If you’re a runner, then hello partner! You’ve made a commitment to taking charge of your life by adopting a lifestyle that embraces a healthy lifestyle that you can wrap yourself up in! The benefits are many, but you’ve probably already looked into them if you’re a “Late Runner Bloomer”! Or maybe you just run because your friends or family members started you off on the paths to see just what’s over the next hill.

Whatever reason, you’ve chosen to put on a pair of running shoes and get outdoors in all kinds of weather and I’m proud to call you a comrade of the trails. Running, almost every kind, from mountain trail running, to coastal scenic tracks, or just doing some laps around a community development or park takes commitment on your part. And while I like the solitude of getting out on the rural tracks around my Colorado home, any running you do is beneficial to not only your body but also your outlook on life and your state of mind. Now, this is not just me talking, it’s been looked at by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical activity, like running, offers many health benefits, regardless of your age, sex, and athletic capacity. Running, which really is both an aerobic and cardio exercise helps to build your physical endurance by helping your heart pump more efficiently when you’re putting that one foot in front of the other.

Living a healthy lifestyle is a must if you’re a runner or really, doing any kind of physically demanding exercise that fits your mindset on being and staying healthy. Today’s society is built upon comparing ourselves against the next person. How they look, what kind of job they have, how well you think they are doing professionally or even personally. What I love about keeping my focus on my own fitness regimen and the lifestyle I prefer to live with is that I’m in competition with “Myself”! Whatever you do or choose to do in order to maintain a healthy body and mind is being content on just trying to do a bit better in reaching your goals then you did the last time you worked out. The feeling you get when you passed your old mark is one that’s hard to explain until you’ve experienced it.

Now, getting back to running, as I said before, I like the solitude of running solo for hours at a time. That being said, I need some backup to keep me on the right track, sometimes literally. What I mean is, I need a good, really good activity watch to monitor my stats while I’m putting that one foot in front of the other. And to make sure I know just where I’m going if I’m trying out a new course that I haven’t been on before. Good, dependable and accurate GPS is a must. Where basic accelerometers and gyroscopes of standard activity trackers have to estimate your distance covered, a GPS-enabled running watch will more accurately be able to show all the ground you’ve covered. A running watch with a screen, that is visible in strong sunlight is also a perk and will provide easier at-a-glance views of the data during your run, so you can see your pace, lap times, cadence and heart rate without having to try and pull your phone out! If that’s what you relied on in the past. This is perfect if you’re often running in unfamiliar locations or have a habit of getting lost while out on your runs. The Garmin Forerunner 645 GPS Running Watch  , is my running companion. Its lightweight, which is a plus! And since it’s from Garmin, who was one of the GPS innovators for smart devices, I know where I am on the trails, even if I haven’t traveled the route before. And besides listening to my favorite playlists as I run, if I happen to be near a local store and hunger for a quick energy snack the Forerunner 645 handles the payments for me. It’s a great feature to take with you, on and off the trails.

Like I said in the very beginning, running is not something I must do to stay healthy, It’s something I need to do in order to keep my mind and spirit healthy. I’ve found over the few years that I’ve been lacing up my running shoes, is that I now feel more capable. I’ve become proactive and find myself willing to do more things, instead of before, where I might have put them off, in the past. It might be because I’ve become more confident in what I can do and will discount anyone who might say I can’t do a certain task or project.

Running has given me that confidence because I am constantly pushing myself to better than my last run, whether it be in a longer distance or a faster time. The better I get at running, the heavier weights I can lift, and the further I can push my body has given me the ability and drive to tackle other challenges that come my way, outside of my workouts.
Knowing I can reach my fitness goals gives me an “I-can-do-anything attitude” that is much needed when I feel down.

How about you? What are You running for?