By PLA Jennifer
About 8 months ago, under duress from my housemates, I started to run once or twice a week to get away from the hermit lifestyle I was living in my textbooks. I started out running for only 20 minutes each time at just a light jog, but after a month of running, I could already see the changes it was making in my life. The stress relief, and health benefits were incredible. Then when summer arrived and I had to study for my MCAT (incredibly stressful!), running became a daily fix for the doldrums of organic chemistry and physics. I have continued this fall and I am running a half marathon in November after less than a year of running!
There are so many reasons that running has become my new obsession, but here are just a few motivational points that may get you out of your favourite study chair and onto the pavement:
- Stress relief: Every problem seems smaller after a long run. I use the time to sort out all the thoughts I’m having and put them into perspective. Also the endorphins are awesome!
- Study breaks: It’s a great break from studying that is also productive and lets your mind relax and refresh.
- Health: Building up your fitness level is a great feeling and it helps me stay on track with eating well and sleeping well also.
- Goal Orientation: I am someone who needs a goal to stay focused during the year. During what I call “marathon studying” for large tests in the distant future, having running goals that can be slowly accomplished gives you the feeling of satisfaction by having successfully completed something.
- Fun! While it may not seem like it now, eventually running does become enjoyable (I promise!). The feeling of pounding the pavement and being able to push yourself a little harder everyday is amazing.
My advice to you is just to START! Just running twenty minutes a couple times a week can be relaxing in itself or a great starting point to move onto greater distances and longer run times.