woman running along a beach

Running is a life changer… that’s a big statement for a simple activity. I say simple because it is easy enough to do, put on your runners, walk outside and put one foot in front of the other. To the casual runner or the gym-goer, running could possibly be seen as just another hobby, exercise or just another way to get fit. But for me running is a lifestyle.

I started running about 10 years ago and it was for no other reason other than wanting to try it. I had this perception that running was hard and I was always in awe of people who could run, my first thought was that I couldn’t. Well, it turns out I could and I do.

And each run I am constantly bewildered by my ability to run, because I have found a sport, which has become a lifestyle choice that I am pretty good at. And I think this all comes down to the life-changing role running has played in my life and the immense joy it gives me.

So how has running changed my life and how could it also impact yours?

  • It creates life-changing running goals and opportunities – running offers challenge and adventure. Setting running goals is a great way to experience high levels of achievement and personal fulfillment. It promotes commitment and dedication and will have you realise goals you thought were only dreams.
  • It eliminates the word impossible – When I first started running, a marathon was seen as an impossible task. But each run slowly led me to run my first marathon. Each run showed me exactly what my body can do and still even today as I train for my fourth marathon I am still learning what I am capable of. Running encourages you to use the power of fear and the unknown to chase goals and live outside your comfort zone.
  • Use running to de-stress – This is definitely a great benefit for me as a working mum to a toddler. I love either starting the day with a run which always helps set the positive tone for the day. Or after a tiring day getting out for a run always helps re-centre my mind. I know my husband and my daughter notice a definite change to me when I have been for a run after a stressful day.
  • Understand the strength of the mind and body – I love the state of flow that I enter into when I am running. Whilst running you are always completely in the moment, with a conscious body and breath flow, simply enjoying the innate pleasure of being able to move your body and run. Running has given me a new appreciation of the strength of my body and mind.
  • Meet new people – there is a unique bond that us runners have. Despite our life outside of running, we are all connected by the power of our bodies being able to run. It doesn’t matter if you run slow or fast, trails or road we all understand that we have an innate ability to put our mind to running and do it. Whether you run solo or in a group, we are connected by a mutual goal of running a distance, time or event. We all understand what it feels like to work hard and feel the reward of our run. You will never find a runner who isn’t excited to talk another runner, or one who is not motivated by another runner’s achievements.
  • Being outdoors – witnessing the morning beauty is one of my loves of running. Being a morning person, I love the excitement that running before or at the crack of dawn gives. It makes you feel alive and appreciative for the life we have. Even if it is suburban running, you will have a new appreciation for the roads around you. You will witness streets at different angles, parks in a new light and you will very soon get to know where a water tap and toilet are.

When running you are always completely in the moment, with a conscious body and breath flow

The underlying message from the above points is that running makes you appreciate yourself, physically and mentally, the surrounds in which we live, other people and of course your ability to challenge yourself and rise above any fears you may have. If you have new to running or would love to start, the one thing I can say is “give it a go”. There are endless benefits that await.

Natalie Moore is a passionate running mum, who has created her business Running Fit Box out of her love for running and motivating others to live a healthy, happy and active life through running. She is training for her fourth marathon which is the ultimate New York City Marathon. For more information on Running Fit Box and to follow Natalie’s NYC marathon journey visit www.runningfitbox.com.au