The unexpected benefits of running

I really enjoy running. For almost all of my life that was a sentence I never thought I would hear myself say. Before my gastric bypass I used to joke that I was allergic to exercise and I used to avoid it as much as possible. Now that I’m really into running I have discovered more unexpected benefits of running than I ever realised there would be and I thought I’d share them because it’s these little things that really play into how motivated I feel at times and help to keep me going.

I sleep better at night. When I let my fitness drop off completely I really notice how hard it becomes for me to sleep. My sleeping patterns aren’t great and I never know if I’m going to get a good night’s sleep or not. When I start running I notice an immediate difference in how well I get to sleep and then stay asleep on the days I run. Once I’ve got myself back into a good routine this becomes the trend and I feel much more well rested in the mornings.

My skin looks amazing. I took a completely bare faced selfie for this post to show you just how much so. I have absolutely no makeup on, literally just the moisturiser I put on this morning. I take really good care of my skin and it usually shows but when I get back into running my skin gets to a whole new level of amazingness. It is really clear and I usually only have a few spots one week a month. It’s so good at the moment after six weeks of being back running that I’m not wearing liquid foundation anymore because I really don’t need to. The only makeup I’m using on my face for work is a translucent powder, blush and bronzer and it’s a nice light coverage that let’s my healthy, lovely skin show through.

I get some me time. Anyone who has kids knows how precious me time is! I cannot tell you how much I enjoy getting out of the house and getting 30-40 minutes to myself where I can just run and be up in my own head. I don’t listen to music when I run because I love the peace of being able to think, or not, and just do something. I am an ‘active relaxer’ and need to be doing something to relax so this is the ultimate stress buster for me. I notice how much more on edge I get and how I struggle more dealing with everyday things when I haven’t been running for a while.

I get to explore my neighbourhood! There is only so much you can pick up seated in a car while you’re whizzing past everything and you’re wrapped up in your daily routines. I have come to know the areas along my run routes much better than I ever did before and it helps me feel a bit more connected to my neighbourhood. You start to know where all the cute neighbourhood dogs live and notice walkways and other cool stuff you never had before.

I have something in common with so many more people. I guess because I had never really been interested in fitness and running before I never realised how many people were. There are a few people, especially in my office, who apart from running I don’t have much in common with but now we could probably chat for hours. It’s really great to be able to relate to a whole new group of people and be able to trade advice and learn from them.

I have a whole new appreciation for exercise. I used to exercise because I hated my body and I was punishing myself for whatever naughty deed I had done and the point of exercise was ALWAYS to lose weight. Now I exercise because I love my body and I love how it makes me feel, it constantly amazes me in terms of proving how strong and capable I am. This is far more effective in terms of finding motivation and actually doing exercise because surprisingly when you see something as enjoyable instead of a punishment you’re far more likely to do it. Who would have thought huh?

What not so obvious positives do you enjoy from the exercise you do? Do you feel like I do that you’ve finally cracked some code and have figured out why all these previously seemingly crazy people do this stuff all the time? Comment below and let me know your favourite unexpected benefit from being active, I’d love to hear from you!

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Nerida at 6:09 pm

    I love the positive effect that exercising has on my sleep too. I hadn’t noticed the effect on my skin but yeah, now you mention it, it has had a positive effect on my skin as well. I just love how I feel when I exercise (and I don’t run, I only walk) but I get antsy on the days when I don’t get my 10,000k plus steps.

  2. Joye at 8:08 pm

    I love running it’s definitely me time. I run with a buddy so it gives us girl time as well… If I have missed nights I start to get grumpy haha Addicted to exercise is not something I ever imagined I would be, but here I am 🙂

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