I have been running for about 35 years or so and today I am sharing a few tips on how to help make you a better runner or even walker.
My son, Evan, and I went out for a run this morning. My son is getting married today roughly 5 hours from now. So it was the last father and single son run that we will ever do together. It was really nice and memorable and we had beautiful weather here in San Diego, CA. I will never forget it for as long as I live.
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Why I Love to Run
- Exercise – First, I do it for cardiovascular exercise. It is aerobic and helps to get and keep your heart in the best shape possible. Doesn’t matter if you are a slow runner. And walking is probably one of the best exercises possible.
- It’s meditative – I have talked many times in the past about how important meditation is. Every day, I sit down in a quiet room, no noise, no sound. Just breathing in and out and trying to clear my mind. During your run, try clearing your mind and enjoying the scenery. With a clear mind focus on the road ahead. Try not to think about your work day or a fight that you just got in or a relationship. Focus on the road and look straight ahead and it can be extremely meditative. So if you don’t really have time to do both, you can use your run as your meditation.
- Tone muscles – Runners, and even walkers, have toned muscles. Their calves look pretty good 🙂 When you are a runner, you can be very proud of your calves because they are strong and in shape.
- Listen to a podcast – There are so many good podcasts out there. I hope and pray, of course, that you are listening to mine but there are a ton of them out there. One of my favorites that I like to listen to when I am running is the Dave Ramsey Show. It’s a financial podcast. A lot of time it is pretty simple and he says the same thing over and over again but by listening to this year after year it gives you a great sense of responsibility with your money. Never stop learning!
- Love the outdoors – I also run because I love the outdoors. I have a treadmill in my home and I use it in very inclement weather but I love to get outside any time I can. I live in Maryland most of the year and the four seasons are just incredible. We have hot summers, a nice spring, a fall where the leaves are turning colors; and then winter of course can be unpredictable of course, it can be really icy and cold or snowy. And those are the times when I really use the treadmill. Enjoying the outdoors is a great benefit of running.
- It’s FUN – It really is fun! If it weren’t fun, I wouldn’t be doing it for 35 years. You get into things and know that you have to do them because they will do your body good. But if it’s not something that’s fun, it’s hard to really keep the habit. Maybe all these reasons combined are what make it fun. Nice calves, meditative, exercise, enjoying the outdoors; it’s really a lot of fun. So again I urge to get outside and run. If you are not a runner, walking is fantastic exercise just make sure you do the Magic 4. Which is what I call four miles per day (if you can). You will see tremendous changes to your health and your body if you can get out there and do four miles at a time (at a decent pace).
- No equipment needed – One of the other reasons why I love to run is that you really don’t need a lot of equipment. Besides a nice comfortable pair of shoes, there is not much else that you need.I recommend going to a running store so that they can test you and “prescribe” the best pair of running shoes for you. A good pair of shoes is really important. You will also need some comfortable seasonally appropriate clothing. That’s really all you need. You don’t need expensive equipment or a gym membership. You can walk out your front door, hit the road, and start going. That’s one of the reasons why I run. I love it and it’s easy! You can go fast or slow. I have told you many times and I am very proud to say this but I am a slow runner. I used to run faster but I was never a fast runner even when I first started running in my twenties. Go at your own pace.
- It’s not competitive – You can compete if you like. But in running I am only competing against myself. I am only concerned about myself. Unless you are an athlete running a race and you are doing it to place in your category and win awards. Otherwise you are only competing with yourself.
- Hills – Hills are good and bad. Hills going up and going down are great ways to train different parts of your body. Hill work can be tough depending on how steep it is. If you are a regular listener of the show, you probably know that Yoko and I recently completed the Breck Crest Half Marathon. Hills keep you in great shape. When you get to the top and look down at the hill you just conquered it’s a great feeling. Not only that but knowing that your next segment is going to be downhill, it’s truly a great feeling. As you do more and more hills, you feel like you are getting stronger, in better shape, your breathing is better, so hills, hills, hills. You have to do them. If you live in a flat area such as in Florida or in the Midwest, try a set of steps in a really tall building. They are a great substitute.
- That feeling – The feeling I get at the end of a run is just phenomenal. No matter how short or long the run is, when you finish a run and are cooling down, it is an incredible feeling knowing that you have had another successful run under your belt. You just have to keep it going. I have been doing it for 35 years but I have never taken a long period of time off. Other than maybe an illness or an injury, I have been very consistent.
- Longevity – If you are keep healthy and doing some of the other things I recommend, you can run practically almost until the end of your life. If you are doing everything you can to stay healthy, I truly believe you can run until you die!
It is a lifestyle! Let’s live this life together!
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