If there is one life hack I would recommend all men, it is to start running regularly. There are very few men who run regularly and do not have their life sorted. Barack Obama was well-known for alternating days between running and strength training. A great regime by the way if you’re looking to get in impeccable shape. Obama is a great example of why great leaders, thinkers should incorporate regular running as part of their routine. In today’s stressful world, it is important to have good mental bandwidth to bear the various pressures and yet, thrive.
Apart from the obvious physical health benefits, running builds incredible mental strength. It is also highly recommended for boosting your emotional health.
Here are 5 ways in which running builds mental fortitude:
Incorporate personal discipline
Running regularly and sticking to your schedule is a pre-requisite. It is tougher than it looks, to manage a full-time employment or business, personal relationships and yet being regular at an activity that involves a fair bit of physical and mental strain. It is through this determination for making regular runs happen that you incorporate in yourself a great deal of personal discipline.
A man has traditionally been a provider for his family and has to power through tough times without losing hope. Persistence is the ability to keep moving when things have gotten tougher. And what does running involve after all? It is your body telling you to stop after every step and your mind forcing it to move forward. Overcoming this physical resistance to achieve long runs is similar to what life is all about.
This is just pure science, exercise produces endorphin in your brain. This is a feel good hormone that promotes a feeling of well-being. As you run your body breathes heavier and consumes more oxygen which improves supply to all your organs and brain. It is a great way to break the rut or improve your mood. Over time as you find your body look better and stamina improve, you’re definitely going to be feeling good about yourself and your life.
Clarity of thought
You might an early morning runner or prefer the late evenings. Whatever the case, it is your personal time that allows you to reflect on the coming day or the day that passed by. In a lot of ways, while you run its passive meditation because you’re covering mile after mile and your mind is thinking of the various things. Barack Obama often uses his morning runs which last roughly 45-minutes to ponder over the next world-changing decisions he has to take during the day.
Forging internal motivation
External motivation only lasts for so long and is temporary. The true measure of how far an individual progresses in life is by how driven he is from within. To keep achieving better things and avoid stagnation, you need to have a capacity to generate sufficient internal motivation. This is exactly what running helps you learn. For any new runner, the stamina in the early weeks might be low and finishing runs is indeed challenging. Soon, your stamina builds and you have greater energy to run, but the human body has a tendency to plateau very quickly. To ensure your runs are still challenging, you need to increase the length of your runs, run faster and be even more consistent. This needs a high level of internal motivation to consistently challenge yourself to be better.