Athlete, author and motivational speaker Turia Pitt breaks down why you should lace up your trainers in the name of your emotional wellbeing.
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1. It gives you space to figure out your emotions
I started running when I was a teenager.
I didn’t know where I was running to, or what I was running for, but I knew that it helped me manage the feelings rocketing around my body. I kept on running until I was 24, when I was caught in a fire and was told I’d never run again.
Learning to run again became a huge focus. Because I love (and need) the space it gives me.
It gives me a way to clear my head and confront my fears. It teaches me that I can do hard things. It makes me feel confident and more like myself. That space and time to process whatever it is you’re going through? It’s unbeatable.
2. You can do hard things
Yes, running is hard. I get it. But that’s part of the magic. Because doing things that you find challenging helps you see that you are capable of doing hard things.
It teaches you what you’re truly made of– those moments you think, I can’t do this. I’m tired. I want to walk or go eat ice cream in bed, but somehow you keep going.
That feeling of knowing that you can challenge yourself and actually come through in the end starts to spillover into other aspects of your life.
3. It’s unobstructed ‘me time’
I have two delightful but rather intense boys, a business to run and a house to not clean – ha! Like everyone reading this, life is busy.
But running is my time. Once I get out the door, whatever happens next is up to me.
I’m not looking after anyone, I’m not worrying about anything but what my body is doing in that exact moment. And I think for all mums, we need a reason to prioritise ourselves, even if it’s just for half an hour. I know that if I get out the door and go for a run, I’ll come back in a good mood. And when I’m feeling good about myself and my life, I’m a better mum, partner, friend and boss.
4. Runner’s high is a thing
Anyone who runs regularly will tell you that “runner’s high” is real. But the science actually backs this up, too.
Endorphins are released after intense exercise, and these bind to neuron receptors in the brain, plus substances called endocannabinoids also bind to the same receptors. It’s a short-term shift in brain chemistry, but a welcome one.
Studies have also shown that the more regularly you run,the more likely you are to experience these nice little mood shifts.
The 10-week RUN with Turia program ($249) kicks off on October 4. Sign-ups are open until October 2. Visit turiapitt.com/run.
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