Running is one of the most pleasurable activities you can do. Along with making you feel super good, it also keeps your weight in check and takes care of your overall health. I hear so many stories of people whose lives changed since they started running and became a part of the running community.
However, it is not easy to put your shoes on and head out for a run each morning you wake up. It requires immense discipline and motivation for running on a consistent basis. This is why people try to find motivation for running by doing things like joining a runner’s group or wearing advanced gadgets that push them to do well.
Here are 5 things you can do to find motivation for running. I have personally tried all of these so there is no risk in considering trying them yourself.
1. Get running-specific clothes and shoes
For most people, running is not a one-time thing. Rather, it is a permanent part of their life which they want to cherish and share with others in their life. If you are planning to make running a part of your daily routine, you should consider investing in quality running clothes and shoes.
Running gear is usually not that expensive so even occasional runners can easily afford it. Running clothes are usually made from a synthetic material that dries up very quickly and is super lightweight. However, you should buy them depending on the weather conditions in the place where you stay. I have seen people running wearing a tracksuit too.
However, you should not play around with the footwear you wear during running. Ill-fitted and worn out shoes can cause serious damage to the soft tissues in your feet. Most running injuries are difficult to heal and cause permanent damage to your ankle, knee, or hip region. So, buy shoes that are specifically made for running and also don’t forget to replace them every 4-6 months if you run regularly.
2. Use a running app to track your runs
Although running is a pleasurable activity for most of us, it’s important to keep track of your runs using an app. A running app is for people who are new to running and want to measure their progress. There are more sophisticated pieces of equipment available to help you do the same thing and I will discuss them in one of the next sections.
Endomondo is my personal favorite running app and its freemium version is good enough for me. It allows me to share my running accomplishment with other runners in my area. You can also take selfies and share it mid-run. This provides others all the motivation they need for running.
3. Join a local runner’s group
Every city has a runner’s group on social media sites like Facebook and Meetup. Along with providing motivation for running, these fellow runner’s can also become your good friends. Who doesn’t like people with the same interests? Moreover, most of these groups are newbie-friendly and non-profit.
So, all you have to do is provide positive energy and motivation for running to others in the group. You also get advice and guidance from expert runners without needing to hire a running coach. However, if you are one of those people who prefer to run solo, then you could use these groups occasionally. Solo running is also great as it helps you build self-reliance and self-confidence.
4. Get some music
A Brazilian study says listening to music improves performance and recovery during running a mini-marathon. In this study, researchers studied the effect of different forms of music on 15 well-trained male long-distance runners after conducting psychological assessments before and after the athletes ran while listening to music.
They concluded that, listening to music while running activates the prefrontal cortex area, numbs the feeling of pain and accelerates recovery. This research paper is a must read for people seeking motivation for running. Music can make you feel the right kind of emotions in a quick and effortless way. By making such a small change you can improve your performance by 30-40 percent.
5. Wear a running watch
A running watch is mostly used by professional runners for whom running is a career and not just a sport. However, there is nothing stopping you from getting one of these for helping you out with running. These watches provide vital information which is key for improving your running speed, distance covered and stride length.
I have used a few running watches but, Garmin Forerunner 735XT is one of my favorite. I don’t worry about exhaustion or overtraining as it measures my heart rate and notifies me if I overstep my healthy boundaries. Moreover, I can also use it during other activities like cycling and swimming. So, it does a lot more than just provide me motivation for running.
To reiterate, running is one of the best habits that can enhance the quality of your fitness and life in general. You should definitely do everything in your means to find motivation for running. However, running also brings along with a lot of niggles and injuries. So, don’t forget to add some strength and conditioning workout to your routine.
“How does music aid 5 km of running? – NCBI.” Accessed May 31, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25029009.
The Good Side of The COVID Crisis
I know you must be feeling skeptical about this; I mean, what can be good about anything that has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the world to a halt?
But there are some silver linings and corners of positivity in this whole scenario. Here we will list out all the good things that have happened or are happening right now due to the crisis we are facing!
Nature is Thriving
With less human activity and reduced water traffic, the waters in the canals of Venice are becoming clearer by the day. Fleets of white swan were spotted in the waters, a rare visitor over the last several years.
In Mumbai’s Marine Drive, schools of dolphins were seen playing around, as the ports were closed, and barely any water traffic and pollution were there to keep them away. Unusual sightings of dolphins have also been reported from the ports of Cagliari, Sardinia. Devoid of ships, as seen on a typical busy day, the marine lives thrive and have relief in the peaceful, calm, human-less waters!
Herds of deer were seen roaming around in Japan’s streets. With no crowds or traffic, the animals were seen having a gala time exploring the usually busy and bustling city streets.
More than 70,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles were seen nesting on an empty beach in Odisha, located along the eastern coast of India. These beaches, usually abuzz with human activity in the tourist seasons, were deserted because of the nation-wide lockdown in place, and thus left at peace for these turtles. While in Brazil, 97 Hawksbill sea turtles, a critically endangered species, hatched on a deserted beach. Moreover, a similar occurrence has been reported in Florida, where a high number of Leatherback turtles have surfaced on the shores.
In Canada, orcas have been spotted swimming further into regions where they were not seen venturing before. In fact, dolphins, seals, and other marine animals have been spotted in areas where they have not been seen for decades!
In Llandudno, North Wales, usually shy mountain goats came down from the higher altitudes and were seen freely roaming the streets of the town. Meanwhile, wild boars were seen exploring Barcelona’s city streets, an incredible sight in the bustling and one of the busiest parts of Spain.
In San Francisco, packs of coyotes were sighted roaming on the streets, whereas in Nara Japan, Sika deer were seen exploring empty streets and subway stations.
In South Africa, wild penguins were spotted roaming the streets, and in Argentina, sea lions were seen chilling out near storefronts!
With less number of vehicles, shutting down of factories and industries, the air has become cleaner in unprecedented ways. Recently, residents in Jalandhar, India, were able to see the Himalayas’ Dhauladhar range from their houses due to cleaner air.
Moreover, Delhi, the country’s capital and one of the most polluted metros on Earth, recorded good air quality index levels for the first time in several years. Other big cities like New York, São Paulo, London, Bogota, and others have also recorded better air quality due to lower pollution levels.
In Italy, air pollution levels have dropped by 40%, whereas China has also seen a dramatic drop in its pollution levels. According to NASA, the nitrogen dioxide levels in busy cities of China have dropped by 10-30%. The current crisis is also leading to the largest ever decline in annual carbon emission levels. This has led to some reversal of greenhouse effects caused by human activities in recent years.
Adults and children are all locked inside homes due to the forceful timeout created by the virus. Although it leads to occasional struggles, overall, it has given people a chance to reconnect better with their families.
We have been consumed so much by our busy lives and technology craving habits, that our family ties and socialization had taken a back seat over the years. The pandemic has given all of us the time to connect with our friends, families, and dear ones.
From doing household chores to bringing down forgotten board games, families are bonding in all kinds of wonderful ways.
For the first time in life, we as a generation are facing a common enemy. Everyone around the globe has never been united like this with such a singular yet massive cause.
The love, support, and prayers for each other across communities have brought a remarkable sense of unity and keeps reminding everyone in the crisis that we are in this together!
Now is the time when you can finally focus on yourself. From learning new skills to completing courses, reading, writing, or simply enjoying me-time, or indulging in your long-forgotten hobbies, the quarantine can be your long path of self-discovery!
This crisis has brought out some of the best of people into the frontline. From doctors and nurses striving daily, there have been thousands of volunteers worldwide who are helping vulnerable people with food, money, sanitization, and other necessities.
Many people have come forward to feed and care for strays and animals going without food after being abandoned by their humans or running out of their daily source of meals due to closed shops, fewer people, and empty roads.
It is a tough time where everything seems uncertain. But you have to search for positivity and keep your hopes up. Believe that there is a light even in the darkest corners.
Keep adding more such good things happening around the world, in nature, and amongst people. Look at the silver lining, keep hoping, stay positive, and spread that positivity all around you every day. Finally let me finish off with a wonderful quote that Buddha said,
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us all be thankful.”
7 Simple Ways Traveling Can Help Improve Mental Wellness
7 Simple Ways Traveling Can Help Improve Mental Wellness
Do you feel as if you are stuck in a rut?
From family to work issues, daily chores, illnesses, maintaining your home, and a hundred different concerns, the daily grind could sometimes take a toll on your well-being.
Having a change of scenery or taking a vacation can already do wonders for your mental health. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that traveling provides several benefits to your mental health.
Taking a trip could change your life for the better. In this post, we will talk about the seven simple ways of how traveling can improve your mental health:
1. You’ll discover more about yourself
Traveling helps you re-assess and re-invent your life. It helps you boost your thinking in a way that you never thought of.
Overcoming the challenges that come with traveling brings about a feeling of independence and a sense of control in your life. For instance, choosing which luggage brands to purchase from.
Going out of your comfort zone helps you build resilience, which allows you to learn how to cope with different situations.
Moreover, traveling and achieving these goals can make the day-to-day stuff back home easier to handle. Spending the time to fend for yourself while traveling, like bargaining in a local market or catching public transportation in a foreign country, could also lead to positive personal outcomes that build up your confidence.
Not to mention that it improves your overall life satisfaction.
2. It helps you increase creativity
According to Adam Galinsky from Colombia Business School, a key to increasing your creativity is to immerse and engage yourself in the local culture.
This open-mindedness helps you embrace various situations and could even influence your outlook in life. Moreover, because creativity is directly linked to neuroplasticity (or the brain’s ability to form new neural connections) it means that our brains are often sensitive to change.
New environments and experiences could influence creativity. Having your own creative outlet is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness. Also, the more you’re able to put this into good use, the better.
Immersing yourself in unfamiliar sights and sounds when traveling boosts your creativity.
3. You’ll be familiarized about other cultures
Traveling allows you to navigate, communicate with others, and to learn about different cultures.
Whether you are asking for directions in a foreign country while bringing your luggage, meeting new people and new friends, or immersing yourself in new cultural experiences, you will learn more about the world as you try to get around.
4. Makes you mentally resilient
Traveling and living somewhere exciting yet intimidating at the same time could toughen you up mentally and emotionally.
When you face challenges in an unfamiliar environment, it forces you to learn and adapt to something that is beyond your comfort zone. This helps you be more flexible on things and emotionally strong.
Delayed or canceled flights, and last minutes plans? Traveling helps you deal with bigger issues in life, with more patience and grace.
5. It gives you a change of scenery
If you have been struggling to find motivation at work lately or just ended a tough relationship, hitting the pause button and going somewhere is one of the best ways to restore yourself.
Although staying in a familiar place could bring a sense of comfort to others, it could also make you physically and mentally trapped.
Changing your daily routine and going somewhere will help stimulate your mind, improve your overall happiness levels, and could make you feel as if you are doing something worthwhile with your time.
6. It disconnects you from daily stress
As mentioned previously, many people travel because they want to break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Traveling helps you rejuvenate, destress, and recharge. That way, when you’re back from your holiday, you can put forward more great ideas and lots of enthusiasm.
Traveling also helps you take off your mind from stressful situations, leading to more cortisol levels, and making you feel more calm and content. It also helps you focus on the present moment.
Having a list of fun and exciting activities can add novelty and change in the form of new sights, sounds, and experiences.
7. Traveling increases happiness
Booking accommodation, finding the perfect travel destination, and packing your bags are proven to make you happy.
In fact, a study conducted by Cornell University found out that the process of planning and anticipating a trip increases happiness levels more than the process of obtaining new material possessions such as a new car or clothes.
The time to relax and do what you want on your trip significantly reduces your stress and increases your overall happiness as well.
So there you have it. After you have read about the wonderful things traveling does to your mental health, it is time to do your research and plan your next trip!
4 Benefits of Doing Yoga Regularly
Yoga is an excellent place to start a healthy lifestyle if your life has been quite a bit sedentary for some time. Even with health conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, you can safely practice Yoga. With multiple types and forms of Yoga to choose from, you have the freedom to practice whatever suits you. Regular Yoga can help you become more robust and flexible by making it easier for you to do other exercises like dancing, walking, or swimming.
Moreover, it is also a great way to stay energetic and flexible. Your general alertness increases, and there is also a profound positive impact on mental health with Yoga.
With regular practice, you will gradually notice overall well-being and a deep sense of inner peace. Yoga frees you of all the worry, stress, anxiety that bogs you down and lets you proceed towards a more holistic and spiritually fulfilling self-development.
Let’s take a look at four of the obvious benefits that come from practicing Yoga.
- Improves poor blood circulation
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Reduces body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts
- Improves mobility in people with lower back pain
- Reduces risk for injury
- Allows better coping with arthritis
- Can slow down the advent of osteoporosis
- Improves the condition of people with limited mobility
- Reduces headaches
- Helps you to have better control over tension or stress
- Reduces anxiety levels and depression
- Can help you get better sleep, improves insomnia
- Relaxes your body
- Increases overall mental and physical stability
- Improves breathing patterns
- Increases lung capacity
- Improves lung output and pulse rates
- Helps people with asthma, to control definitive symptoms
Yoga is an excellent way to heal your body, both physically and mentally. It allows you to have the perfect blend of de-stressing and exercise in a simple yet effective way.
A healthy body makes a healthy mind. Regular Yoga can help you achieve health and fitness. Moreover, daily practice brings in more discipline to your everyday life. Especially during these testing times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we are all trapped in our homes, a regular fitness regime that is easy to follow is especially necessary.
The best part is that Yoga is trendy, and you can always find guidelines for the correct postures. With many materials and videos available online, you can start your fulfilling Yoga journey any moment you wish. So what’s stopping you today?
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