Running is good for all parts of the body. More than strong legs, a healthy heart and all that, I have always enjoyed the mental state it brings me. Not every run is peaceful or easy, au contraire. But I do find peace in and after every run; that’s one of the few things in life I can be categorical about.
It is more than being away from emails and phones, desk and deadlines. It’s doing something so simple and natural and elemental that it feels… right. If that’s what ‘Zen’ means, then I am continually striving to be a Zen master.
I always love it when research underlines, confirms even explains the feeling I get from running. I’ve written an entire book about it; patience please, my Dutch-free friends, the translation is slowly but surely being created. But better than yours truly talking about his feelings are the cold, naked facts. The endorfin-induced euphoria of the run has been researched well and deeply. Right n ow I’m referring to a body of research proving how intense activity –a term I loosely translate as ‘going for a run’– makes the brain healthier and faster. Renewed thanks to Gretchen Reynolds of the Times, always giving runners a good name.
My friend Eddie proved the ‘running=smart’ thesis in Boston. It was too hot for his goal pace. He took it easy. No risks, just running through beautiful Boston. He’s looking decent after the race, I’d say. (That’s him in the red shirt, and him the day before, still boastful.) Also, check out a great post I enjoyed at Runner’s World, about the upside of slowing down in Boston. It’s all about the girls.
Running makes you smarter. It works better than reading, playing chess and other brain activity. If anyone needed one more reason to go for a run, there it is; go get that good feeling.