Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Dynamic Lifestyle | Running 101

Published:Monday | May 23, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Damion has made running a priority in his life because of all the benefits he has derived from it.
Jeniel has experienced at first hand the benefits of running.
A fitter, healthier and happier Jeniel.
Jeniel says she has lost a lot of weight since she had started running.
Janeil and Damion experience the benefits of running throughout their work day.
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In this information age, it seems as though everything is moving at the speed of light. Life is demanding. We run after our goals and dreams, run to and from meetings and corporate engagements, and many of us make time to run into our favourite social events.

In retrospect, running has always been a part of our lives. Many of us at some point probably ran from our parents when they wanted to whop us, or from our neighbour's terrifying dogs.

So, there's no doubt that we can run. The challenge now is to prioritise and incorporate running into our health regime. My fitness journey began with this simple activity, and I have realised that anyone can easily enjoy it and the associated benefits. Let's take a look at how running can help you boost your productivity levels at work.

 

1. Boosts your brainpower

 

The brain is made up of 75 per cent water. This same water, when broken down, is converted into hydrogen and oxygen (H2O) - two key elements that are essential when running. Through proper breathing, your body is trained to regulate oxygen, whether you run short or long distances. What does this mean for your productivity? It means that your brain will be more resilient under stress, even in the middle of a hectic day. It also means that your creativity will be maximised as the neurons in your brain will be more alert and adept - 'firing' as you're thinking faster to allow for easier solutions when work problems arise.

 

2. Lowers your stress levels

 

Deadlines, details and dollar values are three essential Ds in everyone's work life. Guess what; running helps to relieve work stress too. As you run, you'll notice what we call 'runners' high' a euphoric feeling achieved post-running that improves energy levels and gives that intense 'I-can-conquer-the-world' feeling.

Here's the deal. Whether you work out in the morning or evening, your serotonin and endorphins (feel-good hormones) levels will increase. You'll be ready to approach the day or night with zeal!

 

3. Helps improve time-management and team-building skills

 

Consistent running, especially with a running partner or group, may improve your time-management and team-building skills. As you get into the groove of running and you notice the associated benefits, you'll make it a priority on your schedule. You may have to shift up a few things to make this a consistent addition, but you'll become more organised with time. Furthermore, knowing that you are part of a team of runners will keep you motivated and committed. The same will happen at work - you'll gradually become a better leader and team member, make better decisions, and you'll certainly manage your time more efficiently. After all, you need to get your job done in time to keep your running commitments.

 

4. Boosts your confidence and sense of direction

 

I saved the best for last. We are all about achieving our goals and living our best lives. Goal-setting is a huge part of work life, and is extremely important in running. Whether you tackle five, 10 or 20 miles, setting and achieving your goals will not only boost your confidence, it will prove what we already know - that we are unstoppable.

In addition, running regularly will give a heightened sense of direction both on the field and in the office. You'll map out where you're going, what you hope to achieve, and how you'll get there. Then, you'll get it done! Another big confidence boost will come from the compliments you will receive. This will surely keep you running.

This week, we feature Damion and Jeneil, both runners who lead very hectic work lives. Here's how running helped them.

Damion: I started running in September 2009. Before that, I had never run for more than 10 minutes. I now run between eight and 11 miles each morning to mentally run through my upcoming day. After my run, I am energised for the rest of the workday. There are some days in which I accomplish a lot before midday.

Since I have started running, I have gone from weekly migraines to virtually none. For all the new runners, the first few weeks will be the hardest. It is during those early weeks that you will question your decision to start running. Once you overcome those early struggling weeks and make it a lifestyle, then you are on the road to becoming a consistent runner.

Jeniel: I started running in September 2014. I've lost a considerable amount of weight, and I am now in a healthy weight bracket. I am calmer and think more before I act. You have to make it a part of your everyday life; the same way you think you must go to work so as to pay your bills. You have to make it a priority. My way is to run early in the morning. It's the first thing I do when I wake up, before my mind realises what I'm doing. My advice - find a group that's willing to teach and work with you.

If you're looking for a running club, try the Sonic Steppers (sonic.steppers@gmail.com) or any other club for that matter! Take up running and let's hit the road! You'll be glad you did.

• Patrice J. White is a certified lifestyle and transformation coach, and founder and president of the Sonic Steppers Running Club. Website: www.patricejwhite.com. Email: info@patricejwhite.com. Instagram/Twitter @Patricejwhite.

Tel: 876-GETTFIT (876-438-8348)