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Get up and start moving

Sometimes it just takes a single step to create momentum. In this case, a single step may even get you past a 10K run. Start training with a friend today and expect to achieve your goal!

People start running for a variety of reasons. Some run because they want to lose weight, improve their health, compete in races or try something new. Whatever your reason is for running, you'll experience many physical, mental and emotional benefits ​of the sport.

Reasons to Start Running

By Karen Janos

Many people think about becoming runners, but have not started to run. If you fall into this category, here are seven reasons that you should start today.

1. Physical Health

It has been shown that running helps just about every aspect of your health. From cardiovascular to bone density, if you want to live longer, running is one way to help achieve that goal.

2. Mental Health

The "Runner's High" is not a myth. It's well documented that while running the brain releases chemicals called endorphins which can improve mood, outlook and your overall happiness. Whether a runner experiences the high during or after a run, the effects can last for hours or days. Runners report that they sometimes run just to feel that high and if they stop running for an extended period they miss it.

3. Stress Relief

Another mental health benefit that running offers is pure and simple--stress relief. You probably experience various degrees of stress in your life. Some level of stress is good for you because it keeps you focused and moving forward. But too high of a stress level can have serious health implications. The good news is that running is one of the best outlets for stress relief. The simple act of going for a regular run can put everything into perspective and help you live a low stress life.

4. Social Ties

Running is a great social event. Anyone can lace up a pair of sneakers and hit the road. Talking to running buddies during your runs can be deeply satisfying. Research shows that making strong friendships can help you live a longer and happier life. You'll be surprised at how large and inclusive the running community can be. Find some local running buddies or join a running club--you will never regret it.

5. Work Toward a Goal

Everyone needs a purpose or goal in life. Unfortunately, as you move from school to adulthood you lose sight of this fact and begin living life one day at a time with nothing to strive for. Running can give you purpose. Sign up for a 5K and watch how your mood improves as you work toward and reach your goal.

6. Run for Charity

If you're a new runner, running for a charity can be a terrific motivator. So many people are run for a charity now and the numbers just keep climbing. Find a charity that matters to you personally and start running to raise money to help that cause. Ask donors to support you on your running journey. Being new to running, many people will be happy to support your efforts. And once someone donates on your behalf, you'll find your motivation to soar.

7. Lose Weight

Many people start running to lose weight. And over time they start to notice a more toned body. If this is your main reason to become a runner, then try to combine it with one or more of the other reasons above to help motivate you more. You can definitely work toward your goal weight while also training for a race or raising money for the charity of your choice.

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