7 Simple Ways to Make Your Next Run More Fun
If the idea of lacing up your tennis shoes seems daunting, you may need to rethink your approach. Running is the most popular activity in America after walking. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, 29.8 million Americans run or jog once a week. If you can’t seem to find the joy in pounding the pavement or treadmill, try one of these seven tips to put some fun in your next run:
- Sign up for a cool race. Mud runs, color runs and nighttime 5Ks are all designed to be as fun as they are challenging. And if you know you’re working towards an event or goal, your training runs become more fun, too. Check out A Healthier Michigan’s Pinterest page for training options for well-known fun runs like The Color Run or Tough Mudder.
- Build a playlist you love. Monotony is a runner’s worst enemy, so keep things fresh by creating a high-energy list of songs to listen to along the way. Studies show music can help you run faster! It doesn’t matter which songs you choose, as long as you find them motivational. Create a new playlist for each training program or season to keep it fresh!
- Clear your head. A playlist is great, but sometimes you should ditch the headphones and go for a quiet run by yourself as a form of meditation. Clear your head of thoughts and make the run a tranquil experience by focusing on the pace of your steps and the sound of your breath, birds and wind rustling in trees.
- Race a pal. Pick a distance (say, two miles) and come up with two different routes that begin and end in the same place. Then race a friend to see who can make it back to the starting point first. Don’t have a friend who is into running? Race yourself by seeing how long it takes you to run a route and trying to shave a few seconds off your time on your next time out.
- Bring a furry friend. Dog owners are more likely to exercise on a regular basis than those who don’t own one. The enthusiasm and giddiness a dog feels on a run is such a great distraction that you won’t even notice how long you’ve been going.
- Watch your favorite show. If you’re more of a treadmill runner, time your trip to the gym to coincide with your favorite sitcom and stay on until the episode is over. (This can work at home, too!) And if you’re a Netflix or Hulu subscriber, many gyms offer free Wi-Fi service so you can stream any show you’d like.
- Draw new inspiration. Your running route doesn’t have to be a simple square. Use an app like the Nike + running app to draw a dinosaur, birdcage or dog and run that path through your neighborhood. A bonus to finishing the whole route is that you can share your uniquely shaped course on social media. It is also a great way to explore a new route and see new sights!
Want to see more of our favorite running tips? Check out these blogs:
- The Best Way to Recover After Running a Half-Marathon
- How to Stay Safe When Running in the Dark
- Don’t Be Guilty of These Rookie Running Mistakes
This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme.
Photo credit: Peter Mooney