From Dr. Dave: My motivation for running started with my desire to keep up with my kids, especially as they got older. Losing weight, reaching goals, spending time outdoors, and connecting with other people are a few reasons why I run.
To begin with, I was initially inspired to run by the fact that I knew I needed to increase the level of effort with my exercise. Use it or lose it was the general idea. I was getting older and wanted to find something that would keep me in shape. Over time, though, I have continued to run for this and other reasons.
I have lost weight. My wish to keep it off motivates me. I knew a few years ago that I needed to lose weight and that just walking a couple miles a day was not doing it. So, I started to run. I only had a certain amount of time per day to exercise and needed to increase the calories per hour. Running did the trick. Plus, as I have kept the weight off - I can eat more as long as I run. Nice.
Initially, running felt terrible. However, over time, my body became used to going out to run. (We have more information about how to start running.) Now, even on days that I don't necessarily feel like running - once I go out, I just feel better. In fact, if I do not run - that is when I feel bad. I always thought that runners were slightly crazy for this, but I see it differently now.
Science shows that there are good brain chemicals released during exercise called endorphins which improve your sense of well being. Lots of endorphins with running.
Having goals tends to motivate me. It keeps me interested in what I am doing. Running a different route or distance or time keeps me looking forward to the next run. I especially anticipate running in an event - like a 5 K or a half marathon. It just seems easier to go out and do it if there is a goal.
I love being outdoors. Too much of my time is spent in the office. In my area, we have fields of corn and soybeans with scattered woods and streams. It is great to see things as they change in the seasons. When we go on vacation there is always a new sight to see or run by. It beats seeing it at 60 mph.
I have found it is a good way to connect to my son who runs. I found that there is a whole running culture out there with which I can share my love of running. When you go to a race, the atmosphere is buzzing with excitement. It's a very positive atmosphere.
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