How Running Has Helped Me During the Pandemic

Even though I ran before the pandemic, it’s taken the lockdown and the restrictions on my day-to-day (yay shielding) to throw me knee deep into something that I used to use just to keep fit. Now it’s more ingrained in my routine and I genuinely hope that life post-pandemic (whenever it’ll be) that I can keep this up. Especially with seeing what I can achieve when I put my mind to it! Seeing as running has been there for me, I thought I’d share how exactly.

It’s given me time to process

I think everyone this year can agree that the sudden shift to our lives has been pretty traumatic. It’s taken time to process things and then all of a sudden the goal posts move and we have a whole load to process again. I often run with music, but actually for me that helps. I can still think things through, but also find it helps block negative thoughts and gives me time to just think things through. Or if the music’s loud enough, to just have a brief moment to forget about things.

It’s an excuse to get outside

Remember that time when we could only go out once a day? I do! The routine of making a few days a week of my outside time for running then the rest for walking got me into a great routine. I now run between 4-5 times a week, and I walk a fair amount too. I must admit I’m glad we’re less restricted now! I like to be able to run in the morning and then walk with Dr W later in the evening, we like to walk and talk about our days (especially as I am mostly at home alone). On my non-running days I still head out for a walk, because otherwise I would just be in the house all day and it’s not good for my brain or my body!

It’s helped me become stronger

One thing about running more is that it’s a lot more of a repetitive action a lot more of the time. So with this in mind, I have been very strict about keeping my strength work up. I really miss hydrotherapy and have had to be VERY careful about what strength work I do thanks to my RA. But I have slowly worked my way up to some more demanding workouts, for which I really do have Peloton to thank. I got a free trial of the app during lockdown (they did a 3 month trial at that time – amazing) and now I’ve continued to pay for it. It’s something I won’t be giving up any time soon. I’m just hoping I can get myself a Peloton treadmill in the future… I also do regular yoga classes (my local studio does online classes). I find these help stretch my legs/joints, which is essential when you’re running loads.

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