Winter can be depressing. Running is great for your mental and physical health. Yet winter and running don't historically mix.
It's a bit of a catch-22. People stop running when it's cold and rainy because it's cold and rainy. Just when they need the running to balance out their moods. But it doesn't have to be that way. All you have to do is stop being a pathetic whining baby and run in the rain.
Everyone knows you have to exercise. Most people can't be bothered. That's why I am a huge advocate of running.
It's changed my life mentally and physically. Running is the exercise with the least admin. You just go out the door and run. It's free. The whole city is your gym. A gym with no subs.
The only problem with running is actually doing it. Mostly you don't want to. You are looking for any excuse not to go. Winter provides all the excuses you need.
But what are you scared of? You are waterproof. You can prove this by having a shower.
Rain would be a great excuse for not running if you weren't. If for example your skin was made out of socks or bread. Your legs would get filled with water pretty quickly. Your internal bits would soak their way out before you left the house.
Luckily thanks to a protein called keratin in your skin you can go out in the rain without becoming waterlogged. Which means there is no need to put off exercise just because it's wet. Rain isn't an excuse to not go for that run.
In fact running is best in the rain. It's refreshing. Keeps you cool. Keeps you clean. You can even stick your tongue out and have a drink. Running with your tongue hanging out like a dog looks really cool. Great way to meet ladies.
I didn't start running for my mental health. I started running to get less fat. That worked. A surprise and positive side effect of my running was a general feeling of well being. I am heaps less insane than I used to be.
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The science backs that up. A 2016 study by Tae-Kyung Kim entitled Physical Exercise Counteracts Stress-induced Upregulation of Melanin-concentrating Hormone in the Brain found regular running increases mental flexibility, confidence, stress relief and gives you an emotional boost. What kind of idiot doesn't want that?
Other excuses to not go running include:
I'll catch a cold - Not true. The common cold is a virus. You need human contact to catch it. You are way less likely to catch cold outside. You are way better at fighting any cold you get if you are fit and healthy. So no excuse there.
My running shoes and socks will get all wet and soggy - This is true and it sucks. Actually a pretty good excuse this one.
I'll probably get hit by lightning - Also a great excuse. Luckily it only happens about 50 per cent of the time.
I need to make a feed to give me the energy - Also a great excuse. Staying home and eating is a good time.
You have to be sly if you want to get around good excuses like these. I find lying works. I'll tell myself I am just going for a little 1 km run. Just a little jog around the block. It's much easier to get that across the line with yourself than a big run. At the 1 km mark I betray myself and keep running. Before too long I've screwed myself out of another 4 km. Once you are running, it's easier to stay running. It's the getting out the door and starting that's the trick.
Running is great for your body and soul. But to get the benefits out of running you have to actually do it. This is the hard part. Especially in the cold rainy winter months. There is no denying that staying at home in the warmth eating pies is great. The thing is it feels even better when you've earnt it.
There are lots of excuses, working against your will to run. You have to be smart to get ahead of them. Rain is an easy one to beat. Just remember you are waterproof, rain is refreshing, colds are viruses, shoes dry out and you are reasonably unlikely to be struck by lightning. Keep these simple truths in mind and you too can enjoy dozens of soggy jogs this winter.