In this day and age, running is one of the easiest ways to get into shape. Simply going outside and jogging around the neighborhood for while may physically burn calories but to some people running is more than just exercise. It is a routine – one which has the ability to change people in measurable ways. For example, running can socially benefit a person as runners make friends with fellow runners. This usually happens within communities such as Concordia. Without a doubt, joining the track team and running alongside fellow athletes build bonds. "My friends ands and I will ask each other "hey, do you want to go on a run with me?", says Concordia graduate Nicole Leung. "We will end up chatting when we go on our route, and we'll get dinner afterwards."
Further, running is a noteworthy cure for the agitation one feels when one is sitting in place too long. Outdoor exercise counteracts nervous energy from stress and anxiety, releasing endorphins in one's brain that makes one feel better. Once the body releases its pent up energy, the pay off is a reduced level of tension, says David Liu. ”Sometimes when I'm really stressed, I go on a run," he says. "It's very refreshing."
Running also has a strange habit of changing one's mentality. Not by a large, obvious amount, but through small changes over time. For instance, running is exhausting. This allows one to sleep easily during the night, promoting a rhythmic change in sleeping schedule. It makes one want to eat healthily and increases blood flow to the brain. One also gains an accomplished feeling which, in turn, affects one's self confidence.
Most of all, running can change people. These lessons vary from person to person, but Nicole Leung notes several impacts that running has had on her thinking. "It has helped me see how tiny victories add up in the end when you’re trying to achieve a goal," she explains. "It taught me that being competitive doesn't automatically make you a ruthless person. You’re allowed to want to win. You just have to treat your competitors with respect."
To some people, running is simply a physical activity centered on the goal of bodily improvement. To those extremely dedicated to the practice, on the other hand, it is more of a lifestyle. Athletes not only gain the benefits of exercise, but they learn from it as well. And because of running, they are changed for the better.
Michael L. is a student of Concordia Applied Journalism. He is also surrounded by runners in his family.