From Oprah Winfrey to Bobby Flay to Justin Timberlake, running is a passion that many successful people share.
And that’s because running is more than just an excellent form of exercise. There are aspects to running that can make you more productive, goal-oriented, and driven to succeed.
Whether you start training for a marathon or add a daily jog to your workout routine, here are five reasons why running can help you be more successful.
1. Running Forces You To Set Your Own Goals
Some sports require you to compete against a team or go head-to-head against another individual. But unless you’re trying to win a race, your only opponent is yourself when you’re running.
What makes running different from other sports is that it allows you to set your own goals rather than focus on beating the competition. The only thing you aim to beat is the goal you’ve set for yourself.
Running encourages us to set micro-goals, reach those goals, and then set bigger goals going forward.
Your goal might be to beat your own best time or be able to run a longer distance than the day before. Your goal might be to run up a steep hill with ease or run on the treadmill with greater resistance. The type of goal isn’t what matters.
No matter what goals you set for yourself, they teach us not just to be better than our opponents, but to be better than our best selves.
Setting goals while running translates easily to all other aspects of life. Once you know you can set and beat personal goals through fitness, it can be easier to set and achieve goals in your personal and professional life.
2. Running Encourages Discipline & Patience
Whether you choose to run short or long distances, running creates discipline.
Because you need discipline to get off the couch, put on your sneakers, and start moving!
Having discipline makes it easier to create schedules — schedules that can afford us the time we need to reach the goals we’ve set. Creating and following schedules also leads to increased time management skills. Time management skills are a great asset whether you’re going to school, working, or trying to achieve personal goals.
Running (particularly long-distance running) also makes us more patient. When you start a ten- or fifteen-mile run, you know that you’re not going to reach your goal in a matter of a few minutes; it’s going to take some time. This forces you to learn patience and realize that achieving your long-term goal is worth the wait.
Like goal-setting, discipline and patience can benefit every aspect of your life. Whether you’re trying to finish college, start a business, or advance your career, both can help you reach your goals.
3. Running Improves Productivity
People define success in different ways.
For some people, it’s about making a certain amount of money or having a particular job. For others, it’s about building a family, pursuing a passion, or doing whatever it is that makes them happy.
No matter how you define success, productivity is the key to achieving it.
Running encourages the brain to be more productive. When you’re not feeling productive, it’s usually because you lack energy. Running, along with other forms of exercise, stimulates energy production in your cells. This gives the brain and body a boost that encourages us to work harder and do more.
Exercise also helps to relieve stress, which can make you feel scatter-brained and unproductive all day long.
4. Running Can Inspire You To Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Making fitness a priority can inspire you to adopt healthy habits in all areas of your life. Running can encourage you to eat right and steer clear of dangerous behaviors, such as smoking, using drugs or alcohol, and eating the wrong foods.
One reason so many fitness fanatics love to run is that running is one of the best ways to physically transform your body on the outside. For many people, the confidence of having a fit physique inspires them to improve the inside of the body as well.
When you take care of your body inside and outside, your overall health will be better. And that means you’ll experience less downtime from illnesses, injuries, and mental health issues. With your body and mind in tip-top shape, you’ll be able to smash your goals and be happier, healthier, and more successful in all areas of your life.
5. Running Helps You Develop Better Sleep Habits
Having good sleep habits is a must. Sleep refreshes our brains and bodies. It keeps our bodies functioning as they should and makes us feel alert and ready to get moving when we wake up in the morning. It’s nearly impossible to be productive and successful when you don’t have good sleep habits!
Running is a motivator that increases your energy by boosting oxygen circulation in the body. By incorporating running into your life, you can decrease feelings of restlessness at night and fall asleep faster.
Running also decreases your risk for obesity. Obesity can lead to poor sleep habits, including conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea. It can also lead to diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and other diseases that can cause you to lose focus on your lifelong goals.
Looking to increase productivity, get healthier, improve sleep habits, set goals, or become more disciplined or patient?
It’s time to add running to your exercise routine.
All forms of exercise are beneficial to the mind and body and can help you be more successful. But running is one of the best.
If you’re new to running, don’t try to run a race or marathon — at least not yet. Start small by running slowly or running short distances. The more you run, the more you’ll build up your strength, stamina, and endurance needed to go faster or farther distances.
Like most things in life — the more you run, the easier it becomes.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Copper Beech Bowling Green to help them with their online marketing.