How Running Can Improve Your Life: Motivation From Some Amazing Runners

One of the best ways to stay in shape is through running. Not only does it help you shed weight, but it also ensures wholesome physical fitness and the endorphins released by your brain while running ensure that your mental health is benefitted as well. In fact, Daniel Lieberman, a palaeoanthropologist from Harvard University who has extensively studied the human body concluded that our bodies are actually adapted for running.

Liberman noticed that our bodies are unlike those of the apes we’re closely related to. Their legs are not as long as ours and our pelvises are bowl-shaped unlike theirs. Even our feet are not the same. The tendons in our lower bodies are spring shaped and the rigidity in our feet and heels make them the perfect shock absorber. The lack of body hair in comparison to other apes prevents our bodies from heating up too much and having a slimmer build also helps. Unlike apes, our forearms are quite short and this helps us balance our upper and lower bodies even when we’re moving very fast. These are just some of the differences that Liberman and other experts have noticed which show that our bodies are really made for running at a decent pace even over long distances.

After listening to all this information, it should come as no surprise how much running benefits us. It is a type of cardio that almost everyone can do without having to spend a lot of time and money. It burns a large amount of calories and it also makes our cardiac system healthier. Though people think that their knees might suffer due to running, a study conducted on over two thousand subjects showed that those who regularly went for a run had decreased chances of contracting knee issues like osteoarthritis.

Besides the obvious physical benefits, running vastly improves your mental health. Research shows that running affects the brain in such a way that it becomes more resistant to stress. The increased levels of hormones like serotonin and norepinephrine released by the brain when we run may be the cause of this. Moreover, running relaxes and tires our bodies out at the same time ensuring that those who run are able to sleep better. This, in turn, keeps them from becoming cranky and they are better able to concentrate on their tasks.

But knowing all of this doesn’t make running an easy task. If you’re someone who has been trying to make running a part of your day to day schedule, keep these fifteen quotes from famous runners in mind and they will help you find the inspiration you need.  

  1. 1. “Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.”

— Wilma Rudolph, Olympic sprinter

  1. 2. “If you can’t run, then walk. And if you can’t walk, then crawl. Do what you have to do. Just keep moving forward and never, ever give up.”

— Dean Karnazes, ultramarathon runner and author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

  1. 3. “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”

Juma Inkangaa, 1989 winner of the New York Marathon

  1. 4. “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”

— Kathrine Switzer, first woman to run the Boston Marathon

  1. “Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.”

— Haile Gebrselassie, retired Olympic long-distance runner

  1. “A runner must run with dreams in his heart, not money in his pocket.”

— Emil Zatopek, Olympic long-distance runner

  1. 7. “For running, looking around means embracing the process, including the ups and downs on the way. It means the same thing for life. If the goal is just to connect summits, you’ll probably grow to be indifferent about all the time you aren’t on top of a mountain.”

— Megan and David Roche, running coaches and authors of The Happy Runner

  1. 8. “While you, and only you, can move your legs from start to finish, no one runs a marathon alone.”

— Alexandra Heminsley, author of Running Like a Girl

  1. “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

— Haruki Murakami, marathon runner and author of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

  1. 10. “The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race, it’s to test the limits of the human heart.”

— Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike, Inc.

  1. 11. “You were born to run. Maybe not that fast, maybe not that far, maybe not as efficiently as others. But to get up and move, to fire up that entire energy-producing, oxygen-delivering, bone-strengthening process we call running.”

— Florence Griffith Joyner, Olympic sprinter

  1. 12. “All runners are tough. Everyone has to have a little fire in them, that even in tough times, can’t be turned off.”

— Shalane Flanagan, Olympic long-distance runner

  1. 13. “Every time I fail, I assume I will be a stronger person for it. I keep on running figuratively and literally, despite a limp that gets more noticeable with each passing season, because for me there has always been a place to go and a terrible urgency to get there.”

— Joan Benoit Samuelson, first women’s Olympic marathon winner

  1. 14. “If you have a body, you are an athlete”

— Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike, Inc.

  1. 15. “Training is like building a sandcastle. Every grain of sand is important, even if you can’t see them all.”

— Alexi Pappas, Olympic long-distance runner

It requires hard work and dedication to make running a part of your regular schedule and it is very easy to lose heart if your days are already jam-packed. We hope that these quotes give you the push you need to start running!