This is a guest article contributed by Sadi Khan, a sport and fitness writer and a big advocate of running.
Reaching a high altitude in your life is a matter of self-improvement. You might be aiming to grow your business, reach personal goals, or simply build good habits. There’s something that can help you achieve any of these goals.
I am talking about the good old habit of running.
Listen: to reach great targets you need to be strong, both on the inside and the outside.
It’s not a secret that the key to achieving something in sports is self-improvement. You don’t need to be an acknowledged athlete or a professional marathoner to excel in life. Just integrate the activity into your lifestyle and give it some time.
Here’s how it will work:
1. Improves Productivity
First of all, your productivity will have no choice but to go up. As a matter of fact, exercising and running, in particular, stimulates energy production in body cells. It means not only more energy for physical activity but also more juice for your brain that will result in a better mental output.
Scientists from Georgia University did an experiment where they divided people into three groups depending on exercising level (moderate, low and no-exercise). And after six weeks, they compared results and found out that poor fellas who had to sweat on the treadmill were the happiest and the most energetic people. So if your day is overcast with a pile of deadlines, don’t be lazy in the morning – lace up and get an upsurge of productivity for the day.
British scientists found that there is an influence of exercising at the workplace and performance. They have chosen three companies as a focus group (approx. 250 employees). All volunteers were urged to make exercise breaks during the workday. The groups took exercise breaks in turns, alternated every day. Every group of employees had to fill in a diary with questions about mood (before and after exercising), on randomly chosen days when they were both doing the exercise routine and when they did not have to work out.
As a result, 201 volunteers noticed mood improvement on the days when they were physically active. There is more to it: their overall performance levels also rose on those same days.
Follow the scientific lead: when you have a small stretch of free time and some space either in your office where you can do a short cardio routine, or an outdoor terrain suitable for a short run – don’t miss out on a chance to improve your performance. Boost your health and get more work done with one cardio shot!
2. Faster Learning Curve
Regular running triggers the growth of new brain cells. Neuroscientists from Cambridge University found that daily jogging stimulates the growth of gray matter. They studied two groups of mice: one had unlimited access to the running wheel and the other was a control group. From time to time the scientists tested the memory abilities of mice by showing them pictures.
Only a specific choice pattern granted them access to food. As the test progressed, the pictures grew smaller in size so that it could be established whether the rodents are able to separate two similar memories. In the end, the animals that exercised on the running wheel got better results than the “lazy” ones.
Similarly, human beings develop better brain reactions when keeping to the active lifestyle.
Freshly established neural connections will maintain the process of memories’ recalling without confusing them. This is a very important skill for learning and other cognitive processes, too. If you are a student struggling with a number of upcoming exams or an entrepreneur who’s trying to conquer a new wing of business, a daily running routine will help you consume new information at ease.
3. Breaking Bad Habits
Every bad habit hinders your performance, and don’t even get me started on the time and money you waste on them. Alcohol consumption, incessant smoking and a number of illegal substances will depress your ability to succeed. For instance, smoking cigarettes will result in the thinning of the cortex when compared to that of the non-smokers. Cortex is an outer layer of the brain which is responsible for memory, language and perception.
Excessive alcohol consumption will lead to mental disorders, liver diseases, and WKS. Engaging in running, on the other hand, is a way out of the addictions. The cardio part of a run urges the metabolism, purifying your organism from toxins. Also, it signals the brain to emit the “happy hormones” (endorphin, oxytocin and etc.) and reassemble the other hormones which were corrupted by an addiction.
It goes without saying, too, that a midnight bite or an extra cigarette a day will prevent you from finishing that final mile on the morning run. And exercising with a hangover? Trust me: it’s no fun.
4. Making Smart Choices
Have you ever struggled with a decision so hard it left you restless? My guess is a yes. As frustrating as it sounds, people are not good at making choices per se. We are particularly rash and impulsive when we are at an important crossroads. However, running can act as a cheer for the smart life choices.
Its unique feature is improving self-control so the next time you will think twice before settling for an option. Bye-bye, itchy feeling you made a wrong move.
5. Healthy Lifestyle
You are a purposeful person with a plan, right? The basic need that you cannot overlook, though, is health. It is our time and consequently, the ultimate currency of our lives. Your day-to-day well-planned routine has no room for big delays, and sudden health breakdowns and disorders could easily cross out your aspirations.
A wise running routine will help your health stay sharp. Your new healthy habit presupposes staying on track, away from unhealthy food or alcohol. It gradually tweaks the processes in your organism so that the whole mechanism of your body becomes coordinated. And voila – you get more time, energy and confidence to achieve your goals.
6. Confidence Boost
Running will make you think better of yourself. Multiple studies highlight that daily jogging gives you a better grip on your abilities and life’s whereabouts. Running is a smart investment in your confidence and the body image.
Your acceptance of the superiority of your new body and spirit will result in becoming more attractive to people around you. Both your crushes and potential business partners.
7. Healthy Sleep
You will sleep better and more efficient. Morning runs leave a mark on the sleeping patterns. As it comes from the study, falling asleep has become easier for participants, and they had no trouble maintaining deep sleep for 7-8 hours, which is the recommended norm. If you dig further, you will learn that successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Tim Cook, and Bill Gates sleep 6-7 hours daily.
Decent rest guarantees more energy in the morning and a greater productivity. It is of ultimate importance if you are engaged in creative work, too. Sleeping well is also going to add up to the hormonal leveling and it will boost your immune system.
8. Improve Sexual Life
For some of us, getting lucky is an achievement of its own sort. But when it comes to a success in life, sex plays a surprisingly important role. The author of this great piece suggests that sexual energy is transmutable, so you can transfer your sexual drive into other pursuits, like work. Also, sex gets you to the peak of creativity.
The energy that you gain from the pleasantries of nightlife will fuel your creativity and innovative thinking. And I can’t underscore it enough: the hormones released in the process will contribute to the flexibility of your thinking.
Your daily run will aid you in boosting your love life. According to this study, running increases testosterone levels, mostly when men participate in intense training routines. For women it is as important: innovative research presents the find that high load runs boost libido.
9. Strength and Resilience
Regular running will lead to neuromuscular changes that will temper your muscles. It is an investment in your future self, too: the flexibility and response to higher loads on your back and knees grow ever so important over the years.
Running will also strengthen your thighs, quads, and hamstrings that are responsible for your whole posture and the healthy positioning of your spine and internal organs. When your body is well-aligned, you experience less fatigue, says a study from the University of Kansas.
“Mens sana in corpore sano”, a Roman saying goes. Healthy body nurtures the health of mind, which is where your success originates. With all the 9 benefits of running for your mental and physical strength, your path to efficiency and flourishing results will become easier, bit by bit. Incorporate a smart running routine into your daily plan of action and soon you will notice how your decisions get more weighed and your energy capacity expands.
Explore the connection of your body with the progress you make on the road to fulfillment of your potential, and you will be amazed at how such a simple activity as regular running can alter your life altogether and bring you closer to success.
Sadi Khan is a sport and fitness writer and a big advocate of running. You can read about more than 71 benefits of running and how it can change your life.