I started jogging few years ago and my direct motivation was to prepare myself to a long walk in Lapland. Before I went to Lapland with a full size backpack I knew I need to do something for two reasons: first, to not get abandoned along the track, and second, to make the time spent in the wild enjoyable. Somehow pain related to untrained muscles was enough to convince me about the necessity to do jogging. So this was MY reason why I started. I believe that everyone has one. Here is the list of my reasons why I still do jogging and let me tell you this: the longer you do the jogging the more reasons you find.
It seems so obvious that jogging and other physical activities are healthy but how many of us actually believe it? OK, you might believe it but it doesn’t make you eager to actually do jogging. From a vast group of health related reasons I have few favorites that I believe. #1 Jogging wakes me up better than a coffee. In terms of blood pressure jogging increases it and keeps it balanced in a best possible way. If you live in a cold country higher blood pressure means it’s also #2 warmer so this is another reasons why you should start do jogging.
If you work in front of the computer, like the majority of us, after couple of years you start having some unpleasant symptoms related to the fact that the most of your day is spent on sitting. In my case the worst symptom was an ache in legs. When I started do jogging #3 all disappeared even if I’m still spending the major part of my day in front of the computer. However, for the first results of regular jogging I had to wait for at least couple of months. It didn’t come easily.
Regular jogging #4 improves metabolism and if you ever had a stressful job and some stomach related problems you will appreciate this. The beauty of jogging is related to its integrity: it engages the whole body. So, your health condition gradually grows through this activity and there is a #5 very little chance to hurt yourself like in the case of workouts with weights.
Some people think that in order to do jogging they need to be well organized and strongly motivated first, but I would say this is the opposite. Jogging teaches you #6 regularity and what is really precious is the way it does. After a month (I’m talking about ordinary people with no serious diseases and health problems) your body gets use to the new regime and as a result it actually protests when you don’t do jogging! Don’t fight with it! Don’t struggle. Just continue jogging.
When you do jogging your body may actually surprise you how fast it gets fit, how far you can run and how fast you can do it. Just as all mems say: it never gets easier you just get better.
What I noticed was that using my jogging related success I was able to convince myself it can work out elsewhere. This was a powerful regulator of my travel related behavior. Jogging #7 has improved my self-esteem and I started to believe that my physical condition is good enough to travel. The more I was jogging the more #8 endurance and strength I had. As simple as that.
From the mental point of view jogging in the early morning is a good opportunity to think about the day. It creates time necessary to #9 reflect on my daily plans and the way how am I going to achieve it. Never let the negative thoughts get to you. Focus on the positive plans and your strengths. On the other hand, if my plans are fixed already and I am happy about it jogging still creates space for something, so I normally #10 listen to the audiobooks, turning the jogging activity into listening exercise. I even learn a foreign language this way. This is the sort of the modern technology achievement that marvels me.
I should probably write it in the first paragraph: #11 jogging makes you trendy! Suddenly you discover during small talk at the party that jogging unites people of all backgrounds. There is always something to discuss about jogging and it also makes you feel conected to the large group of people who are struggling to wake up early to go outside and run, just like you do. It sometimes help.
How about neighborhood?
I was moving around quite a lot and it usually means that you don’t have deep roots in one particular place, like what normally happens if you are a kid and you grow up in one place. You know the place quite well if you spent hours with your school mates on hanging around. If you move often you might feel bit isolated and unfamiliar with the close neighborhood. While it might look weird if you walk around watching houses and people it won’t be weird if you do it while jogging. For me jogging was a #12 good excuse to know better a place where I lived. Sometimes you meet your neighbors while they do their jogging and it is always a good start for the proper neighborhood relations.
What happens if you do jogging regularly?
#13 It opens a new area of physical activity to think about. In my case, I started thinking about some further physical activities because I felt strong enough to deal with other exercises. OK, true, in my case almost everything is travel related and krav maga which I practice is also related to my sense of security during travels but I would never have started it if I hadn’t been doing jogging in the first place. The krav maga training is demanding and if I treated krav maga as a starting point I would failed. Jogging is both: #14 an excellent background for other sports, and great ongoing activity that #15 keeps you fit.
So here is my advice: find your motivation today and start jogging. And here the story continues: find out why after a year I still do jogging!
Photo credits: image courtesy of Mike theironyou.com