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Tips to Make Running A Habit

By Alexis Mills

There is a reason why people continue to exercise and run on a regular basis. While we all know that running is healthy for us, I think for the people who continuously run it becomes more of an addiction than anything else. Once you have run for a few weeks, you will begin to see that there is something to this "runner's high." There are feel-good chemicals released in the body while you are running that make you want to keep coming back to it. The hard part is getting it to that point where you thrive off your runs and, until then, can be hard to force yourself to go on your runs. Until then, it is time to make running a habit so it can become painless.

Make A Plan 

The way to make running or anything else a habit, develop a plan of how you are going to get there. Pick out some cues and rewards that will make you want to continue running. As far as cues, this could be a time of day that works for you, putting on specific music, or running in the same place that will help you associate that cue with running. Then find different rewards that will keep you looking forward to a post-run reward. Once you have it figured out, write it out as your plan that once you have your cue, you will go for a run - and afterward will be rewarded. If what you choose doesn't work after a week, then switch it up.

Keep It Consistent 

As much as you can, make a pre-run routine that you repeat every time; if you consistently run on certain days of the week, particularly at specific times, it will eventually make it natural. Whatever you have to do to keep it as consistent as possible will create neural pathways to make what you are doing a habit.

Reward Yourself 

Once you finish you run, you should immediately reward yourself with whatever you decided to treat yourself with. Whether that be a small piece of dark chocolate, a long shower, or a few pieces of fruit -- whatever works for you. Executing the reward immediately afterward is teaching the brain to make this pattern automatic.

Have A Support System

Having people to run with or to keep you accountable will bring you a sense of community with running. Track your progress with friends and celebrate the accomplishments you have made together. This will keep you excited about the new habit and have someone to talk to when it gets hard.

Doing these steps for a few weeks will make running a regular part of your life and help you become a healthier individual.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cypress, Tex.

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