Got a problem that needs solved, go for a run. When I was in shape and running on a regular basis I could feel the difference if I skipped a workout. Not only did my body feel different, but my mind didn’t seem as sharp. Now that I’m out of shape I don’t feel that same weirdness when I don’t run, but oh when I do workout my mind and body feel so much better.
A recent example, I was struggling to figure what to write about for my upcoming blog post on the YNPN-TC blog. Those posts have to be high quality and relevant to young non-profit professionals (unlike my sometimes randomness here). My last three posts were about Nonprofit Cross-training, Take a Leap: Tips for Changing Your Career, and Strengthening Your Work and Reputation During Times of Change. What should I write about next?
I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed lately with my various commitments and the workloads related to them. On a recent run my mind wandered and started thinking about my blog post and then later about feeling overwhelmed and then BAM! Information Overload (read my post and get some tips). I get too many e-mails, am subscribed to too many RSS feeds, too many Facebook and Twitter friends, etc. If I could figure out a way to clean some of that up, I’d feel like I had more mental space.
The blog post is forthcoming, but going out for a run helped clarify the idea. I think working out is a great time to clear your mind and to solve problems that are happening in your life. I don’t think you’ll want to say, I’m running 3 miles today and by the end of the run I’m going to solve X problem. But it might work for larger issues. Think back to the series I did on the Sacred Art of Running and Warren Kay’s ideas about contemplation and meditation. He talks about using mantra’s to seed or focus our mind. I think if you are dealing with a big issue your subconscious will bring it to top of mind and you’ll think about it during the run.
Do you have a story about how working out solved a problem? What other mental benefits do you see from running?