogging or running and studies showing how good it is for them.
There are simple steps you can take to make the process of becoming a runner a whole lot easier than most people make it.
- Walk before you run.
Many people, when they start running for the first time, can’t run more than a few minutes without stopping. But because they think a workout should last longer than that, they try to tough it out and run right through the point where their body says, “Stop!” The result, of course, is a lot of pain, and a bad mental association with running.
- Run slower than you think you need to.
The point of running, at least now that we’re out of the jungle (and out of gym class), isn’t to go fast — it’s to run in a way that feels good. So, try something for me next time you go for a run. Start with the pace you’d normally run, then slow down. Way down.
If you know what your normal mile pace is, try slowing it down by two minutes to start. That should be slow enough that you can easily carry on a conversation while you run. It’ll feel like you’re barely exceeding walking pace, and you’ll hope nobody that you know sees you!
- Engineer the experience the way you like it.
So, what if running purists don’t wear headphones? If listening to upbeat music or even a podcast or audiobook helps you look forward to your time on the roads, then do it!
- Don’t forget to reward yourself!
Remember, as with any other habit you’re trying to form, rewarding yourself is important when you’re trying to condition a habit of running. So as soon as you walk in the door after your run (or your run/walk), do something that feels good. It could be as simple as making a big, red X on your calendar, or checking in on Facebook or a similar site that’s geared towards running.
What you will find after about a month of staying consistent with jogging or running, if you don’t do it, you will miss it. That’s right, you will miss it.
The next thing during beginning and even after jogging for awhile that will happen, is sometimes as in everything, you just won’t feel motivated to do it.
Here are some ways to motivate or trick yourself into going running, even if you don’t feel like it.
Just Go or Just Do It
This might seem like an obvious one — maybe even too obvious — but it’s that simple. Don’t give yourself a choice! Don’t let yourself think about the alternatives. Decide you’re going to run, commit to it, and practice drowning out any conflicting thoughts.
Schedule Your Run into Your Day Like It’s an Appointment You Can’t Miss.
When life gets so busy that it feels like there isn’t time to work out, look at your calendar for the week, find that one-hour time slot you need (or even just 20 minutes!), and schedule it into your Google calendar or whatever e-calendar you are using these days. You will thank yourself.
Plan Around Your Workout.
This goes hand-in-hand with the above! It’s easy to prioritize everything else — that dinner date, that movie you wanted to see, that happy hour you were planning to go to, that book you were going to finish… but what about that run you were planning to go for?! If not for your present self, do it for your future self who will look back and say, “Thank you for going on that run.” The weeks come and go, but the feeling that comes after a good run stays with you for days. Best part of running.
Reward Yourself for Going
We all have different ways of rewarding ourselves — find a reward you like (preferably healthy) and give yourself the reward after jogging.
Remember: It’s Always Worth It.
It’s so hard to get out the door, but know that you will, without a doubt, feel like a better version of yourself when you walk back in the door after that run you almost didn’t do. This is a fact. If you’ve tried everything and nobody else’s tricks help you, it’s time for you to motivate yourself. Next time you go on a run, write down why you did it, how you felt afterwards, and if you’re glad you went. Do this every time you run. Then, on that day when you’re not sure you feel like going, pull out that list and read it to yourself.
Make a rule: Just lace up your shoes and get out the door. That’s all you have to do. The secret is – you’ll run once you get out the door. You don’t have to run long, but as long as you run a little, you’ll continue to build up the habit.
Focus on the enjoyment of it. Don’t focus on how hard it is, or you’ll never keep doing it. Think about the beauty in the surroundings as you run. Enjoy the quiet and solitude, or the conversation if you have a running partner. Use it for contemplation, for stress relief, for release.
Put your running clothes on. This is the first step in getting yourself out the door.
What did you eat today? Did you have a hamburger for lunch? Or a bagel from the break room when you went to grab your morning coffee? Chances are the answer is yes and if that’s the case… You probably feel like running it off.
Go sit outside. Sometimes all you really need to do is pull yourself away from the TV or your iPad and motivation will come to you.
Start a tradition. Pick one race that you run every year. You’ll look forward to training for and running in the race, and you’ll stay motivated to keep your “streak” alive. Try to get some friends or family members to do the race with you, so you can all make it an annual event.
Run on Mondays. always try to make sure you get a run or workout in on Monday. Why Mondays? Starting out the week with a run sets the tone and pattern for the rest of the week. You’re beginning the week the way you want the rest of it to go.
Adopt a new runner. It’s always motivating and exciting to watch someone who’s new to running get interested in and enthused about the sport. If you know someone who wants to run, but doesn’t know how to get started, offer your assistance. You can provide him or her with some basic training advice and gear knowledge and, more importantly, much-needed encouragement. Consider going on some runs with this person. Although running with him or her may not be challenging physically for you, seeing the sport through a new runner’s eyes will help renew your motivation.
Be creative. You’ll get bored or burned out if you keep doing the same workouts days after day. Change your runs by finding some new running routes or adding speed or hill repeats to your workouts.
Place Your Inspiration Prominently. Surround yourself with reminders and stimuli that will inspire you to run. For example, place running books or magazines on your coffee table, make one of your race photos your screen saver on your computer, or post motivational running quotes in prominent places, like your refrigerator or bathroom mirror.
These simple tips will keep you motivated to run.
Remember the Huge benefits of running
- Overall mental health.
Runners are happy people. We’ve got that runner high going for us. Just don’t make us unhappy by canceling a race that we’ve trained months and months for. That’s one way to turn a runner’s smile upside down
- Strengthens your lungs.
Runners have increased lung capacity from logging mile after mile. Those strong lungs come in handy if you ever find yourself on the other side of the race as a spectator. A runner’s WOOHOO! is loud and proud.
- Helps prevent high blood pressure. Your arteries expand and contract while running, helping to keep your arteries fit which in turn keeps your blood pressure in a normal range. That is until you find out that your favorite running shoe has been discontinued. Nothing is harder to replace than a beloved running shoe!
- Strengthens immune system. Regular running builds up your tolerance to germs which results in fewer minor illnesses. That is unless you are training for a marathon. Then you will be sick all the time.
- Weight control. Running burns mega-calories. However, it also makes you mega-hungry, especially if you are training for long distances. Unfortunately, running doesn’t give you a pass to eat all the food, all the time.
- Physically strong legs. Runner’s legs are a powerhouse. They move you from point A to B. They carry you up and down hills. They know how to put it into high gear at the track. They will also have a hard time fitting into skinny jeans when you are in the thick of marathon training.
- Relieves stress. Running boosts, the brain’s serotonin levels which make you calmer and more relaxed. Who said you can’t run away from your problems.
- Increased bone density. Running stresses your bones. Essential minerals are sent to the bones when under stress, which makes them stronger. However, running does not make you unbreakable, and jumping, say, a 10-foot high fence is still a bad idea.
- Increased joint strength and stability. Running increases, the strength of your ligaments and tendons. You’ll find your joints will be able to withstand more mileage and more uneven terrain. But that doesn’t mean you will never sprain your ankle again while trail running. It just may mean four weeks on crutches versus eight weeks if you didn’t run.
- Increased confidence. Once you start running, your confidence begins to grow. You’ll feel more in control of your life and your body. You will even begin to think you look good in spandex tights.