My daughter and I have started running together. It’s free, helps us out of low moods by raising those endorphin and serotonin levels, can be companionable and reconnects us with the earth. Once you get going, it is lovely.
Getting going is key… Yesterday, it was quite easy to motivate myself. I hadn’t been to work and got tired, the weather was perfect; warm with a sea breeze, summer’s evening light and the purest of air (we’re lucky with that here). I’m not bad at beginning a running discipline in good weather and keeping it going for a while. Plus my daughter wanted to come, which was a bonus.
Chasing the light
The trick is keeping this great habit through the dark months and when fatigue hits, as it often does with a vengeance at that time of year. Yet, during the winter months is probably when we most need the exercise and the outdoors. My aunty, Theresa, a qualifed personal trainer has always told me that if feeling down in the gloom of winter, we should get out there and soak up every bit of natural light we can.
But I’m so tired…
Fatigue often deceives us. Edmund J. Bourne, PH.D, in his excellent Anxiety and Phobia Workbook says how ‘moderate exercise can actually overcome fatigue’. Trudging up the long hill on the way home from work in my stiff brogues and with a book bag slung over my shoulder, it feels like wading through mud. “You feel so tired, you need rest, you can’t possibly do more exercise.” the brain tells me. Yet, after a cup of tea and a chat, I put on my light running shoes, do away with the horrible underwire bra and put on a comfortable cotton T-shirt. Then I just have to get my body out there and I go. I haven’t known a time when this has not made me feel better.
By the way, I threw out two underwire bras today and have replaced my shoulder bag with a smallish backpack (highly recommended!).
Not too much though…
I do want to mention though, that even when I’ve a good running ritual going, I don’t jog every day. Again referring to Bourne, he says ‘avoid jogging every day – try alternating it with other forms of exercise. He also advises us to run on soft surfaces where possible and especially to avoid concrete (asphalt is not so bad if you have good shoes). I often try include some grass or sand as part of my route.
To the beach
Talking of sand… Today, it was my son that wanted to run with me (a first!). I had my idea of a route, but “Let’s go to the beach” he said. Great idea! We dipped our toes in the sea too!