As the UK closes its doors again and we enter another lockdown, many find themselves struck by tiredness and lethargy . Those feeling sapped recently will know only too well the surprising difficulty of finding motivation to exercise after spending hours glued to a screen, in a digital meeting or an online lesson. Blowing the cobwebs away after a long workday feels increasingly less tempting when all you can think about is the moment you will be free to relax and de-stress on the sofa, in front of the television. But running offers an enjoyable and rewarding path to that feeling of self-fulfilment, that you succeeded in conquering the day, and, especially now that getting outside is so much harder and community team sport is postponed , running also offers a great outlet to push yourself and a way to blow off steam. Having taken up running myself during lockdown, I feel it has benefited me in a number of ways, and even allowed me to improve as a person.

Physical exertion is an effective method of reducing stress, and running allows you to take your mind away from worries and work life, and focus on the now, be in the present. This is a principle used in many forms of meditation, which is a well known relaxation method, and although running forces you to focus on the present through taking that next step, going as fast as you can, chasing that time, in a similar yet different fashion to meditation, the ultimate aim of both is for maximum focus on one thing, and they are both valuable tools to clear the head. Moreover, the pursuit of goals in running, whether those goals are to run a personal best time or go around the block without stopping, or even simply to get out and run a few hundred metres, builds resilience and drive, two immensely important attributes that also translate to work and personal life. But the exclusive advantage running holds over other sports and exercise forms is its accessibility. You don’t need to buy weights, apply for a sports club membership, or own expensive gear, you don’t even need to have access to a gym or a garden. You can just get out there and go, forget your worries and fears, forget about doing the recycling or mopping the floor, forget about work or school, and push yourself, be in the present, in the now. They say in life it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. So, whether running is your journey to being less tense, to being fitter, or maybe even to being a better person, good luck, and enjoy yourself.