No More Excuses: Time for the New You

There are always excuses for not doing what you really want to do. You probably recognize reasons you've given in the past not to run. Now is the time to stop making excuses. To get yourself ready to be a runner, you need a new way of thinking about running.

Adjust Your Attitude

First, let go of preconceived ideas about fitness and running. Acknowledge and release old negative attitudes. These are unhealthy roadblocks, no longer useful to you. You have a choice regarding what you think about, so let those negative thoughts go and start anew.

Maybe you think you will never enjoy running. Think instead about the benefits it provides: new friends, improved energy, a better mood, and healthier lifestyle. As with most new runners who persevere, you will probably come to love running if you just give it a chance.

The best way to approach running is through an adventurous spirit. When was the last time you tried something new and healthy? Challenge yourself; be a risk taker. And if nothing else works to motivate you, think of the phrase that Nike made famous: “Just do it!”

Build a solid relationship with running. You don't start running by doing a marathon. Set short workouts as a goal, and be proud of what you accomplish. Learn by taking small steps, and your relationship with running (or walking/running) will become a lifelong love affair.

Make Time to Run

Think of running as a daily, non-negotiable activity. Do you think about whether or not you are going to brush your teeth each day? Your dental hygiene is a non-negotiable part of your routine that you wouldn't think of not doing. That is how you should begin thinking about running. It is a routine to fit into your day.

Consider time spent running as keeping a health appointment with yourself. If you suffered a life-challenging illness but through regular treatments could reclaim your health, wouldn't you plan your time to go to those appointments? Well, running is a life-saving appointment! It helps prevent a variety of sedentary-based conditions, such as cardiovascular disease.

Build a Relationship with Running

Becoming a runner will take more than a short-term commitment. Add running to your life as you would build a long-term relationship: day in, day out Start out dating, go slowly, and take some time to get to know yourself as a runner.

Focus on the Health Benefits of Running

Turn your view of health inside out. How much time do you spend tending to your exterior appearance, concerned with clothes, hair, nails, and skin? Many people spend more time attending to their exterior appearance than to their interior health. The truth is, your outer appearance depends on your underlying health.

Next time you look in the mirror, look more deeply at your body. Imagine how running will improve both the appearance and inner health of your body. Which looks better — a new piece of clothing or the way your clothes fit after you've lost 5–15 percent of your body fat?

“Being an emergency physician, I encounter my share of stressful days (and nights). I have consistently found, however, that I feel better, perform better, and am actually a more empathetic doctor when I work after running. I am convinced of a neurohormonal response that takes place in my body and which energizes me, yet at the same time settles me and helps me focus, even under harried circumstances.” — Ben Bobrow, Las Vegas, NV

Think of your running time as an investment in your health that yields invaluable returns. Through only one half-hour a day (that's less than 2 percent of your whole day!), you can reap the rewards. You — not other market conditions — control this investment.

Regular running is vital to achieving optimal health while also helping to protect you from many preventable diseases. Running costs can be less expensive than what you pay for most life insurance policies, and you realize the benefits while you are still alive.

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