During the pandemic, more people than ever took up running as a way to keep fit, combat boredom and improve mental health. Lots of people have retained this habit and have become a part of the running community. This is fantastic, in terms of individual health and community spirit, but there are questions over how we should run. Fitness monitors are near-ubiquitous these days, and many runners hold targets and personal bests in their heads which they want to beat. There is an argument, however, that more runners should consider running mindfully. Read on for three key reasons why leaving the Fitbit at home every now and again might be a good idea.
Running mindfully means, for most people, slowing down and taking in the scenery. It can be helpful to leave any monitoring equipment at home, as this kind of run isn’t about setting goals or beating targets – it’s about focusing on your surroundings and feeling connected with the environment you’re running through. There is increasing evidence that making one of your runs each week a more mindful one can increase feelings of relaxation and calmness.
Runners often get injured when they are pursuing a new personal best, or trying to shave off a few minutes off their training runs. Whilst this is necessary if you’re preparing for a big race, giving yourself a break every now and then and slowing down to run more mindfully will reduce stress on your joints and reduce the risk of injury. In the long run, this means you can keep going for longer and have a better chance of attaining those goals.
Take It In
Whether you’re running through bustling city streets or quiet country roads, it can help to slow down and take notice of your surroundings. If you’re going for a mindful run, prioritize scenery over speed and see if you can find new things or sights that surprize you. Getting creative in our local area can help us appreciate the places we live, and stop any feelings of boredom in their tracks.