Discovering the benefits of running
40,000 women (with a few imposters) took to the streets of Dublin and 10,000 to Cork’s, running, walking and limping for loads of good causes. Jogging alongside the thousands in Dublin was our CEO Elaine. The seed was planted last December when she found herself asking how she was going to get fit.
“I’m not a runner!” Elaine admits, “but I wanted something physical, to help me de-stress and that wasn’t a gym.” Through Twitter, she found a local organisation that arranged running for women and signed up. Before she knew it Elaine was out twice a week, with a beginners group of joggers.
Getting involved in shared activities and connecting with other people outside of our usual lives is brilliant for helping to boost our self-esteem. “It’s good for your head, your body and your heart,” Elaine says. “I met a group of people from all walks of life, and some of us still meet up. It’s a great sense of community.”
The physical advantages of exercise are well known, with improvements in energy, strength and fitness. But benefits also extend to mental health such as confidence, sleep patterns, and body image – all positively affected. “No matter what kind of day you’ve had you can step outside and de-stress,” Elaine continues, “you can think about nothing at all, or everything. It’s your choice”.
Whether aiming to run a marathon or just creating an exercise routine to improve our day to day life, it’s important to have a focus and create a plan. Setting goals can help us stay on track and achieve what we set out to do. For Elaine, fitness was the motivation, along with the chance to raise funds for ReachOut.com.
Creating mini-goals, an overall plan and focusing on rewards helps us overcome obstacles, which are a part of any activity. It’s worth remembering that this applies to all sorts of situations, like study, exams, and getting rid of a bad habit – not just for getting into exercise.
Breaking anything down into chunks will make it more manageable. 30 minutes of non-stop jogging was one of Elaine’s aims, “Which I can now do – but not always!” she laughs.
Following the plan, walking a little and running a little, and keeping the routine helped Elaine stay on Track. She achieved her goal, started a healthy hobby and made new friends. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking of dusting off my old runners and taking a step outside.