Running, like cycling, is an outdoor activity that can be tailored precisely to the individual. You can set yourself challenges and continually try to improve your distance and pace, or you can take it easy, going for slow, short, and gentle runs as a way to clear your mind.
The health benefits of running are very powerful, but the psychological effects can be equally beneficial. For example, running has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and help us relax and refocus. If you’re not a runner, you might want to take part in the NHS’s Couch to 5K programme, which was designed to help running rookies run a 5K in just nine weeks.
If you’re quite not ready to start running yet, you can still benefit from going for brisk walks around your local area. And for added motivation, you could arrange to meet a friend in the park and go for a walk or run together.
Alternatively, running or walking is a great opportunity to listen to music or a podcast and enjoy a little you time. If podcasts aren’t your thing, hopefully you’ll find some other ideas in our article; 10 rewarding activities to do while walking.
To help you stay on strack, it might also help to download apps like Strava that use GPS to track things like running time and distance, as well as calories burned. This can be a good way to keep on top of your progress and boost motivation as you see how you improve from week to week. You can find out more about the benefits of running and how to get started in our beginner’s guide to running.