Hopefully you’ll be aware that the Six Ways to Wellbeing theme for March and April is Be Active. We’ve talked about different ways to be active including walking and cycling, and this week we’re focusing on running.
Whether you’re an avid runner or just starting out, running is a brilliant way to get active. You don’t have to be running marathons or sprinting 100m – any type of running at any distance is good for you. Running is a great way to be active, it costs nothing and you can start from right outside your front door. All you need is some comfortable clothing and a suitable pair of trainers.
Running and being active is good for your mental health as it reduces the stress hormone cortisol and releases endorphins which boost your mood. You can do as much or as little as you like; a short run to wake you up in the morning, a leisurely jog at lunchtime, or a run at the end of the day to help you relax – whatever fits into your schedule. You can also have the added benefit of getting outdoors, and running outside will also help increase your mood.
If you’re just starting out, it’s important to remember to pace yourself and start off slow. It helps to set yourself a target and try and follow a schedule so you can gradually build up pace and distance. And most importantly, you want to prevent injury.
If you’re starting out and aren’t too keen on running alone, there are plenty of running clubs around Manchester that you can join. Whether you become a member or just turn up now and again, running with others is a great way to stay motivated, train and be social at the same time. Check out the Students’ Union Run Wild society or Platt Fields Park Park Run.
If you find it easier keeping a routine when you have a goal to reach or you are looking for a challenge, why not sign up for the Purple Wave 10k? It’s one of the largest 10k runs in Europe, and there’s still plenty of time to train and a couple of weeks until registration closes. What’s great is that you can run with friends, run to raise money for charity, or run because you love running.