The Everyman: Reasons To Run

Seriously, who doesn't want to see this during a workout? Photo: Jason Devaney | Competitor.com

I don’t feel like running. I’m too tired. I’m hungry. I’ll work out later. My favorite show is on TV. I’m sore from yesterday’s workout.

Any of these sound familiar?

I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve gotten to know those other excuses pretty well over the years. Who wants to go for a run when you can relax on the couch? Or lounge on the porch and read a book?

Those are good and it’s important to spend quality time doing absolutely nothing, but they shouldn’t stand in your way of getting in a workout. Here are five reasons to head out the door today and run.

1. Your Heart Will Thank You

We’ve all heard the sad stories of runners finishing a race and then having a heart attack, but fortunately those cases are rare. Running provides a wealth of benefits for the body—the heart included. The heart muscle becomes stronger and more efficient as our pulse quickens during a workout.

2. So Will Your Colon

Did that get your attention? Runners are all familiar with the digestive issues that can occur during or after a run—you know, when things get moving rather quickly. And while it’s a subject that not everyone is comfortable talking about, the truth is that emptying our digestive tracts like that means there is less waste in there, which has shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer.

3. Embrace The Hurt

If your excuse to not run is that running makes your muscles hurt, that is a lame excuse. Of course it’s going to make your muscles hurt—that’s what working out does. But at the end of a run, whether you’ve gone one mile, five miles or more, that feeling of accomplishment in your legs is like nothing else. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve begrudgingly gone out for a run and felt horrible during it, but fantastic when I got home.

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4. You’re In A Small Group

The population of the United States is somewhere north of 310 million. Do you know how many people run marathons? Running USA’s annual report claims there were 541,000 finishers in U.S. marathons last year. There were nearly 2 million people that finished half marathons, and the numbers continue to climb as the race distance gets shorter. But that’s still a small percentage of the overall U.S. population. So be proud of being a runner and plaster a magnet on the back of your car.

5. Enjoy Nature

OK, so you really don’t feel like running and none of the four reasons listed here have motivated you enough. But don’t you like to spend time outside? If there’s a running or cycling path near your house, go check it out. Find a local park or gravel road and run a mile. When all you hear are your footfalls, chirping birds, and nature’s other sounds, you’re given a different perspective on things. It’s very peaceful. I do my best thinking when I’m either on my bike or out for a run.

RELATED: Trail Running In National Parks

What gets you out the door? Tweet me @jason_devaney1.

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