Valentine's Day, Family Day, Heart Month, Groundhog's Day(?!): however you choose to celebrate, February is widely considered to be a month dedicated to love. It's no secret that here at BlackToe, we're harbouring a major crush on running - we even have "Live. Love. Run." painted across our windows! Personal opinions aside, there are some very real reasons why we believe that running should claim the title as the unofficial sport of February.
Running is Good for Your Heart
Nothing says "happy love month" more than strengthening your heart. It's been unequivocally proven that physical activity (including running) is excellent for your heart health, and can benefit your ticker in a number of ways:
- Running strengthens the heart muscle (much like lifting weights strengthens other muscles), helping it to work more efficiently.
- Running helps reduce the risk of heart disease, especially over time (all the more reason to become a lifelong runner!)
- Running has been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Running can even contribute to a longer lifespan and improved overall physical fitness later in life.
The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation has deemed February National Heart Month to help bring awareness to and you can learn more about the benefits of physical activity on lifelong heart health over on their website.
It's a Great Way to Practice Self Love
If you ask a group of runners why they lace up week after week, most of them will tell you that they enjoy the mental health benefits of running just as much as the physical ones. Running offers an opportunity to unplug, get in touch with your body, and disconnect from the demands of work or home life. Taking time for yourself is the ultimate act of self-love, and we can't think of a better way to do so than by going for a run. But then again, we might be a tad biased...
Besides the mental health benefits, running provides a unique opportunity to fall in love with a new version of yourself. Running can be a very tough sport, and just showing up, pushing your limits, and putting yourself out there is often half the battle. But it can also give you a sense of pride and accomplishment that you didn't expect. Now that's what we call self-love!
You Might Meet that Special Someone
We have seen countless relationships blossom within our running community and even among our Run Club and Race Team members. When you join a running club, it's safe to assume that you'll share at least a few things in common with other people in the club, with a passion for running being one of them. Striking up conversation about training, races, and your favourite running shoes can serve as an easy icebreaker that might just lead to something more. Before you know it, you could be conquering the Boston Marathon's 'Heartbreak Hill' together - now that's what we call romance!
Running Celebrates Platonic Love
Although most folks love a solo run now and then, the majority of runners have at least a few run buddies who they meet up with regularly. These are the people who give you a reason to get up with the sun, get out the door when you're feeling sluggish, and hand out endless high-fives after a good (or bad) run together. It's common to form strong bonds with your running crew, especially when you experience so many ups and downs together, and these friendships are a truly wonderful part of running.
There is A Lot of Cool Running Gear Out There to Love
We'd be lying if we said that all of the cool shoes, clothes, wearables, and accessories aren't a majorly fun part of being a runner. From cycling through a few snazzy pairs of running shoes each year, to carefully selecting your race day kit, to sporting matching sunnies and hats with your run crew, to tracking your fitness on a GPS wearable device, there's a lot to love in the world of running gear.
Make This the Year You Fall in Love With Running!
Whether you're ready for that first date or already in a long term relationship with running, we're here for every step of the journey. Come visit us at BlackToe Running to find the perfect pair of running shoes (your "sole mate," if you will), get connected with other members of the run community, or for tips on getting the most out of your training.