The Power of Running (and Exercise)
When Rich Roll turned 40, he replaced bad eating habits and excessive drinking with a vegan lifestyle and endurance sports. Mishka Shubaly is a former “irreverent young drunk” turned ultra runner. And this story about Steve White, previously homeless and an alcoholic who trained to qualify for Boston, gives me chill bumps. All of these athletes and stories have a common theme – replacing bad habits with good ones, which in turn lead to some pretty amazing things.
Exercise provides a “high” that could be important for addicts trying to combat cravings, experts say. In addition to decreasing anxiety and stress, physical activity helps increase levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine, a chemical that’s associated with feelings of pleasure, is often diminished over time by substance abuse… “One of those addictions leads to basically a devastation throughout all aspects of your life and probably premature death,” he said. “The other addiction leads to improved cardiovascular health, better self-esteem, better self-efficacy and maybe some joint problems when you get older. It’s an apples-and-chain saws comparison.”
I know running has helped me to be the person I am today. Without it, I’m not sure I would understand discipline, successes and failures like I do now. It’s amazing to see what great things running can bring to other people’s lives. Happy Monday everyone!
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Running Update: I had a scheduled regular run of 6 miles today. That means I just go with what feels right. I did and when I looked at my watch .3 miles into the run, it said 6:56 and I thought holy cow, I better slow down. I managed to rein in the pace but I still averaged 7:34 for 6.11 miles (stats are here). I just felt really good. Maybe it was the nice weather but we’ll see how this affects my pyramid workout tomorrow. I just checked my workout calendar and noticed the length of my intervals has increased. This should be fun!!! (And the 2 in my pic is for Week 2 of training.)