Why I Run

running is meditation

Every time I tell people I run, they ask: “Are you training for a marathon?” Or they ask if I’ve ever run a marathon.

Somehow, most of us believe that running a marathon is the ultimate benchmark of running. I used to think that too.

The ‘Marathon’ story is probably one of the most well know stories in the world. The most mythical version goes like this:

The Persians were battling the Greeks in the fifth century B.C. And at the Battle Of Marathon, the Athenian army was outnumbered four to one. There was a full-on battle going on at Marathon.

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How To Exercise 312 Times A Year

How To Exercise 312 Times A Year

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I used to be a chubby kid. Most people thought that was cute. But it got out of hand when was in my early teens.

At age 15 I weighed 230 pounds (105 kg). I was fat. Three years later, I weighed 55 pounds less and I was bench pressing my old weight.

The truth is that being overweight sucks. And if you want to change, you need a reason. At that age, I wanted to impress girls. So I dropped the weight. It was surprisingly simple once I put my mind to it.

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This 30-Minute Evening Ritual Will Help You To Kick Life In The Ass

After a busy day, it’s quite challenging to wind down and get ready for a good night’s sleep. Too often I find myself working until late. And sometimes I might find myself reading or watching a TV show.

And when you’re ready to go to sleep, you can’t. Your mind is buzzing with thoughts you don’t want at that time of day.

It’s no secret that a lot of people have difficulties with sleeping. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days.

Why’s the evening so important? Well, you might have a perfect morning ritual, a fully planned calendar, and the intention to crush your day, but if you lack the energy, you’re not doing anything productive. 

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How To Start A Daily Running Habit

Many of us love the thought of running. But running every single day often seems like an impossible thing to do. However, starting a daily running might be more achievable than you think.

12 months ago I ran exactly 0 miles a week. But now, I’m running 20 miles a week. I’m not saying that to brag. I know people who run three times more than that. Compared to them, I’m a rookie runner.

I’m not an athletic person, nor was I in great shape. I just went to the gym two times a week. That means this: If I can start a daily running or exercise habit, so can you.

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The Number One Secret To Sleep That No One Tells You

On average, you sleep 7 hours and 50 minutes per night. Considering that life expectancy for countries in the Western world is about 80 years—you’ll spend 26.6 years of your life asleep.

That’s almost 1/3 of your time on this planet. And yet, we feel tired so often. Just look at the person sitting next to you at the office, on the couch, or at Starbucks.

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How exercise improves the strength of your brain

There is a large body of research that shows positive effects of exercise on our brain. In short, neuroscientists have found 2 main improvements. First, exercise improves alertness, attention and motivation. Second, it stimulates the storage of new information in your brain.  In short, exercising will make you smarter.

That is the good news. The bad news is that it takes real effort. There are no magic pills, super effective 2 minute workouts, or other shortcuts. If you want to exercise your brain (your brain can actually increase in size), you have to put in the work. Similar to your muscles, your brain needs training to grow.

What kind of exercise?

Cardiovascular training
Get your heart rate up by running, cycling, or circuit training.

Sports that need motor abilities
Exercise that demands coordination forces your mind to work more compared to jogging. You think of tennis, basketball, or anything else that needs motor skills.

Stretching and Flexibility workouts
Flexibility is often overlooked. Even by people who workout for years.  Stretching, and being more flexible in general, will decrease the risk of injuries. For example, you have more chances of back injuring if you have short hamstrings.

Switch things up. Are going to the gym for 3 times a week for years? Take up Yoga. Are you addicted to spinning class? Hit the weights once per week. The key is to have variety in your exercise routines. This is not only good for your body, but also your mind.

Training Intensity
The real magic happens at higher intensity. This is only recommended for people who are not new to exercising. Starting with high-intensity workouts is harmful if you do not have at least 6-8 months of consistent daily exercise under your belt. Researchers recommend to have at least 30 minutes of exercise 6 days a week. If you are new to exercise, start by taking 30-minute walks. Every day. You will start feeling better immediately.

Working out at high intensity (70%-90% of your maximum heart rate), stimulates a lot of dopamine. The same happy chemical that is associated with sex, food, and social interactions. Serotonin is also affected by exercise. This has a positive effect on your self-esteem.

No matter how hard you train, working out at low intensity has benefits. Next time you don’t feel like going to the gym, remind yourself that is the exact reason you are going. You will feel better after your workout. Don’t trust me, trust the science.