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Happy Smiling Runners

Natalie Moore

It’s a New Year, New Goals and a blank canvas of wonderful things to do in the year. A lot of people at this time of year set New Years Resolutions that I am sure they are working hard to stick at. Research shows however that 58% of people will fail at keeping up their New Years Resolutions. Indication from the number of runners I am seeing out and about, I’m pretty confident that there are some New Years Resolutions that involve running. Fantastic! Love it! I have written in past blogs my love for seeing people giving running a go.

So for new runners out there I am writing this for you! It is just my simple advise on how you can keep at your running and really enjoy it! Long term runners may also get something from it!

Ok so here goes, my high tech advise is SMILE! Yep, smile while running! It sounds simple enough and some may be wondering as to why I would be suggesting this. But as a fellow runner, I know that during training and streneuous training at that, we can not hide the exhausted, hard working looks on our faces. I think we probably even tense our faces with strict concentration. When we are pushing ourselves whether it be for a distance or perhaps interval training, it is with sheer determination that we try and push through that pain barrier. And I believe because we are focused completely on the task at hand and the difficulty of the task we can get caught up in the negative, tired thoughts which may inhibit us achieving our goal. If the expression on our face is happy, then perhaps our minds and bodies will follow suit.

Think about that time you had one BIG smile on your face. How did you feel? How does it make you feel when you smile? It is no secret that when we smile we release endorphins which make us feel happy and relaxed. And when we feel happy, it puts us in a positive mood. It is difficult to measure the full impact of smiling on the body whilst running, but I can only believe that it can do us good. Speaking from personal experience, whenever I do any running event I always smile at the side entertainers, give them a thumbs up or clap my hands. I love to shoot a smile at the cameraman taking photos or I do love a double thumbs up to them. Making these positive, happy gestures really does help with the positive thoughts and it helps you to enjoy the run. Of course nothing puts a bigger smile on my face more so then when I see my family cheering me on and it is always at that moment when I feel invincible and I forget for that moment about the pain.  

Running on its own all gives us a natural high, it certainly does for me. I am a different person after a run to the one I was before I ran. Imagine, the runners high we’d feel if we smiled throughout and focused only on the pleasure of running as a result of smiling?    

All of us runners were beginners at some time and we can absolutely relate that starting running can be hard. Of course we are not going to take on tasks that are easy and therefore staying motivated and keeping at it can be challenging. Because it challenges us, it is easy to get swept up in the “its too hard” basket, “I can’t do this” but you can do this. I would love you to take on this tip of smiling whilst out for your run and see whether you find it easier or more enjoyable. I mean at the end of the day, part of the reason we run is for enjoyment, so we should therefore enjoy it. Smiling is the perfect way to help you focus on the pleasure you get from running!

Are you interested in joining a social media experiment? Lets see whether we feel different during our runs when we smile. Take an image of yourself running with a BIG smile, post it to your social media accounts. Comment with how you felt during this run. Tag Running Fit Box and use the hashtag #happysmilingrunners

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