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I’ve always upheld the viewpoint that I can’t run, I don’t run, and I neither sympathise nor comprehend anyone that does. Considering this, and the fact that May is National Walking Month, you would be forgiven for finding me less than logical for suddenly starting to run every day.

Here are my 5 reasons that I started running away from my problems… literally!

1. Running is free. Those who know me won’t be surprised that one of my principal reasons for being a massive hypocrite is financial! Having just bought a car, I’m not really in the right place to then invest in a good enough bicycle to tackle these Cotswold hills, and although I was intending to go swimming it involves a lot more time and money so I hadn’t got around to it yet! On the other hand, I can walk straight out of my back door and into the fields for a jog. So far, I have spent £1.99 on the Couch-to-5k app, which has kept me amused for weeks! Which brings me onto my next point…

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2. I have surprised myself & gained some confidence. The app I bought, ‘Couch-to-5k’, has been a brilliant starting point… it allows you to start really small (a walk with just a few 1 minute runs) and gradually build up to a 5k a run. I’m half way there now, and although each day is a challenge, it’s never more than I can handle. And the fact that I can suddenly run, and LOVE it, is something I’d have truly never believed if you told me even a couple of months ago. Which makes me think… what else am I capable of that I thought I could “never” do?

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3. Running has helped me physically. You may still be wondering what the deciding factor was in the first place that propelled me out of my back gate with trainers and new running app. You may not. In any case, at the beginning of May I had once again an attack of the horribly tight chest tension, which gives me real difficulty catching a deep breath and is most probably anxiety-related (according to my doctor). Truly fed up with my body holding me back, and meditation was proving impossible because I just couldn’t concentrate on anything other than not being able to breathe, I decided on a more energetic solution. And although at the start it was really difficult running without being able to breathe deeply, perseverance has paid off two weeks in. I can breathe all day every day again. It feels so good!

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4. Running has helped me mentally too! Evidently physical health can be tied very closely with mental health, and so tackling one problem has eased another. It’s hard to feel stressed about life with the wind in my hair, fields of yellow & dramatic Cotswold landscapes sweeping ahead, and my favourite music in my ears (in between running instructions from my app)! I’ve become addicted to running as a way of clearing my mind.

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5.  I get to discover new places! Although so far I do the same route every day, it is a particularly fantastic combination of woods, fields, views, and it varies so much depending on the weather and time of day. I’ve seen stunning sunsets, rays of sunlight spreading through the trees, and angry sunlit skies promising rain. It reminds me what a pleasure it is to live on this planet sometimes.

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