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The Only 4 Things You Need to Know About Running

March 14, 2014

To everyone already running out there, you’re hip to what makes running so can’t-go-without. To everyone else on the fence who hasn’t run since grade school (and only during dodge ball), this list is for you.

The Only 4 Things you Need to Know About Running1. It gets better. You might be surprised to hear this, but running is –gasp- hard (I know, I know, it’s impossible to believe). You can’t breathe, it makes you hurt in places you didn’t think could hurt–it’s kind of the exact opposite of fun, in fact. The first few times you give your legs a spin, I guarantee you’ll feel the wrath of shin splints and side stitches. They will make you hate life. And as you learn the virtues of R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation), you’ll feel demoralized, brewing hotly over why you should bother pursuing something that doesn’t seem all that friendly to your body. Well, let me tell you this: IT GETS BETTER. As time goes on, you’ll feel something change. First, your breathing gets easier. Then, you’ll notice your legs and feet develop a rhythm that you find simultaneously comforting and invigorating. Your body will learn synchronicity–your legs, arms, feet, lungs, the way you hold yourself, they all become one unified working machine. Because that’s what you become, when you take on running. One day, you wake up and you’re a runner. It’s really quite exciting. You should try it.

2. It’s good for you. That thing in your chest that’s pounding like crazy? Yep, that’s your heart. And that pumping action? That’s a good thing. It’s a muscle, just like your legs, and the more you work it, the fitter it gets (which means less susceptibility to things like heart disease). Another bonus of getting fit? More muscles. More muscles means your body uses calories more efficiently, which means getting overweight is a whole lot harder. Now, let’s move on to bones. The best way to grow and nurture them? Stress. The gravity kind, not the nail-biting kind. So, the more you do things like walking, and by extension, running, the denser your bones become (all with a healthy diet, of course). Running just takes your overall health and, well, runs with it.

3. It lifts you up. Not just your booty, but your mood. That runner’s high that everyone talks about? It’s real. It’s called serotonin, and the more heart-thumping adrenaline you produce, the more you create little synaptic fires in your brain that cook up some happy-making hormones. On a completely non-scientific front, there’s no better way to clear your mind than an all-out, physically taxing sprint (because, really, there’s no room to think about anything other than getting oxygen).

4. It’s cheap. Arguably the best part about running. You don’t need a gym membership, fancy clothes, special equipment… none of that stuff. All you need to start running is a solid pair of shoes and a good stretch of road. With the more miles you rack up, you’ll definitely need to replace your shoes more often, but considering how that $60-$150 is spread out over the entire year, it’s pretty darn affordable.

5 Comments

  • Reply Patti March 16, 2014 at 6:48 am

    It would be nice if you chose pics of everyday runners and not models

  • Reply Willis2359 March 16, 2014 at 8:39 am

    I like the picture. Her beautiful, athletic body motivates me.

  • Reply Deborah March 18, 2014 at 6:30 am

    I almost hate to recall those early awkward runs but you capture the transition well. Since we’re about chi, I encourage new and veteran runners to check out the relaxed, injury preventive form called Chi Running.

  • Reply Celine Jennison April 28, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Hi,
    How do I become part of team Athleta? I think I’d be a great addition as an athlete and student at MIT and Cornell University studying sustainable agriculture
    Please see my website: http://celine-jennison.strikingly.com/
    Thanks!

    Céline

  • Reply Team Athleta April 29, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Hi Celine,

    Thanks for your interest in joining Team Athleta! If you want to work for Athleta, here’s our career page: http://bit.ly/1je9Low.

    If you’re interested in sponsorship, keep an eye on this page for more information: http://www.athleta.net/featured-athlete-faq/

    We’re in the process of revamping our sponsorship program and will announce some exciting news soon.

    -Jennifer

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