Nothing is simpler than going for a run.  You don’t need anything special besides a good running outfit and a pair of trainers to get you started. There is no need to overcomplicate running by thinking we need expensive gear; bluetooth headphones, watches even tracking devices, you just need to lace up and run. Simple.

Running is one of the only sports that allows you to train literally anywhere; the park, inner city, even inside on a treadmill. You don’t need a license, timetable or booking it’s literally put one foot in front of the other in any surround that suits; you can literally run anywhere – even the water.

Running is a sport anyone can participate in; this is what makes this form of exercise so assessable. Run in a group for a social activity or solo for some ‘catch up on my own thought time’ running gives you a certain freedom that no other sport can offer.

Benefits of running: Mental

Rough day? Tough night?  Don’t feel like going out for a run? All you have to do is make it past the front door, that doesn’t sound hard does it? If after a few hundred meters you just aren’t feeling it, turn around and make your way back home, at least you can say you tried.  But we all know, the chances of you returning back home is minimal and we both know that you won’t feel any worse after your run, actually we put money on it that you will feel a whole lot better.

Exercise such as running helps pump blood to the brain helping you think more clearly as well as releasing chemicals like endorphins and serotonin, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria boosting your overall mood. No wonder you feel such clarity and are in such
a good mood after a run.

One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief.  Running can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension, not a bad trade off for the recommended guideline of at least 30 minutes of moderate to intensive physical exercise on most or all days of the week.

Practicing the mindfulness action of running daily not only reduces your stress levels but also improves your overall mental health.


In addition to the psychological benefits, the physical benefits of running are vast. Scientists have discovered that a daily run can assist you to live a longer life due to improvements in your cardiovascular health by increasing your heart rate and working the heart muscles regularly, improve bone health which increases bone density and prevent injury and the onset of osteoporosis, improve lung capacity and promote better breathing. It boosts your immune system, helps you be more focused, sleep better, maintain balance of the body – do we need to go on?

Whether you choose to run for health reasons including maintaining weight goals, make new friends or to assist with mental health and wellness the fact is, running makes us feel good.  The mental and physical benefits of running are much longer than your excuses so what
are you waiting for, it’s time to run!

How to start running

Step 1. Change into your active wear, put your trainers on and lace up.

Step 2. Walk to the front door; additional extras include child in pram (excellent weight and resistance training), the dog, hydration and music.

Step 3. Start slow with a jog and build up to a faster pace after around 10minutes.

Step 4. Maintain a comfortable pace; you should be able to hold a conversation whilst running – unless you are doing intervals.

Step 5. After 30mins slow to a walk until your breath gradually returns to normal. You will now feel energised, less stressed and that one step closer to sound physical fitness.

Run well.

By Amanda Meggison, Nutrition advisor, Food Coach and Endurance athlete.
Run Stop Shop Hampton, South Melbourne and CBD.