For me, running outside is therapy. Well, we know that many studies out there tell us that working out in any way, shape, or form is good for us. There are many physical benefits that come from training, way too many for me to bother listing. Don’t be lazy, go google it AFTER you finish this article. Physical benefits are not all though, in addition to that there are also mental and emotional benefits that are attained. Working out is great for us in every way!
For me personally, there is something extremely therapeutic about the forward motion that comes from running. There is something about being in the park, pushing from my legs, and propelling my body forward that I find extremely therapeutic. I can be angry, and if I set out for a run, by the second mile or so, my anger begins to subside. The same can apply to sadness and hurt, there have been times that I’m crying as I run harder and harder! Running and moving forward just give me a very special feeling that none of the other exercise methods do.
Running outside isn’t always the best form of exercise, it can wreak havoc on your knees and joints. But that doesn’t seem to stop us based on the number of people running marathons and spartan races these days. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s different than group fitness, elliptical, lifting weights, or even running on the treadmill. Seeing the changing scenery, having to be aware as opposed to going through robotic motions, the changes in the climate, and the way my body heats up and sweats, it’s happens in a quite unique way when I’m running outside.
I prefer to run in the Autumn when its relatively comfortable. I don’t like to run when its too hot or when its too cold. However, I can and have run in both extremes. When I was in the Air Force, there were days that they’d put up a red or black flag in regards to the weather. This meant that running or strenuous workouts outside were discouraged. During basic training, they would take us out super early to get our runs in on days like that. During the winter, I also used to enjoy putting on some boots, and running on the snow. I’d be sweating, working hard trying not to bust my butt, but at the same time feeling the cold air on my skin. It’s a very weird feeling.
Recently, I was talking to a friend about how Yoga training is therapeutic, and somehow my memories of running came up. I don’t do it as much as I’d like to these days, and we can thank the weather plus my desire to protect my joints for that, but some days I absolutely have to do it. It tends to soothe and calm me when I really need it. So yes, for me, running outside is therapy.
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Also published on Medium.