Wellness Wednesday #1 – Why I Run

Last week I said I wanted to start writing each Wednesday about the 12 Dimensions of Wellness. So, this week we’re going to start with one that is near and dear to my heart: MOVING.So, let’s start with the basics….what is the MOVING dimension?

The moving dimension of wellness encompasses all that you do with your body to physically get up and get moving. It involves Physical Activity as well as Exercise.

Why is MOVING so important?

This should be a given in today’s society. We’ve all seen the research that suggests that sitting is the new smoking….it’s gonna kill you! (Owen, Bauman & Brown 2008) But moving is more than for good health. It impacts the other areas of wellness as well. Movement is part of your play/work balance. It impacts how you feel and sense the world around you. Moving improves your thinking!

According to a recent article published in the IDEA Fitness Journal (May 2018):

Short, simple NEAT activities increase metabolism while enhancing brain health through physical movement, mental stimulation, stress management and socialization.

What is NEAT? It’s all the things you do all day to get through your day; like walking to the mailbox, fidgeting at your desk, typing the latest tweet, unloading the dishwasher, etc, etc, etc.

Why I Run

Well, I run for three main reasons:

  1. I run because I can. This is a totally ableist attitude, but it’s true. I run because it’s an activity that requires little equipment (mostly my shoes and sometimes my watch or phone) and that I can do most anywhere. My body still allows me to run, although it requires much more lately than it used to to get out the door and on down the road. I am now wearing compression socks to help with some shin splints, I am taking it easier (less mileage/slower pace), and I’m being more mindful of what I can accomplish during my time of temporary “injury”. But, I plan to run for as long as my body will allow. And because I run it allows me to model the behavior of using my body in a positive way to my children.
  2. I run because it gives me space to think. I blogged A LONG TIME AGO about how I should keep a tape recorder with me while I run. It’s a time for me to reflect and collect my thoughts in a meaningful way. It’s a time to decompress and get away from whatever is bugging me or that I can’t readily solve. It also allows me to try out new ideas in a clear space. I find that the endorphins I get from running give me a better attitude and outlook on the day. It can be a social space for me to run with my running partner and share with her, but it can also be a solitary space for me to calm and regroup for the day or week ahead.
  3. I run because it gets me outdoors. I think that we spend way too much time inside these days. I find myself making excuses from time to time NOT to be outside (it’s too hot, it’s too muggy, it’s too buggy, I’m watching the news, etc….) and that’s a failing on my part. I love being outside and doing something. I love to read on my swing, I love to play ball with the kids, I love to take hikes and ride bikes. I wish I lived in a more outdoorsy areas, but I haven’t always taken full advantage of that option when I did. Running allows me to feel the sun, breathe fresh(ish) air, and hear the sounds of the community around me. Sometimes it’s birds, the other day it was a baby crying, and occasionally it’s construction. All are important for me learning to sense the world around me better.

Running may not be your chosen form of movement….and it’s definitely not my only one…..but think about how you feel on the days you get up and move more vs. the days you are still. There’s a time and place for stillness in life, but life is movement and movement is life.

What is your favorite way to move?

 

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