I took six days off. Six. This is coming from someone who at the most, takes two days off a running each week. The first off day was planned, the second off day was ok because I was really busy and there was humanly no way to run that day. The next day was off because we were busy and the next three days were off because I had to take them off for a test I had to have.
I ran four miles this morning before work and it felt great!
Knowing I was going to have to miss a few days of running (not six), made me pay attention to how I feel when I don't run. These are the main things I noticed:
- I have way less energy. I'm a pretty energetic person, but after about three days of no running, my energy was zapped. I can typically get up at 6 am and go full steam all day without a problem, but I found myself reaching for the coffee more than once these past few days.
- I don't want to snack. Yes, I know that should be a good thing, but I like snacks (mostly healthy) and during a period in which I'd typically run 20-25 miles and a race, I did nothing. And I didn't want snacks.
- I don't feel as productive. I think this goes hand-in-hand with the less energy thing. When I'm exercising daily (or near daily), I'm so much more productive. I don't feel like I've been very productive the last few days.
- I feel "foggy." Foggy is the best word I can think of to describe what I'm trying to say. When I don't run for several days, I don't feel as sharp and on top of things as I do typically.
- I reach for more unhealthy things. I eat pretty healthy for the most part, but over these six days of not running, my body wasn't craving fruits and vegetables like it normally does. I wanted cookies, chips, and fries. Not good.
I say all that to say these few things: If you don't run/walk/jog or engage in some kind of daily (at least 5x a week) exercise, start doing it! When I exercise, I'm energetic, productive, and sharp, and my body craves healthy things. Exercise is not something you do to look good (that's a bonus, but it's not the reason); it's something you do because you want to be your best self. I'm not my best self when I'm groggy and wanting to eat a million of those little butterscotch cookies my husband introduced me to. I'm my best self when I'm sweating, releasing endorphins, and making sure I carve out the time that's needed to run and exercise. Just try it for a few days and see how great you feel!
Labels: exercise, healthy living, running