- Get prepared
1. Apparel: Comfy clothes, hat, and proper shoes for your feet.
2. An epic playlist that inspires you and comfortable earbuds.
3. Drink a hydrating drink like coconut water, regular water or my pre-workout drink before your run.
3. Don’t forget sunscreen!
- Run where it inspires you
Example, I love to run in the forest, it wakes up my inner-child and lifts my spirit. My favorite place to run is in Rocky Nook Park in Santa Barbara, CA. My route to the park passes a rose garden, an old church, and beautiful rustic rock walls. I enjoy every passing minute of my route. I’m not counting phone poles and forcing myself to enjoy my run.
- Bring out your inner-child
When I am in the park, I run down to the creek and hop the rocks while pretending I am tomb raider. I try to go as fast as I can (real spy like). As an adult, you may shy away from hopping rocks, you may take the safe route, but I think it’s important to challenge your adult “safe mindset” in order to stay young. “Hey, why not?”
- Stop and take in your surroundings
Getting outside for a run should not just about burning calories. It can be much more than that. When you take a run in nature, you are accompanied by beautiful landscape, small critters, sweet-smelling plants, fresh air and aromatic soil. Don’t ignore it. Sight is not the only way to experience nature. Consider taking it in with touch, smell, and taste. Example, on my last run, I picked up a small white flower on the ground and smelled it. It smelled so strong of honey, I was blown away by its potency. I picked a few more of the small flowers and put them into my iPhone holder so I could take them home.If you happen to see a small critter, stop and watch it move around. I love to get down to their environment and see how a small lump of dirt becomes an obstacle to them. It can be quite healing. If you pass a herb plant, like a rosemary bush, stop and take a little leaf and taste it or rub it into your skin. Take advantage of it all. Exercising outdoors is a very different experience from working out in a gym. I would not recommend licking the treadmill belt or smelling a yoga mat.
- Keep it a positive experience
I am not a competitive person when it comes to my athletic abilities. I have never been, never will be. If someone whips my butt in a run, I’m happy for them. I view my physical talents very individually, I don’t compare myself to others. I am also not motivated by scratching two minutes off my running time. I am more interested in how I feel mentally and how motivated I am to do it again. I believe if I enjoy it organically and naturally desire to run, again and again, I will naturally advance my speed and time without worrying about it.It’s important to me to keep the experience positive and good. Running for me is very therapeutic. Listening to crazy, inspiring music and running through swaying grass is like a happy drug for me. It fills my soul and lowers stress hormones. Fist pumps in the air is also a great feeling.
(Side note: Raising your hand in the air like an athlete is proven to lower your cortisol levels.)
- Ways I indicate a good run
1. I broke a sweat. Great for detoxing the skin.
2. I mentally feel lifted and happy.
3. I tried sometime new. I could have run a little further, jumped a little higher, or tried a new path, it’s good to challenge yourself and learn new things.
4. I am smiling and inspired by the time I get home. I’m ready to take on the world.